Forest Hills Stadium, Queens | September 19, 2014

I doubt I can give Friday night’s Forest Hills show the type of description it deserves but I will do my best but here’s an expert opinion on how great it was:

It was utterly thrilling and at times completely surreal to be in a sea of thousands and thousands of people singing these songs. I have never seen that level of intensity — dare I say “love” — coming from an audience. These videos of “Bastards of Young” and “Alex Chilton”, shot from backstage capture it perfectly (video by Tracy Allison, and much appreciated).

Forest Hills is a residential area and the venue has an ironclad 10:00 PM curfew, i.e. the plug comes out of the wall at 10PM plus a nanosecond so people in the neighborhood can get some sleep. Efforts were made to deal with this as best as possible and perhaps for the first time in the history of the Mats, they started earlier than their appointed set time so we got as much Mats as possible, on top of the opening sets from Deer Tick and The Hold Steady.

Their entrance song was perfection: “Here Come the Jets”. To quote the show review from the Daily News: “Before the band took the stage, speakers swelled with the sounds of “When You’re A Jet,” from “West Side Story.” The song expresses the unending loyalty of the outsider, that crazy sense of mission that drives the misunderstood and the marginalized. The music that followed not only fulfilled a dream of the band’s longtime loyalists, it far exceeded it.”

When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette to your last dyin’ day.
When you’re a Jet if the spit hits the fan,
You got brothers around, you’re a family man.
You’re never alone, you’re never disconnected.

Here come the Jets like a bat out of hell.
Someone gets in our way, someone don’t feel so well!
Here come the Jets: Little world, step aside!
Better go underground, Better run, better hide!

Watch the Mats come on stage to this song and then kick into “Favorite Thing” (prepare to be awed).

Indie-Rock Antiheroes Get a Stadium Singing Along – The New York Times
The Replacements make triumphant return at Forest Hills Stadium – Newsday
“After all the years of wildly uneven concerts, missed opportunities and self-destructive tendencies, the beloved Mats played like the rock stars they were always meant to be, backed by a devoted crowd that made the band’s alternative-rock anthems sound like rallying cries. “
80s band The Replacements perform for first time in New York area in 23 years – NY Daily News

There are a lot of videos on YouTube, these clips were posted by Perfect Sound Forever and the video quality is fantastic.

This video includes “Merry Go Round” and “All Shook Down”, the audio quality is a little off but FF to 2:24 in and that’s when Paul gets down on his knees to sing”All Shook Down”, for Slim.

Photos 1-5 and the final photo are by Glenn Cook (view the entire album) and the rest are by Rich Tarbell (flickr)

Setlist

Favorite Thing | Takin a Ride I’m in Trouble | Don’t Ask Why | I’ll Be You | Valentine | Waitress in the Sky | Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out | Take Me Down to the Hospital | I Want You Back | Color Me Impressed | Nowhere Is My Home | If Only You Were Lonely | Achin’ to Be | Kiss Me on the Bus | Androgynous | I Will Dare | Love You Till Friday | Maybellene | Merry Go Round | All Shook Down | Swingin’ Party | Love You in the Fall | Can’t Hardly Wait | Bastards of Young | White and Lazy | Left of the Dial | Alex Chilton
Encore:
Unsatisfied


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