The Replacements' Coachella Show Was A Huge Letdown — What Went Wrong?
Sigh. When The Replacements first announced they were re-forming in 2012 after a 21-year hiatus, whoops and triumphant stereo-blastings of "Bastards of Young" were heard 'round the world — and it seemed, at least from their performance at last year's Riot Fest, like they were back to stay. Then, though, perhaps because they were snubbed by the Hall of Fame inductions — or because they were on a sub-stage at the same time as Girl Talk, or because someone ate all the snacks in their dressing room — the band rolled into Coachella with a demeanor that The Hollywood Reporter described as "slathered [...] in a fresh coat of bitterness." Apparently, after taking the stage, lead singer Paul Westerberg chose to open the set by saying, "There's been a lot of good music today, huh? We'll put a fucking stop to that right now." Meanwhile, the LA Weekly reported that Westerberg was "visibly annoyed with the audience," tossing around digs at the crowd for their ignorance of the band's back catalogue and at one point muttering "bastards" (and not, I'd imagine, of Young) when they cheered for the eminently catchy "I'll Be You" over the more obscure "Psychopharmacology." According to THR, the crowd, which was already fairly sparse, had cleared out by at least half by the time the set was done.
Of course, the band always had a, well, interesting relationship with live shows, earning a solid reputation for performing while heinously, falling-down wasted. Their infamous SNL appearance, for example, was nothing if not stumbly, with instruments dropped left and right, yet somehow they still managed to make it through the songs in one piece. It almost makes you wish they'd go back to their debauchery; the suspense of "will they or won't they florp their way through" beats apathetic bitterness any day.
Still, despite Westerberg's douchebaggery, the band also apparently turned in a pretty solid set; at least in this reporter's opinion, the concert video below showcases an excellent version of "Alex Chilton." See for yourself — while we all do a collective wood-knock that Westerberg will readjust his attitude before next week's shows...