Whether or not you're a devoted fan of REM, there is still an awful lot to like about the tribute to the band at Carnegie Hall on March 11. And it's not even just music, but there will be plenty of that, of course. So, yeah, Patti Smith and Bob Mould will be on hand, but after, there'll be food from Mario Batali and local wines.
The event is the fifth concert in a series to raise money for arts programs for underprivileged youth (with 100 percent of profits going to charity) organized by promoter Michael Dorf, the founder of the Knitting Factory whose latest venue City Winery combines a concert space, eatery and winery. So it stands to reason that this latest chapter in his tribute concert series will feature all the trappings of his winery. Previous sold-out performances have honored the music of Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Bob Dylan (whose tribute featured artists from the "I'm Not There" soundtrack).
The REM show will showcase a cross-generational cavalcade of peers, influencers and those inspired by the alt-rock royalty from Athens, playing songs from REM's catalog, including Patti Smith, Tommy James and the Shondells, Bob Mould of Husker Du, Throwing Muses with Kristin Hersh, Vic Chestnutt, Marshall Crenshaw, The Apples in Stereo, Ingrid Michaelson, Dar Williams, Glenn Hansard of the Frames, Keren Ann, Rhett Miller, Rachel Yamagata and Jolie Holland. Calexico will serve as the house band for the evening.
VIP tickets include best seats in the house plus an after-party hosted by City Winery and with food inspired by and designed by Mario Batali (who is apparently a close friend of Michael Stipe). Tickets for the show a Carnegie hall only range from $125 to $38 but for $275 you can tromp down to Tribeca after the show and join the artists, sip some some wine, and nosh on Mario Batali's idea of a post concert snack (don't be surprised if it includes pork).