Aug 242013

The Replacements play their first “reunion” gig in Toronto at Riot Fest this weekend — and it’s creating quite a stir, back in the Twin Cities at least. They close the show Sunday, right after Iggy and the Stooges. There will be lots of press coverage in the Twin Cities media as Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson strap it up — no Chris Mars, though, and Slim Dunlap has big health issues.

So to prepare: There’s this nice “Meet the Replacements Family” chart that a local station cooked up.

How about this rendering of the Let It Be cover (shot on the Stinson’s roof) recreated in Legos? Nice!

Wish I could be there — but it’s a good thing I’m not going — I have the mother of all summer colds and am just getting it back together after a week of laying low.

From where I’m coming from this is an event show — where I would consider traveling to make it. What say you? — in the spirit of an earlier post — is this a ‘why bother’ event or a real event?


  17 Responses to “Replacements Fever — Catch It!”

  1. Although I really do like the Replacements, this is a “Why Bother?” in my book. I don’t see the chemistry of Paul and Tommy together suddenly creating an earth shattering reaction. Besides the Paul Westerberg songbook, (see Mr. Mod’s notes on Talking Heads) what helped make them special was the play between those songs and the cavalier band. By the time the band broke up, this magic was long gone.

  2. I was so negative on the band at the end. I hated “Don’t Tell a Soul” and “All Shook Down” at the time. Mars was already gone and they seemed bitter and listless the last time I saw them. But my initial disappointment with those albums has faded — there are several very good songs on those two records. I’ve even come around on “When It Began” and the crazy claymation video they made for it, but at the time I wanted something else.

  3. cliff sovinsanity

    I’m on board for the selfish fact that I’ve yet to see Westerberg and Stinson on stage together. I’m hoping these shows might result in other dates. I’m not bothered by the fact that we are 20 years down the road. Who really thinks that the spirit or ramshackle nature of their live shows will be repeated. No, I’m into this because I might be able to stand their in crowd and applaud 2 guys who have brought hours of musical pleasure into my life. Given Westerberg’s somewhat erratic solo output and Tommy’s stint in GNR, the idea going out to hear them crank out a bunch of Mats tunes seems like a whole lot of fun. Fun dammit.

  4. I can completely respect that. And while I didn’t like Don’t Tell a Soul much, I thought All Shook Down was really good. But that was pretty much a Westerberg solo album.

    I saw the Brian Wilson “Pet Sounds” tour. Sure, it didn’t seem like Brian was critical to the actual performance, but it was still thrilling and emotional to see him with a great band playing his beautiful music and the audience getting the opportunity to show him personally how they felt about what he had done.

  5. Townspersons may be interested to know that the two other musicians backing Paul and Tommy for these shows are drummer Josh Freese and guitarist Dave Minehan from Paul’s first post-‘Mats touring band. I know some of you who saw that first solo tour rated it pretty highly.

  6. Here’s the set list from last night:

    Takin’ a Ride / I’m in Trouble / Favorite Thing / Hanging Downtown / Color Me Impressed / Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out / Kiss Me on the Bus / Androgynous / Achin’ to Be / I Will Dare / Love You Till Friday / Merry Go Round / Wake Up / Borstal Breakout (Sham 69 cover) / Little Mascara / Left of the Dial / Alex Chilton / Swingin’ Party / Can’t Hardly Wait / Bastards of Young ENCORE: Everything’s Coming Up Roses / I.O.U.

  7. cliff sovinsanity

    The crowd singing during the breakdown in this clip makes me wish I was there.

  8. I did not know that…and being one of those that rated that first solo tour so highly, that does make me more interested.

  9. misterioso

    Thanks for this. Basically, despite my affection for the band, I’m in the “Why bother?” camp, but that said, this sounds not bad, not bad at all.

  10. I am flying to Denver to catch them for my upcoming Milestone Birthday. I am really psyched for a lot of the reasons Cliff mentioned.

    I saw the Replacements 3 times, starting with the Pleased to Meet Me tour. I missed Bob Stinson and the out of control drunk shows although they were always really loose even at their most “professional”. The best show I saw was Westerberg’s first solo tour because the band was playing great songs enthusiastically. That’s what I’m hoping to see at the reunion show. I’m not pining for the days where they would drunkenly stumble through a verse and a half of Mr. Saturday Night Special.

