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.
As always, the actual set list took a few twists and turns
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
Skyway | If Only You Were Lonely | Left of the Dial | Alex Chilton
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.
Front message: “I have a…”
Back message: “Now I’m u…” (I’m inferring an apostrophe.)
“If Only You Were Lonely”, beautiful.