Watch Futurebirds Cover R.E.M. With Mike Mills & Carl Broemel In Athens

See the R.E.M. founding member lead the band and My Morning Jacket guitarist through “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville.”

By Nate Todd Dec 7, 2023 10:50 am PST

Futurebirds delivered a hometown concert at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia on Tuesday with frequent collaborator and My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel. The group welcomed Mike Mills of R.E.M. for a take on the Athens-born band’s “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville.”

As Mills took the stage for the performance he joked, “I just wanna say, I don’t know what the fuck is going on here.” Mike Mills co-founded R.E.M. in Athens in 1980 along with frontman Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and drummer Bill Berry.

Although credited to Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe, Mills penned “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” in 1980 reportedly about his then-girlfriend Ingrid Schorr whose parents lived in Rockville, Maryland. The song appeared on R.E.M.’s second studio album, 1984’s Reckoning.

While Mills played bass in R.E.M., he went sans axe for his performance of “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” with Futurebirds and Carl Broemel — leading the collab through the Reckoning cut. The sit-in took place as the penultimate song of Futurebirds’ 19-song second set. Watch below:

Daniel Peiken
Futurebirds (See 48 videos) , Carl Broemel (See 19 videos) and Mike Mills (See 5 videos)

Futurebirds kicked off the concert with a first set featuring a number of Carl Broemel tunes. Carl led the band through “Carried Away,” “Sleepy Lagoon,” “Wished Out” and “4th of July.” Broemel also helmed the set closer, a cover of Neil Young’s “Walk On.”

After kicking off the second set with “All Damn Night” off Futurebirds’ 2020 album Teamwork, the second frame went heavy on songs appearing on Futurebirds and Carl Broemel’s collaborative records — the pair also recently announced a live albumBloomin’ and Bloomin’ Too. Carl handled lead vocals on “Blue-Eyed Girl” and “Monteagle.”

Additional collaborative songs included “Easier Said” and second set closer “College Try” among others. Futurebirds and Carl Broemel returned to encore with Bloomin’ Too’s “The Creeper” before wrapping the concert with a cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”

Loading tour dates


Futurebirds at Georgia Theatre

  • Carried Away  
  • Sleepy Lagoon  
  • Wished Out  
  • 4th of July  
  • Walk On (Neil Young cover)  
Set 2
  • All Damn Night
  • Easier Said
  • Tan Lines
  • Blue Eyed Girl  
  • Wandering Minds
  • Colorado
  • APO
  • Feel Less Bad
  • Crazy Boys
  • Rodeo
  • Monteagle  
  • My Broken Arm
  • Johnny Utah
  • MJB
  • Dream, Fam!
  • Put Up Keep Up
  • Trippin'
  • Ski Chalet
  • (Don't Go Back to) Rockville  
  • College Try
  • The Creeper
  • Just Like Heaven  
JamBase Collections