I collect music reviews because I’m not a writer.

I write proficiently with a decent employment of commas and parallel construction. I’m not, however, an evocative storyteller like Jim Walsh (City Pages, Minnpost, etc.), Caryn Rose (Billboard), or  Steven Hyden (Grantland)…or Paul Westerberg, for that matter.

I collect music reviews because I can’t write with the passion and sensuality these writers do. My review of Saturday’s nights Replacements show:  “It was awesome! I’m so glad I went.” doesn’t cut it. (I could have, at least, used sublime instead of the over-used awesome.)

I collect music reviews so I can find the words to say just how incredible Saturday night’s show was. They played Skyway, after all.

I collect music reviews so I can Tweet them to my nephews in New York to say, “You have to go to this show!”

Best, Most Authentic, Real, and Evocative Replacement Reviews

See last year’s blog post for the 2013 Riot Fest reviews.

Caryn Rose on Jukeboxgraduate.com

They came wearing matching plaid suits, all four of them. Of course they are, said every single person in Midway Stadium, many of whom were wearing some collision of plaid in tribute themselves. (I still evaluate plaids in my head as “‘Mats plaid” or not.) This is the kind of thing that will only make sense to you if you know this band. If you do not know this band, it is not anything I can explain. And that sentence explains Replacements fandom in a nutshell; there are no half-fans of the Replacements. You love them or you hate them; you get them or you don’t. It has always been this way, and I am personally glad that it is still like this. (I’m looking at you, Coachella.)

And follow her on Twitter, she’s amazingly funny (and prolific):

Chris Riemenschneider on StarTribune.com

There was a Minnesotanness to the entire proceedings. Wearing matching plaid suits that harked back to their goofy attire of old, the band walked out to the giddy sounds of the Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” coming out of the speakers. They brought out another Minneapolis music legend of the ’60s, harmonica ace Tony Glover — “a real musician,” as frontman Paul Westerberg introduced him — for a surprisingly taut blues jam through Jimmy Reed’s “Going to New York.”

Best and most Minne-centric of all, they dug in and went to work. Instead of the messy, black-eyed, get-a-noseful shows of old, this one was more nose-to-the-grindstone. The oddest thing about Saturday’s 1¾-hour set might have been how little oddball behavior there was.

Andrea Swensson on blog.thecurrent.org

And then there was the double-encore, a pure ice-cream-sundae-with-cherry-on-top finale for all those fans who’ve waited years to see them perform again. Paul began the encore solo with “Skyway” on a 12-string guitar, then brought out the band for “”Left of the Dial,” “Alex Chilton,” and a second encore of the ultimate underdog anthem “Unsatisfied.”

“Thanks for that,” Westerberg said shortly before “Unsatisfied,” then ended the song by hugging Stinson and walking off stage arm-in-arm. Really, what more needed to be said?


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