This past weekend, I took a 24 hour trip to Arizona to see The Replacements perform at the Summer's End Music Festival. The band were the headliners of the second night of the three day festival. The rest of the line-up was questionable to me, so I only wanted to see The Replacements.
|This was my one day in "sunny" Arizona|
When I landed in Phoenix on Saturday morning, the skies were clear, the sun was shining, and it was hot as hell. Usual Arizona. Within two hours of getting there, however, the skies had darkened, and it was pouring down raining. This rain was not some mild sprinkling. It was coming down in buckets. It was so bad that it caused flash flooding in parts of the city.
Naturally, this made me a little stressed about attending an outdoor music festival. Since I didn't care about much of the festival, I wasn't planning on going until later in the day or early evening. Why stand around watching shitty bands all day, when the only one I want to see plays after 10 pm?
Around 5:00, we got word that the festival was being moved to an indoor location a mile or so away from the original site. It was being put into a club called The Marquee. Two scenarios came to mind when I heard this news: 1) they must not have sold many tickets to this festival if they could move the whole crowd into a club or 2) they sold a lot of tickets, and most people with tickets would not be making it into the club due to the smaller capacity. I never got a real answer as to which scenario was accurate, but I didn't want to risk not getting in. My friends and I hit the club around 8:00 or so.
Though I was supposed to be going backstage and meeting The Replacements that day, when I arrived, all that was left for me was a pair of general tickets. This, of course, was quite disappointing, but at least I was getting into the show. I guess we didn't need to get there quite so early because getting in was a breeze. Unfortunately, with the "festival" now inside a club, there was no way to avoid the other bands (the aforementioned "shitty" ones). Now I had to sit through Switchfoot, Taking Back Sunday, and The Descendents. (Note: before anyone freaks out an tells me those bands aren't shitty, let me just say that you weren't there. They were shitty. And I used to like the Descendents! But I was not in any mood to see them that night.) It was brutal.
|Tommy Stinson, Paul Westerberg, and Dave Minehan from The Replacements|
The Replacements finally hit the stage around 11:30 or so and delivered what was probably the best performance by them that I have ever seen. Better than when I saw them in the late 80s/early 90s. The band was so energetic and excited to be playing, and that excitement was infectious. The entire crowd was jumping up and down, dancing, and singing along the entire night.
The set list featured some serious rarities! They pulled out songs that haven't been played since, probably, 1983. They played "White and Lazy" from the Replacements Stink EP, for fuck's sake! At one point in the night, Paul Westerberg threw a yellow legal pad and a pen into the crowd and told us to write down requests. I have never seen any band do that before.
|After a couple of songs, Tommy shed his teletubby costume and threw it into the crowd|
The Replacements performed for nearly two hours, and I loved every minute of it. I did have to deal with some seriously drunk people in my vicinity, but even those assholes couldn't keep me from having a good time. This was an amazing show. I hope the crowd appreciated what they got. I know I did. To see the entire set list, go here.
|Paul singing "I Want You Back" by Jackson 5|