The reformation of the Replacements for three just-announced shows at the Riot Fest this summer is a conundrum. Where’s this leave a ‘Mats fan who devotes time to studying music nostalgia?
The reunion is a big deal. A big, imperfect deal. Which is probably the way it should be for this particular, brilliantly inconsistent band:
- Only two of the original members are playing.
- They’re playing a festival with several great, iconic indie bands and several bigger bands that colossally suck. Cynics will note that such a scenario seems more like a crass cash-in than an ideal reunion, but…
- It all seems inspired by a noble cause–calling attention to guitarist Slim Dunlap’s illness and raising funds for his treatment.
Half-assed, slightly crass nobility. Yeah, that’s the ‘Mats.
Will I go? Probably not. I paid my dues on the “stand in direct sunlight on a 100 degree day watching bands from a distance” circuit. The last one was Austin City Limits Festival in ’06, primarily because Van Morrison was performing–totally worth it, but totally proof that I never need to do it again.
But I don’t think I’m the audience here. I think this show’s for the generation of Replacements fans who never got a chance to see them live. And honestly, I’d hate to take a ticket away from one of them just so I can say I went.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how I feel. Would love to hear others’ thoughts, and no doubt will through various media over the coming weeks.
sure, you wouldn’t be seeing something you hadn’t seen before, and just with 600x more people.
but any time those guys are using their god-given gift of playing music somewhere instead of sitting at home, the world is a better place.