The Replacements Review I Was Gonna Write

September 17, 2013

ReplacementsSo this past weekend my wife, a few old friends and I went to Chicago to see a band we still rank among our favorite bands ever in the whole history of the world and everything.

I’m talking about The Replacements, of course, a band that provided the soundtrack to our late teens and early 20s.

For us, the ‘Mats aren’t one of those bands you loved when you were young and now look back on with equal parts horror and nostalgia. The ‘Mats were OUR band, offering both inspiration and cautionary tales for a bunch of buddies trying to find our way. They were punks from Minneapolis who, like so many of the kids I grew up with, had everything and yet seemed indifferent to possibilities ahead.

“God what a mess/On the ladder of success,” they offered in their anthem “Bastards of Young.” That about summed it up. So much potential. So much baggage and indifference. Which way would they go? Which way would we go?

As is well-documented by now, The Replacements went silent for 22 years. During that time, most of my buddies from that era eventually found a strong toehold in life. Still others are meandering through life, mostly OK with some “dreams unfulfilled.” And, sadly, like the ‘Mats, one of our crew died, done in by his own demons and the same “Bastards of Young” shiftlessness.

With all of that as a backdrop, I was going offer a nice little review of the show from the perspective of someone who isn’t some jaded music writer banging out yet another review of yet another band at yet another festival. I wanted to offer a die-hard Replacements fan’s perspective of the show.

And then Broberg emailed me this from Grantland, and I realized this guy had already said everything I wanted to say. And he said it so much better than I could. So read it and pretend I wrote it. When you get the part about how he found a perfect parking spot, substitute that for finding a seat on the crowded city bus that dropped us at the show. That’s all I’d change. Really.

Okay, actually I’d change two other things. My dream set list would have included “Skyway,” and I shot “Achin’ to Be” on my phone.

Email me and I’ll send it to ya.