Legendary sloppy-transcendent Minneapolis punks the Replacements broke up in 1991, and they haven’t played any shows since then. But last year, frontman Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson got back together to record Songs For Slim, a benefit EP that raised money for former Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap, who recently suffered a stroke; we posted their cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “I’m Not Sayin’.” (Guitarist Bob Stinson died in 1995, and drummer Chris Mars opted not to participate.) And now a version of the Replacements with Westerberg and Stinson will get together to play at least three shows, headlining the Riot Fest punk festivals in Chicago, Denver, and Toronto this summer.
Riot Fest Toronto goes down 8/24-25, and the Replacements will share the second-night bill with Iggy And The Stooges, the Weakerthans, Dinosaur Jr., Rocket From The Crypt, Best Coast, and others. Riot Fest Denver has a bigger lineup, with the Replacements playing alongside Blink-182, the Stooges, Public Enemy, Rancid, AFI, Brand New, Guided By Voices, FLAG, the Dismemberment Plan, and a ton of others. And Riot Fest Chicago is the big one, a total must-attend if you’re in the area and give half a damn about punk rock. That one happens 9/13/-15, and it’s got a bill that also includes Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, the Violent Femmes, Motörhead, Rancid, Blondie, FLAG, Public Enemy, X, Atmosphere, Against Me!, Superchunk, Yo La Tengo, and a fuckton of others.
The Replacements haven’t yet announced their reunion lineup other than Westerberg and Stinson; that’ll come later. And though I can’t imagine that the Replacements will be able to bring back the sloppy drunken grandeur of their original run, it should still be a whole lot of fun to bellow along with “Bastards Of Young” along with a sea of people.