Post-Riot Fest Replacements Cloud

18th September 2013 2 comments

I didn't take photos on the day but I love this photo I found. I believe it was taken by Andrea Swensson

I didn’t take photos on the day but I love this photo I found. I believe it was taken by Andrea Swensson

Greetings, lovelies, Christine here. I entertained the idea of writing a formal, proper review type thing. I hate writing formal, proper review type things. Plus, it’s Riot Fest, for crying out loud. Wouldn’t it be anathema to the Riot Fest ethos to write some formal prose on the musical intricacies of the day, with proper punctuation and distinct paragraphs?
Well, the grammar and punctuation will be in order, but since I loathe writing reviews, I’m going to use the punk ethos to avoid it and instead, ramble on LiveJournal stylee about Riot Fest. I’d love it if you read on, but understand fully if you’d rather not.

* I only went on Sunday as I only had interest in The Replacements. There has been talk, including some by yours truly, on if it was The Replacements as it was only Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson and two, ah hem, replacements, but hey, Westerberg wrote the songs, Stinson was in the band since he was 14 years of age, they can do what they please.

*Before you ask, I didn’t see Pixies. For one thing, (don’t send me death threats, nor dissertations on why I’m wrong) I’m not as into them as I should be. For another thing, they were on right before The Replacements, but on another stage. I had to choose what was more important and it was more important to me that I be up close for The Replacements. I heard the bass line for ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven,’ but that’s about all.

* Securing a good spot for The Replacements meant enjoying the musical stylings of AFI (A Fire Within). (As I’m not a fan of theirs, I’m not sure what the preferred name is. I’ve only ever heard of them as AFI, but they had a banner that said A Fire Inside, so just in case…I’ll put both to cover all bases).
I’ll say this about AFI; it’s not my kind of music, but they put on a good show. The band sounded tight and you can tell they work hard and rehearse a lot. Their fans adore them and know every word to every song. The band even did a Cure cover to, presumably, engage us old folks and allow us to at least know one song. It was a kind gesture on their part.

*In the 22 years since The Replacements broke up on a stage in Chicago, I’ve seen Paul Westerberg numerous times. I’ve seen Tommy Stinson a few times (he called my sister for her birthday as I saw him on the day and she wasn’t able to attend). I’ve seen Slim Dunlap on several occasions. I thought I had a pretty good idea about what the show would bring.

*I. Was. Wrong.

*Seeing Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson on a stage, together, at the same time, performing together, was incredible. The fact that it was brought about by the illness of former Replacement Slim Dunlap seemed to make it more endearing, somehow.

I attend a lot of concerts, many of them are wonderful. Some of them are amazing. Few of them are magical. From time to time, a strange thing happens. It can’t be forced, it can’t be replicated, it can barely be explained. When it’s happening, you know it’s happening. A power engages the crowd and the musicians and everyone knows something special is happening.
Maybe it’s because it was my first Replacements show, maybe it was because their first US show in over two decades was in same city they broke up in. Whatever the reason; something was there. The energy of the crowd was electrifying. The band sounded fantastic. Paul Westerberg; the poster child for curmudgeony musicians, was, dare I say…having fun on stage.
All of the elements were in place to make it a great night. The fact that it poured for most of the day was an aside. The fact that it stopped just long enough for The Replacements to play kind of proves the magic theory.

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