The Masonic, San Francisco, CA | April 13, 2015

Live Review: The Replacements Still Beautifully Ramshackle at the Masonic – Emma Silvers, KQED

This might be the best thing I’ve read since the reunion shows started. I wasn’t at the show last night but everything the reviewer captured in this beautifully-written piece describes the feeling of the Forest Hills show too. This is the only review I’ve read of any reunion show that truly captures the experience. Needless to say, it’s a must-read.

First off: There’s really no such a thing as a casual Replacements fan. People either don’t get what the big deal is or worship the Minneapolis rock forefathers, with that particular brand of emotional reverence reserved for music that has some kind of rarity, a precariousness to it. In the case of the ‘Mats, this is at least partially born of their breakup in 1991 — the swingin’ party that ended much too soon, with terrific, booze-soaked theatrics, leaving behind a question mark about what could have been had its attendees not seemed hell-bent on mutually assured destruction.

Westerberg shone on guitar solos; Stinson expertly grounded him on bass when necessary. They played covers, or parts of covers, including two T. Rex tunes — “20th Century Boy” and “Bang a Gong” — Elvis Presley’s “Little Sister,” Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” Millie Small’s “My Boy Lollipop,” Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five,” and a jovial, dance-party rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene.” They were loose, relaxed, but in the way an exceedingly good bar band should be. A few skipped lyrics here and there, a few antics (Westerberg singing parts from inside a red camping tent that remained onstage for the duration of the two-hour set?), but for the most part this was a band with very little to prove, and in consummate control.

That’s not something you see every day. There’s an inherent rust and jaggedness to the Replacements’ edge, along with a laid-flat vulnerability, that instills in the listener that immediate ring of authenticity — a sense that we’re in good hands here, people, we can trust these guys — that rarely comes across from the crop of younger rock ‘n’ roll bands who have sprung up in their place, even the ones who name-check the ‘Mats with abandon.

Review: The Replacements are older, cleaner, still fun – Also a very positive review in The San Jose Mercury News by Tony Hicks, with some praise for Dave Minhan and Josh fresse, and a great quote from Paul.

Having crack musicians like drummer like Josh Freese and guitarist Dave Minehan certainly helps keep everything propped up. It seems obvious that Minehan watches founding members Paul Westerberg (vocals) and Tommy Stinson (bass) like a hawk in case they decide to start romping through a KISS song or something.
While most of the attraction of this Replacements tour is clearly seeing the Minneapolis boys Westerberg and Stinson nod and wink to each as if they know something the rest of us don’t (and, really, they do), Freese and Minehan have blended in without harming the beautifully reckless vibe. (Original guitarist Bob Stinson was booted from the band in 1986 and died in 1995, and second guitarist Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke in 2012. Drummer Chris Mars opted not to rejoin the group).

The band opened by blazing through “Takin’ a Ride,” “Favorite Thing,” and “Hangin’ Downtown.”

Do I have any children in the audience?” Westerberg quipped before kicking into “Androgynous,” which evolved into a massive singalong (the same thing happened again two songs later during the upbeat “I Will Dare”).

Westerberg planted an appropriate smooch on Stinson during “Kiss Me on the Bus,” before the band ripped through a cover of T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” (which, of course, lapsed into another cover song or three before it was done). After Westerberg admitted messing up during “Color Me Impressed,” (“I skipped the only verse that makes sense to me”) the musicians worked through a gloriously sloppy version of Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene.”

replacements masonic san francisco

Photo by Matt Opsahl

Shirt Watch: Thanks to reports from the message board and FB, we know that Paul said that it’s a “slow text” and that what’s being spelled on front is for the audience and the message on the back is for the band. And that we’ll know the full message in 13 days (which probably means at the end of the tour). Last night was an “A” in front, “W” on back. To date:
Front: IHA (I hate..?)
Back: NOW (Nowhere..?)

This is Paul’s set list, with “Skyfuck” scrawled at the bottom.

D’aww Paul’s set list. He forgot lots of words anyway 😛 #thereplacements

A photo posted by jamie s (@pasnon) on

And the actual set list, with thanks to Setlist.FM. This is one helluva set list.

Set List

Takin’ a Ride | Favorite Thing | Hangin’ Downtown | Treatment Bound | I Don’t Know/Buck Hill/I Don’t Know (Elvis “Little Sister” tease) | I.O.U. | Jazz Tent (Paul reads in a tent to “Take Five,” Brubeck) | Androgynous (from the tent) | Kissin’ in Action (little bit of “Iron Man”) | I Will Dare |  Kiss Me on the Bus |  20th Century Boy / Bang a Gong (Get It On) / All Shook Down |  Nobody |  Take Me Down to the Hospital |  I’m in Trouble |  I Hate Music |  If Only You Were Lonely |  I’ll Be You |  The Ledge | Color Me Impressed | Maybellene | Anywhere’s Better Than Here | Sixteen Blue | Can’t Hardly Wait | Bastards of Young | Within Your Reach | Seen Your Video Encore: Skyway Encore 2: Left of the Dial Alex Chilton These very cool posters were being given away free at the show; look for them to show up on eBay soon!

if i never see another show i’ll die happy. #thereplacements #backbyunpopulardemand A photo posted by andrea (@xoffender) on

“Treatment Bound” thanks to John Loughney

replacements san francisco

Photo by Israel Branson

replacements san francisco

Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group