The Baseball Project hit it out of the park at Bar Stache last week. Founded by legendary musicians Peter Buck (R.E.M), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, The Minus 5), Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate), and Linda Pitman (Zuzu’s Petals) on drums. It was a conversation between McCaughey & Wynn in 2007 at the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame induction of R.E.M that blossomed into a full-fledged band. All members are baseball fans, and based on their catalog of songs, you would figure it out eventually. The room at Bar Stache was small, kinda had the frat house meets ultimate man-cave meets hipster coffee house. It was a quaint venue to see some talented musicians play some fun songs.
Being a R.E.M. fan from way back, I was happy to have had the opportunity to chat with Mike Mills at the bar before their set and shoot the shit about music and baseball. I asked him if he still had fun playing live shows, his response as he grinned at me was “if it wasn’t still fun, I wouldn’t be doing it.”
As they played their set, they were as tight as any group of seasoned musicians could be. They were casual, they sang, they drank, they talked about baseball, and they had fun doing it. It’s not everyday you get to meet one of your musical idols, or a member of the band you grew up listening to in your formative years. It was by all accounts a fun night of good music. Peter Buck was not on stage with the band, and when I inquired on how often he sits in, Mike responded that he plays here and there when they are on the west coast. Peter divides his time between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle. If you ever get the chance, go check them out, The Baseball Project does not disappoint.