They resigned live on stage at a gig in Chicago back in 1991 by handing their instruments over to their roadies but last night seminal eighties guitar band The Replacements made a triumphant return to live action with a show in Toronto.
The Minneapolis four piece, who enjoyed massive critical acclaim in the eighties but scant commercial success, had turned down lucrative offers from high-profile festivals to make their comeback at Toronto’s indie Riot Fest.
During last night’s show singer Paul Westerberg (53) re-introduced the band by saying “Sorry it took so long, For 25 years, we’ve been having a wardrobe debate.”
He later dedicated fan favourite I Will Dare "to anyone who was dragged" to the gig and then promptly forgot the words to the song
Joining original members Westerberg and Tommy Stinson at the show were drummer Josh Freese who has previously played with Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, and Weezer, and guitarist David Minehan of The Neighborhoods.
The set list included near hits Alex Chilton and Can't Hardly Wait, I’m in Trouble, Bastards of Young, a cover of Sham 69’s Borstal Breakout and a rendition of Stephen Sondheim showtune Everything's Coming Up Roses.
The Replacements lived up to their bar band image and were bedevilled by internal friction and a refusnik approach to the industry. They were often name-checked by Nirvana as an influence and newer acts such as The Decemberists have also sung their praises.
They are now booked to play Riot Fests in Chicago and Denver but Irish fans may have fond memories of their shambolic marathon set at Dublin's Midnight at The Olympia in 1991.