If you happened to be at Patti Smith's New York gig the other night, you would have found yourself in a pretty envious position from the perspective of R.E.M. fans when Michael Stipe showed up as the support act.

The frontman of the legendary rock band, who split in 2011, has been very quiet over the last few years, defying speculation that he would pursue a solo career.

However, Tuesday's gig marks the second time in recent months that he has supported Smith, which he has done periodically over the last few years. The heavily-bearded singer played a stripped-back set of covers at the Beacon Theatre including 'Imagine', 'All the Young Dudes', 'The Crying Game', 'People Are Strange' by The Doors and Neil Young's 'Old Man'.

He later re-appeared with Smith to sing on her song 'People Have the Power'.

Watch fan-shot clips of his performance below: