Concert Review: The Replacements
Because The Replacements will probably never come to Salt Lake, I thought fans might want to know what one of their concerts was like. I saw them in L.A. on May 6 in a gym at UC Irvine that only held 800 people. It was a miracle that we made it after our car broke down in the middle of the desert 50 miles from civilization, but Mr. Repair-it-on-wheels came and got us on our way.
The opener was so shitty that they’re not even worth mentioning, but they looked like Cinderella, which was good for a laugh. The crowd wasn’t anything special either. After driving seven hundred miles to see The Replacements, I expected to see 800 die-hard fans to be raving on them. However, like every other concert, the majority of the crowd was not even familiar with most of the music. Once The Replacements got on, all was healed.
They started out with “Talent Show” and when it kicked in, it really kicked in. They were all of half drunk which was perfect. Tommy had his cool smoking jacket on and looked exactly like Sid. Paul was only signing ¾ of the words to most songs and changing them as he went along which made the concert spontaneous and exciting. He really got after it that night and it was obvious the emotion pouring from his guitar and mouth was real. His crystal-clear voice pierced through a perfect mix, and the insecurity and texture in his voice came through better than it does on any album.
They played 25 songs with two encores for about two hours. I didn’t expect them to play that long, and I didn’t expect them to play so many old songs as they did. They played “Color Me Impressed,” ”Within Your Reach” and “Unsatisfied.” “Within Your Reach” and “Unsatisfied” really surprised me and had to be the highlight of the concert. Paul’s screaming and crying on “Unsatisfied” alone made the trip worth it. Other stand outs were “We’ll Inherit the Earth,” “ Achin’ to be,” “Left of the Dial,” “Little Mascara” and “The Ledge.” Hell, they were all standouts. We definitely caught them on a great night when Paul really wanted to play. They did not show the reckless abandon and crazy drunkenness that they have been stereotyped to show, but I would definitely rather experience raw emotion than watch a bunch of guys falling down and throwing up in the monitors. The Replacements will never be like they used to, and I’m glad. Although I love their old stuff, it’s about time they show the public what they can really do. The album is called “Don’t Tell a Soul,” but they really told me May 6 in L.A. If you ever have a chance to see them, don’t miss it.
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