The ‘Mats!!!!

September 19th I went to see The Replacements at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NYC. I had never heard of the place. Lo and behold the outdoor arena has been there forever (well since 1923, built for The US Open). The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, The Who, The Talking Heads all graced that stage.
It was initially strange to me that there was a curfew for the show i.e. 3 bands starting at 6PM and ending by 10PM on a Friday no less. Quite a shift from midtown shows listing that they’ll start at 9 and they actually go on at 10 this night started and ended as scheduled. I realized, of course, it’s a residential area and the venue doesn’t want to annoy the neighbors anymore than they probably already are. It’s been 22 years since Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson played together as The Replacements. Paul released his excellent, self-released 49:00 in 2008 and Tommy has been playing bass with the band Guns N’ Roses. Last year I saw The Breeders reunite after 20 years ( Recently, I’ve been playing in full band formation James Beaudreau on lead guitar, Ben Kraus on bass and Rich Drouin on drums. James and Rich played together many moons ago in highschool. What’s the deal with these reunions? Turns out it’s not nostalgia and it’s not to re-hash former victories. These are vital artists engaged in the act of continuing the flow of music they believe in, expanding the artists dialogue. Long story short the show was AMAZING! Undoubtedly the best rock show I’ve seen this year and maybe for years to come. The pre-show music “When You’re A Jet” from Westside Story was clearly an intentional choice. The set featured old short garage punk tunes from, “Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out The Trash”, “Hootenanny” and “Stink” and more straight ahead rock tunes from “Tim”, “Let It Be” and “Pleased to Meet Me”. They only played 2 songs from “All Shook Down”. Their loose cover of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” was classic! It felt like a dare, like it could fall apart at any moment unlike their more usual cover of Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene”. Those daring moments are what make them The Replacements …we’re in their corner, we’re one of the Jets, we don’t want them to fail but we know there’s always a chance they will. It’s a risk nobody else seems willing to take except maybe jazz musicians and Tom Waits. People are fallible, we are not slick, perfect beings….we don’t know all of the dance steps but damn if our hearts aren’t in it for the dance itself. The audience was singing along to many, if not most, of the songs. I’m usually not fond of crowds but with my focus on the stage, singing aloud and hearing so many others singing the same songs in unison I really felt hopeful for music. Here’s the setlist:
Favorite Thing
Taking A Ride
I’m In Trouble
Don’t Ask Why
I’ll Be You
Waitress In The Sky
Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out (into 3rd Stone From The Sun, Jimi Hendrix)
Take Me Down To The Hospital
I Want You Back (The Jackson 5)
Color Me Impressed
Nowhere Is My Home
If Only You Were Lonely
Achin’ To Be
Kiss Me on The Bus
I Will Dare
Love You Til Friday (They had to do this one the show was ON Friday) hahaha
Maybellene (Chuck Berry)
Merry Go Round
All Shook Down
Swingin Party
Love You In The Fall
Can’t Hardly Wait
Bastards of The Young
White and Lazy
Left of The Dial
Alex Chilton
Encore: Unsatisfied

The Philip Lynch Band is next performing at An Beal Bocht in the Bronx, Sunday October 5th, 8PM No Cover


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