I finally got on board with the Replacements in 1995 with a cassette of Let It Be, which I played over and over in dual rotation with the Smiths’ Hatful of Hollow. (Westerberg and Morrissey had different filters, but the weary ennui was still there.) I’d remembered seeing their name on the Luther Burbank Center marquee, because any unusual band name sticks out on the Luther Burbank Center marquee when you’re 12. I was too young to go to shows, but I vividly remember that the Psychedelic Furs, the Violent Femmes, X and the Replacements all played there. Who was their booker back then and where are they now?
Anyway, back to 1995—after I’d bought every Replacements record, memorized all the songs and even booked a show for my band in Duluth simply because Duluth is mentioned as an aside in the ‘Hootenanny’ closer “Treatment Bound,” I never could say exactly how, or when, the Replacements broke up. I only knew they were gone; that’s all that mattered. But this here review by Greg Kot, for the Chicago Tribune, happens to be a review of the band’s final show. It’s outside, in Grant Park, and full of about as much enthusiasm as a morning-after bottle is with beer: “Here’s another one you don’t wanna hear,” Westerberg says at one point, “and, frankly, neither do I.”
The show was exactly 20 years ago this week. Time flies.