You know how we all roll our eyes when we hear that a jam band is going to play a birthday or house party. We do so because we assume that they are going to be horrible. Well, people going to a birthday party on April 5, 1980 were treated to the first concert of R.E.M. Peter Buck, Bill Berry, Michael Stipe, and Mike Mills played together and it was the beginning of the long-term and successful rock group we came to know as R.E.M.
Video (though they play precious few videos nowadays) channel MTV is behind this story of American rock band R.E.M. told in their own words. Over the course of their thirty years together the band, which broke up in 2011, of college friends left their mark on rock music. Most of the footage is from the MTV vaults of performances, news clips, talk show appearances and interviews with the band members. Some of it, though, is footage that has never before been seen.
Through these interviews and footage we learn how the band did it their way and still managed to be commercially successful. They did not bow to the man, rather wrote and recorded the music that they wanted to. We also see the influence they had on bands that came after them. MTV has done a good job and as a result it is a compelling watch for not only fans of the band, but those who call themselves music fans.