Politics Magazine

The Replacements at Midway

Posted on the 16 September 2014 by Erictheblue


You can read reviews of the Replacements Midway Stadium show here and here and here and all over.  I haven't looked hard but I'm guessing it would be hard to find a pan.  They played, according to my wife, 31 songs, and were on stage for (I think) just over 100 minutes.  You can do the math and conclude, correctly, that there was hardly any banter.  Nevertheless, Jon Bream, in his Star Tribune review, manages to bungle the attribution of one crack: it was Stinson, not Westerberg, who said, "You paid, so we came."  An intentionally undercutting remark, since most of the rest of us were there out of love.

The Current blog has the set list, which included something from every album and a few covers.  It was, I suspect, weighted more heavily toward their early career than most prognosticators would have guesssed, and they ripped through it.  Highlights?  I love almost everything about "Let it Be," starting with the title, and am pretty sure I had never heard before at a live show "Androgynous."  Everyone in the crowd (except possibly Westerberg) seemed to know every word, which will probably not be the case if it is retained at some of their upcoming tour stops.  That was fabulous, but better yet was the finale: the sad, savage "Unsatisfied."  Had they played "Sixteen Blue," I would have been reduced to the same state of gurgling stupidity I remember observing in my Beatles-crazed babysitters.

Slim Dunlap, who took Bob Stinson's place in 1987, was the subject of a call-out from Westerberg, almost the only bit of talk from the front center of the stage.  Dunlap, the "replacement Replacement," suffered a devastating stroke in February, 2012, and he is according to Westerberg back in the hospital now.  The night before, I went to a preshow party at the Parkway Theatre, a few blocks from my house, expecting a raucous celebration that turned out to be, as much as anything, a not very polished Dunlap tribute/benefit, with a raffle, auction, and short set of Slim songs from a band made of Curtis A & friends.  I remember the bidding from the audience for one item, a vinyl "Tim" I believe.  "Fifty dollars!"  "A hundred!"  "One twenty and a bag of weed!" 

A good friend of mine can say truly that he only ever saw Slim Dunlap at music venues and Rich Acres golf course, in Richfield.  It was adjacent to the airport, just east of Cedar Avenue and south of the Crosstown, not very bucolic, a "dog track" now displaced by a City of Richfield public works facility and maybe part of the expanding airport, too.  Slim was not a part of the golf demographic and he wore at the course the same thing  he wore everywhere, jeans and a flannel shirt (sleeves rolled up on account of the season and the activity).  My friend talked to him a little about music and golf and he seemed as decent and sweet as everyone says he is.

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