It was fun to hear the Young Fresh Fellows do “Rock and Roll Pest Control” 30+ years after recording it. Here’s the original. It’s interesting to note that they also did the Sonics’ “Strychnine” on the same stage where I heard the re-formed Sonics perform it, Halloween night, 2008. Otherwise, it was a just okay set. Oh, and that straight legs hopping up and down looks kinda weird when done by guys this old.
The Replacements were in fine form. They played half or more of “Seen Your Video” before the curtain came up, then plowed into an aggressive “Color Me Impressed.” We heard a broad collection of Replacements music, from early punkish stuff through “Skyway.” That latter one came during a brief Westerberg solo acoustic segment that included a few broken verses of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne.” No new material appeared over the evening, as far as I could tell.
You’ll note in the photo that there was a tent onstage. They brought it up front and Westerberg crawled into it and sang half of “Androgynous” from inside. For no particular reason.
They played a nice, long set at ear-blasting volume. Unfortunately the lead guitar was the one exception to the volume – you could often barely hear it. That was disappointing on a song like “Take Me Down to the Hospital,” which really hangs on that lead. There was some distortion on the vocals early on, but it didn’t detract much.
I got the impression that the band’s notorious “unpredictable” behavior is mostly just part of the act now. When Westerberg started a song, fumbled it, shouted “Fuck you” and walked off stage, well, you knew he was coming back. Might as well just drop that and go ahead and be regular old rock stars. After all, they’ve got rock star stage lights, and they’re dang good rock musicians.
Really glad I went. Even though it’s just two of the originals, they’ve still got the power.