The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson to Lead Benefit Concerts Marking 40th Anniversary of R.E.M.’s ‘Chronic Town’

The Black Crowes founder Rich Robinson has announced an all-star lineup for a pair of concerts celebrating 40 years of R.E.M.’s debut EP Chronic Town. The two-night event, set to be hosted in Georgia on Dec. 14 and 15, will double as a benefit show with proceeds going towards Planned Parenthood. The concert will spend its first night at the 40 Watt Club in Athens and its second at the Coca-Cola Roxy in Atlanta.

“Growing up in Atlanta in the 1980s, R.E.M. was the preeminent band of that era,” Robinson said in a statement. “Their music was a huge influence not only on the Atlanta music scene but also on my brother and me. I’m so happy to be able to put together this celebration for a band that meant so much to us and music, and Chronic Town is what started it all.”

Each night, Robinson will round out the house band that also includes the Black Crowes bassist Sven Pipien and drummer Barrett Martin, who first began collaborating with R.E.M. in the late Nineties. Both nights of the celebration concert will be hosted by comedian David Cross.

The setlist for the anniversary show consists of the full five-track EP performed by Robinson alongside special guests. The lineup currently features Rich and Chris Robinson, Darius Rucker, John Cameron Mitchell, Fred Armisen, Kevn Kinney, Lenny Kaye, Mitch Easter, Steve Wynn, David Ryan Harris, Elf Power, Pylon Reenactment Society, and more. The Dec. 14 show will see additional appearances from the Indigo Girls and John Driskell Hopkins of Zac Brown Band.

Tickets for the Dec. 15 show at the Coca-Cola Roxy go on sale Oct. 7 at 10a.m. EST, with tickets for the 40 Watt Club going on sale on Oct. 11 at the same time.

In a 1983 review, Rolling Stone described Chronic Town as “one of last year’s more invigorating, tuneful surprises: a record from an Athens, Georgia, band that cared not a whit for the fashionable quirks of that town’s dance-rock outfits like the B-52’s or Pylon. R.E.M. fashioned its own smart, propulsive sound out of bright pop melodies, a murky, neopsychedelic atmosphere and a host of late-Sixties pop-rock touches.”