“I can’t imagine they’d do it anywhere else because they enjoy the city and have always had a good time there,” the Gold Artists chief told Pollstar.

“After every album they’ve had some regrets about not playing some of the songs live in front of an audience before recording them,” he explained, after the band had sold out five MCD-promoted shows at the city’s 1,620-capacity Olympia Theatre in less than 20 minutes.

Work on the follow-up to 2004’s Around The Sun, which will be produced by Jacknife Lee, is now starting in Vancouver.Toward the end of this month Michael Stipe and the band will head to Dublin, where 8,000 fans will get the chance to hear a live preview of the new stuff June 30 and July 1-5.