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.