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?
Here’s the actual set list, from Setlist.FM:
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
Left of the Dial | Alex Chilton | Nevermind
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.)