Not too long after the first installment of The Replacements two-night stand at the Hollywood Palladium should have been over, I called up my brother who had attended the gig and was driving back to San Diego. I thought I’d help him stay awake and also get the scoop because I was so amped up about having tickets to the second night.
Greg didn’t reach the venue until 8:00 but was still able to walk right up to the barricade and see an excellent opening set by X’s John Doe. (Our theory is that hard-core Replacements fans are also hard-core fans of drinking at the bar.) There was a tent and all the songs you’d want to hear–and then some–at full blast. Drumming stud Josh Freese (who’s played on Westerberg’s solo stuff) and Dave Minehan (The Neighborhoods) were more than just solid and amazed. Oh yeah, stand on the left because that’s Tommy’s side.
It was a trip going back to the stage where my twin and I saw so many shows during our senior year in high school: The Ramones, The Cramps, P.I.L., Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Cure, The Cult, and Social Distortion opening for pretty much all of them. In college, there were The Beastie Boys, Chili Peppers, Damned, Fugazi, Pixies, Rock For Choice, Epitaph Summer Nationals, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr… The historic venue falling into shambles coincided with the rise of Jabberjaw.
I also saw The Replacements at the Palladium in the late ’80s, and a lot of people at last night’s show were probably there, too. But holy crap, I swear this more recent set was way more raging than the one I saw with the later original lineup (does that make sense?) struggling and on dope. This time Paul and Tommy seemed to have as much chemistry as they were having fun nailing songs like “Valentine” and “Alex Chilton” and barely hanging on for “Bastards of Young” and “I’ll Be You.” Although the time at the Country Club might have been slightly more awesome…
At the end of the second encore (The Jackon’s “I Want You Back” and “IOU”) Westerberg hucked his Gibson SG offstage and, thanks to Greg, I was in a perfect location to track the trajectory… My Instagram of the third shot got at least as far as Josh Freese’s Insta account and then was posted to the Paul Westerberg/Man Without Ties site, which is pretty cool. But for you, my friends, here is the entire sequence.
So badass. Long live The Replacements! And their solo CDs are cool and dirt cheap, too!