The ultimate '80s indie rockers are playing live this summer, and we can't hardly wait.
Photo: WireImage/Getty | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
The last time the Replacements played a live show together was in 1991 in Chicago's Grant Park. But in the preceding decade, the Minneapolis foursome made a pretty convincing case as the best band of the '80s, with a series of classic albums, a reputation for electric (and sometimes disastrous) live shows, and a trail of destruction left in their wake. The band's mid-'80s trio of Let it Be ('84), Tim ('85), and Pleased to Meet Me ('87) ranked fourth, second, and third respectively on the Village Voice's annual critics poll of the year's best album. That's a pretty impressive run. Unfortunately for the 'Mats, their commercial success never equaled critical acclaim, but mythology surrounding the band has only grown in the two decades since they last played.
And now those of us who were too young to see them in their heyday will get a chance to see what all the fuss was about, as the band is getting back together for three headlining performances at the Riot Fests in Toronto, Chicago, and Denver. It's unclear what lineup will actually be taking the stage, but lead singer Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson are definitely in. Speaking on Marc Maron's WTF podcast, Stinson — who's been Guns N' Roses' bassist since 1998 — discussed the Replacements' history, and left open the possibility that they'd play together again. He and Westerberg actually teamed up last year to cut a few tracks for a benefit EP to raise money for former guitarist Slim Dunlop, who had suffered a stroke.
"Honestly, we never really broke up," said Stinson. "We just kind walked away from it, and left it kind of sitting on the bus after that last Grant Park gig. Just left it sitting there. It's probably still floating around there somewhere. The ghost of the Replacements still lingering somewhere out there."
Well, it looks like the ghost is risen, so to tide you over until August, enjoy a taste of what made the Replacements so great to begin with:
Bastards of Young:
I Will Dare:
Left of the Dial: