The Fillmore, Denver, CO | April 19, 2015

The Denver show closed out the first half of the tour and the band will be on a break until their show at Converse Rubber Tracks Live on April 27.  Here’s what The Denver Post had to say (“The Replacements at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver”):

Maybe this was the show ‘Mats fans always wanted 20 years ago: Sober, no-nonsense, (mostly) coherent and, best of all: Not cut prematurely short by some alcohol-infused demise. Although Westerberg, who was having guitar issues late in the night, did simply walk off during “Never Mind,” leaving the band to finish the main set without him.

He returned for two lovely acoustic songs – the iconic “Skyway.” And “If Only You Were Lonely” before being rejoined him for “Left of the Dial” and “Alex Chilton.”

The ‘Mats gave their fans if not everything they wanted, then certainly the most that they could give in 90 minutes. The Mats are best appreciated when you go beyond the ever-pulsing, head-bumping chords and really listen to the truly lovely sentiment in so many of Westerberg’s songs. For every nose-thumbing anthem there is the simple vulnerability of “If you will dare … I will dare)” or, from “Sixteen Blue”: “Everything is sexually vague. Now you’re wondering to yourself if you might be gay.” Westerberg is nothing if not the insubordinate romantic.

Denver set list

Photo by BigBak

As always, the actual set list took a few twists and turns

Set List

I’m in Trouble | Kissin’ in Action | Little Mascara | Color Me Impressed | Talent Show/Portland/nowhere Is My Home | Take Me Down to the Hospital | Waitress in the Sky | Valentine | Kiss Me On the Bus | Nobody | Treatment Bound | I Will Dare | Tommy Get His Tonsils Out | Sixteen Blue | The Ledge | 20th Century Boy/Bang a Gong | All Shook Down | Anywhere’s Better Than Here | Wake Up | I’ll Be You | Can’t Hardly Wait | Bastards of Young | Whole Food Blues | Seen Your Video | Never Mind
Encore:
Skyway | If Only You Were Lonely | Left of the Dial | Alex Chilton

Paul Westerberg denver

Photo by Michael Portaro

That brings us to Shirt Watch Show 6: Paul is spelling out a message, adding a letter each night of the tour. He said what’s being spelled on front is for the audience and the one on back is for the band. The bottom letters are what’s being spelled out on the back, hard to find good shots of those letters. Paul must have gotten a new can of paint as the front letter was a lovely shade of purple in Denver, the back letter was still orange.
shirt watch #6

Front message: “I have a…”
Back message: “Now I’m u…” (I’m inferring an apostrophe.)

#Encore #TheReplacements #Denver #TheFillmore

A photo posted by Dan Shargel (@lutef1sk) on

“If Only You Were Lonely”, beautiful.

“Skyway”

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Bits + Pieces: L.A.

Live Review: The Replacements at the Hollywood Palladium (4/16) – Philip Cosores, Consequence of Sound (Show photos)

“Valentine” saw the band gel into a loose and beaming unit, creating a state of euphoria in the audience. Even Stinson noticed, chiming in that they had “finally gotten that one right after a year of practice.” And while Westerberg still needed a few smokes to get through the set, he didn’t lie about the maturing aspect of the band, speaking about how they used to drink all day and now spent the afternoon at the gym. Even the new jam they performed was a goof about shopping at Whole Foods Market.

The completion of growing up, of coming of age, is part of The Replacements’ appeal at this point. Seeing a reckless band of 50-somethings would be flat-out depressing, but seeing a surviving band channeling their youthful energy for a night is inspiring. And on that, it created a context for the timelessness of “Alex Chilton”, “Left of the Dial”, and a dozen of the other songs The Replacements played. If the question was posed as to why The Replacements were so special to so many people, their performance was the definitive answer.

Photo by Philip Cosores

Photo by Philip Cosores

The Replacements at the Hollywood Palladium April 15 – L.A. Weekly
If you were at the show and in the front, you might spot yourself in this extensive slide show.

Photo By Timothy Norris

Photo By Timothy Norris

A kick-ass “Left of The Dial” from the second night.

The final encore of “I Want You Back” and “I.O.U” on the 16th, complete with the guitar toss at the end.

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Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA | April 16, 2015

The second Palladium show was a stand-out, from all accounts. After playing a somewhat shorter than usual set the previous night, the band played 27 songs, with 3 (!) encores.

replacements LA set list

Photo by Mike Williamson

Set List

I’m in Trouble | Kissin’ in Action | Little Mascara | Color Me Impressed | Love You Till Friday | Maybellene | Treatment Bound | Take Me Down to the Hospital | Waitress in the Sky | Valentine | Achin’ to Be | Kiss Me on the Bus | Nobody | I Will Dare | Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out | Sixteen Blue | The Ledge | I’ll Be You | Whole Food Blues | Can’t Hardly Wait | Bastards of Young | My Boy Lollipop | Never Mind
Encore:
Ghost On The Canvas | Skyway
Encore 2:
Left of the Dial | Alex Chilton
Encore 3:
I Want You Back | I.O.U.

A kickass rendition of “Valentine”.

And a nice singalong for “Skyway” here, plus “Ghost On The Canvas”.

And…a trombone for “Can’t Hardly Wait”!

Spoiler alert: He caught it. (photo by Martin Wong)

Here’s the other angle on that epic toss.

westerberg guitar toss

photo by chance!

