Replacements To Return To The Stage 22 Years Later
Even before the announcement this week that the Replacements would play their first show in 22 years, I was compiling a list for this blog of bands I would like to see reunite. These would be bands on my personal favourite list that I would travel almost anywhere to see this special event. I'll post this list in upcoming posts, but it's probably no secret that the band that topped my list was the Replacements.
I first got acquainted with the Mats in the mid-eighties when a friend gave me a mix tape of various bands and included on the tape was several songs from Tim. From that moment on, the Replacements have had a place in my heart and my record collection along with an extensive collection of live concerts that I cherish to this day. To me, they are what a band should be. Their "I don't give shit attitude" and their unpredictable shows that ranged from tight, loose, drunken and hilarious. When they played it straight, not too many bands rocked out like they did and when they were drunk, their setlist was tossed off and they played whatever they felt like playing. They never got the mainstream success they deserved, but in a way that was a good thing because when they did gain a wider audience through their "hit", I'll Be You and the Petty opening tour, I thought this was the chink in the armour and the beginning of the end of the band. Maybe they weren't indie enough anymore or maybe there was too much pressure for the band to succeed commercially. Whatever the case, their last two albums never lived up to the masterpieces that preceded them.
I never had an opportunity to see the Replacements, they never toured to my city and I regret not making the drive to the Twin Cities. I have travelled to the Twin Cities to see Westerberg on two occasions, but my dream and faint hope was to see Paul Westerberg with at least Tommy Stinson to play Replacements songs together. The dream is now a reality with the Replacements booked to headline 3 Riot Fest shows in Toronto, Chicago and Denver. Toronto is the most accessible, but I'm scheduled (and flight booked) to be in Vancouver on that very same weekend for a family reunion. Chicago is close in distance, but I might be in Toronto around that time for a meeting...damn the timing! If I can't see the Mats in those cities, I'm holding out hope they play a hometown show before or after Riot Fest or who knows, maybe they'll do an expanded tour? Whatever happens I won't be disappointed, the Replacements are back together (not quite, but close enough) and I thought I would never see this happen and I'm more than thrilled and excited! I'm sure the tapers will be out in full force with a recording of the festivities (fingers crossed!) and if there are, it will be posted on this blog to share.
For a reminder of their last show from 1991, I'm re-posting the link from a previous post. It's in mp3 format, but I do have the lossless version I can also post if you'd prefer. If you want access to more downloads of Replacements shows (in mp3 format), check out this fine page, Color Me Impressed: The Replacements Live Archive Project. Their goal is to archive and share every know Replacements recording. So far it's a great collection and I'm sure there are a lot more to come. Great to download to your iPod or blasting in the car in the months leading up to the big shows. I'll try to share some shows that aren't on their site yet in lossless if I get around to transferring some tapes...stay tuned!