It seems like the more shows the revamped 2013-2014 lineup of the Replacements play, the better they get at doing what the old Replacements were best at: messing around. Fortunately, Sunday night’s performance at the Forecastle Festival in downtown Louisville, Ky. – the first in a string of three summer gigs leading up to the St. Paul show on Sept. 13 -- never got too messy, and ultimately proved this version of the Replacements is even better at playing it straight. Despite whatever Paul Westerberg has to say.
“We’re the Cements, the world’s greatest Replacements tribute band,” he announced at the start of the 75-minute set, where they played to about half of the festival’s 25,000 attendees sandwiched between Jenny Lewis and Beck on the big stage (I’m guessing there wasn’t a lot of inner-band camaraderie for them backstage).
For the fourth time in the seven Replacements shows since last August, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong once again joined in as a third guitarist, this time playing the entire set and blending in without messing up the formula – although, he did mess up. The band’s only multi-platinum musician came in at the wrong time during “Nowhere Is My Home,” much to Westerberg’s and bassist Tommy Stinson’s amusement. “Our one-day rehearsal did not pay off,” Westerberg cracked.
Armstrong made up for it by fixing one of the boss’ botches. Westerberg’s microphone slipped down its stand at the start of “Can’t Hardly Wait,” which Paul kept singing crouched over like a baseball catcher until the
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