The Replacements are finally growing up, for better or worse. The AMats played at the Orpheum Theatre in February to a mixed crowd.
The boys have tamed considerably from their younger days. Slim Dunlap, guitarist, rarely even faced the audience. Towards the end, Tommy Stinson, bassist and best dressed musician of any decade, performed some splits in the air, but that was as wild as it got.
As usual, there were some pauses between songs when they were deciding what to play. On the whole, though, it was a well structured show. The band’s new drummer, Steve Foley, fit in adequately, but the audience knew who was still running the show: The Replacements’ frontman Paul Westerburg.
As for the material played, most songs were from their latest release, “All Shook Down.” The band played a few older tunes, and even ventured into a couple of almost acoustic bluesy numbers. The souped-up version of “Talent Show” and “Bent Out of Shape” were something to hear.
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Why don’t the AMats play with such fierceness and vitality on their albums?
The audience was primarily a thirtysomething crowd. There was a lot of head-bobbing and toe-tapping, but not the kind of things one sees at a rock and roll concert. One raucous group of boys had the audacity to stand up.
The good news is The Replacements haven’t broken up and still know how to rock, if only in concert. The bad news is their fans have grown too old to remember what live shows are, and how to behave. n