    I like Don’t Tell a Soul despite the production and some sub par songs, and I really like All Shook Down. I’ve always liked When It Began, big gooey pop hooks and all.

  11. Thanks for the post, Funkola. I’ve seen the Mats a few times – good (Chestnut Cabaret ’86) , bad (All Shook Down ’90) and indifferent (Opening for Tom Petty in the outdoor venues). The version of “Bastards of Young” on the slicingupeyeballs site helped clear up a lousy memory of the last song I heard them play. They were just out of sync on the All Shook Down show and they came out for an encore (not that anyone was cheering all that loudly) and just butchered “Bastards…”. Paul turned his back, clicked off his amp and walked offstage. They look like they are enjoying themselves. Great!

  12. machinery

    Caught them at a very memorable show at the tiny 930 in DC in 83, I think. The whole gang, very drunk with Bob Stinson in a dress. I have to say they were totally awesome. Though I recall it being a short set, they were in total control — one song rockin’ the next brought down to a bluesy crawl. Fellow Townsman Chickenfrank jumped on stage to play the drums after Mars left (to get sick?) and Westerberg asked the audience for a “replacement.”

    So, I would never see them again. Anything after that would have to be a let down.

  13. I saw them 5 times. 2x for DTAS, 2x for ASD and 1x opening for Tom Petty. I also saw Paul’s 1st solo tour show. All were local shows and all were under $20 and all were (except Petty) at small venues. I don’t think I could take a room full of 45 year old dads losing their minds to a reunited Replacements and not feel like a tool.

    3 shows at festivals so the die-hards can travel and see them sounds like the best way to do this, unless they need the money of a big tour. Not sure they could even support one though.

    Glad they made the show available to stream.

  14. I’m so glad I went to see all of my heroes when I was a kid (and they were maybe old but not ancient). The bands I like that tour are all in their 60’s and 70’s (OK, Paul is in his 50’s and Tommy is the same age as me I think early-mid 40’s) and their audience is all old too.

  15. I once caught the closing encore song at a Replacements show. I thought the show started a few hours later than it actually did. Turns out it was an all-ages show that started at 7:00.

    As some of you may recall, I’ve never been a big Replacements fan. I like the first album best, whenever I hear it and don’t think about it. It sounds like kids trying to be the Sex Pistols. From their following albums I always like a couple of songs, but so many of them sound like the same song, the “Merry-Go-Round” template, if you will. (They also feature variations on a cryin’-in-a-beer ballad, which I never like.) For me, they’re a C-30 band.

    I’m listening to this live concert, and although it sounds good, it also sounds generic to me. (Mad props, however, for a “Borstal Breakout” cover, no matter how slow they played it!) For starters, I get no variety out of Westerberg’s voice. He gets to one pitch and then holds it through everything. I never hear a drum or bass line that interests me in any way. The new lead guitarist, while clearly good, just plays to the Westerberg song template. The only musician in that band who seemed to have a distinct personality was Bob Stinson, and I HATED his guitar style. At least he had style. This concert is probably about as good a live version of the band’s coherent album cuts could ever be expected to sound, but I don’t get enough out of the album cuts in their studio form to get too excited.

    Also, as a rule, I don’t get the “reunion” tour featuring only 50% of the band. If Chris Mars is too proud to do a few stinking shows with his old bandmates – guys who put him on the map and with whom he must have had some laughs – then Paul and Tommy should tour as a duo. Why let the subs get credit for a Replacements reunion? I actually feel bad for Paul and Tommy that their merely competent drummer couldn’t pick up the sticks and have fund with them. The guys playing this show sound like they’re having a good time, as do the band’s fans. This is a “why bother” enterprise as far as I’m concerned, but Replacements fans should probably have fun and eat this up. I fully enjoyed the reunited Undertones without the powerhouse vocals of Feargal Sharkey. I still felt a bond with the other band members, the songs, and my fellow Undertones fans.

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