I came across a link on the Mats Facebook page to some beautiful black and white photos of both Hollywood shows, taken by Jim Wright: April 15 | April 16

Shirt Watch Show 5: The bottom letters are what’s being spelled out on the back, hard to find good shots of those letters. (Paul is spelling out a message, adding a letter each night of the tour.  He said what’s being spelled on front is for the audience and the one on back is for the band.)

shirt show 5

ROCK AND ROLL!

#replacements #joshfreese #paulwesterberg

A photo posted by Lance Bangs (@lancebangs) on

#greatestBandEver

I’m in love. What’s that song #theReplacements #greatestBandEver

A photo posted by Sanam (@sjagad) on

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Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA | April 15, 2015

Night 1 at The Palladium included a somewhat shorter set than the previous shows, clocking in at about 70 minutes according to Variety. Despite that, the show earned a 5 star review from them: The Replacements Give the People What They Want at Hollywood Reunion Show: Concert Review

No danger of canned stage patter here. “Let’s try that sissy one,” said Westerberg, putting the most irreverent possible spin on “Androgynous,” their touching ode to glam-rock and/or actual ambisexuality. Later: “Tommy says I don’t have any ass in these pants,” Westerberg pointed out. “When you ARE an ass, you don’t need an ass.” The T. Rex medley they performed (with new guitarist Dave Minehan taking lead vocals on a smashing “20th Century Boy”) was explicable. Less so, their cover of Barbie Gaye’s 1956 single “My Boy Lollipop,” but it was hardly any less delightful for the obscurity. In that same anything-goes spirit, the Mats offered one new song, “Whole Food Blues,” a blues more or less performed to the tune of “The Thrill is Gone,” with Westerberg singing that he went to the store for some health food but “all I got was attitude.”

These welcome moments of goofiness aside, the Replacements evoked a phrase rarely heard in their actual heyday — “well-oiled machine” — by the time the set was back on track with a furiously perfect rendition of “Alex Chilton.” That invocation offered a moment to reflect on how, even though we think of the Replacements as lovable losers, they did succeed in a way that Big Star never did, actually getting on the radio and sparking a revolution that lasted at least as long as Cobain did. If, in the end, Westerberg’s self-prophesying came true and they didn’t sell many records, we can still see the shot glass as half-full.

So bless Westerberg for getting Stinson back in the fold and allowing us a few nights to pretend that rock & roll full of bluster and spit and wit and wisdom and crankily veiled melody really did inherit the earth. Wednesday’s ecstatic experience of a gig was almost worth the quarter-century wait to see these should-be Hall of Famers back in action… even if its 70-minute length was considerably shorter than the other shows the Replacements have done so far on this tour. It could be that Westerberg wanted to conserve a little energy for Thursday night’s sold-out follow-up concert at the Palladium. Or maybe he just needed to get his tax return in before midnight?

A somewhat blurry set list photo (thanks to Mike Forchini) has a cover of “Roadhouse Blues” as a possibility and it appears that “whole Food Blues” is now a full-fledged song.
la 4.15 set list

Here’s the actual set list, from Setlist.FM:

Set List

Seen Your Video | Takin’ a Ride | Favorite Thing I’m in Trouble | Kissin’ in Action | Kiss Me on the Bus | Nobody | Androgynous | I Will Dare | I’ll Be You | 20th Century Boy / Bang a Gong (Get It On) / All Shook Down | Anywhere Is Better Than Here | Waitress in the Sky | Valentine | White and Lazy | Whole Food Blues | Can’t Hardly Wait | Bastards of Young | My Boy Lollipop | I Don’t Know/Buck Hill/I Don’t Know | Within Your Reach
Encore:
Left of the Dial | Alex Chilton | Nevermind

westerberg la 4.15

Photo by Greg Jacobs www.ribshots43.com

Shirt Watch Show 4:  The bottom letters are what’s being spelled out on the back, hard to find good shots of those letters. (Paul is spelling out a message, adding a letter each night of the tour.  He said what’s being spelled on front is for the audience and the one on back is for the band.)

westerberg shirt

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The Replacements @ Converse Rubber Tracks Live Boston 4/27

Holy. crap. Converse bringing free 5-night music festival to Boston

Converse Rubber Tracks Live Boston, a free five-night event (is) set to take over the Sinclair, a club in Harvard Square.

From April 27 through May 1 may perhaps be the only time fans will be able to see major acts such as alt-rock pioneers the Replacements, Boston-bred electro-pop sensations Passion Pit, thrash-metal titans Slayer, rap star Chance the Rapper, and punk-rock progenitors Descendents in a cozy venue that holds 525 people. All are acts that easily draw crowds triple that size.

April 27: The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr., the Young Leaves
April 28: Passion Pit, Baths, Radclyffe Hall
April 29: Slayer, Doomriders, Rozamov
April 30: Chance the Rapper, Action Bronson, Michael Christmas
May 1: Descendents, King Tuff, Bent Shapes

Now for the brutal details: The Sinclair holds only 525 people. Given the demand-to-ticket ratio, tickets will be distributed through a random online process. Staring Monday 4/20 at noon, you can register online and submit an entry to win two tickets for one of the five shows. Registration ends at noon on Wednesday, and Converse will notify winners by email.

Until the online registration process is live, no way to know what checks and balances will be in place to prevent scalpers from generating thousands (millions?) of automated entries.

replacements cambridge

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