Listen: Indie Legends The Replacements Play First Show in 22 Years
Minneapolis underground rock outfit the Replacements called it quits in 1991 but their cult following –not to mention their influence on following generations of indie and punk musicians—grows stronger every year. Kurt Cobain, Ryan Adams, Billie Joe Armstrong and Jeff Tweedy have all professed a deep love for the band, and you can hear shades of their shambolic-yet-sweet rock in bands like the Hold Steady and Dr. Dog.
So it's only fitting that after decades of being worshiped posthumously, the Replacements reunited last year (for a benefit EP) and finally performed their first live show in 22 years at Toronto's Riot Fest on Sunday.
Sure, the band were a little rusty at times—frontman Paul Westerberg reportedly messed up the words to Let It Be's classic ballad "Androgynous"—but they were never known to be consummate performers even during their heyday. So while a few flubbed lyrics doesn't surprise us, we can't help but be shocked at how energetic they were on stage. Fan-shot YouTube footage from Riot Fest shows Westerberg and original bassist Tommy Stinson—who currently plays in Guns N' Roses—tearing through a classics-heavy set like they wrote these songs yesterday.
For proof, check out their exhilarating take on the 1984 punk rocker "Favorite Thing" above and the Big Star tribute track "Alex Chilton" below. And yes, this would be the first time since Chilton's 2010 passing that the 'Mats have played that 1987 song. And if you're a completist, listen to their entire 24-song set via Slicing Up Eyeballs at the bottom of this page.