Local Current Blog

The Replacements will play first shows in 22 years this summer and fall


It’s official: After years of near-misses, teases, and tantalizing hints, the Replacements have just announced that they will, in fact, reunite to play at least three shows.

Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson have signed on to headline three different installments of the Riot Fest, which is scheduled to hit Toronto August 24-25, Chicago September 13-15, and Denver September 21-22. It will be the first time they have performed together since July 4, 1991.

The band simultaneously launched a new website and Twitter account, with the promise of a “Full site coming soon”—hopefully, with even more dates and information.

All of this news comes on the heels of the bittersweet saga happening around latter-day ‘Mats guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke in February of 2012 and has been at the center of the Songs for Slim benefit series. When Stinson and Westerberg learned about the seriousness of Dunlap’s stroke, they decided to go into the studio to record a cover of one of his songs. Once they began playing together, however, something clicked.

“[Tommy] sent me the rough mixes of the tracks and I was just absolutely blown away,” former ‘Mats manager Peter Jesperson told me recently. “I tell you the truth, I got quite teary eyed. I felt like they’d really captured something that was kind of the essence of what made them so great back in the day. Just an irreverence, a looseness, how fun the tracks were, and the playing was so great by all four guys. And maybe the best thing of all was Westerberg was singing, I thought, better than he’d sung in 25 years. He just sang the living daylights out of those songs.”

The announcement of these three festival dates still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Why the Riot Fest? Why Denver, Chicago, and Toronto? Who will back Westerberg and Stinson when they play live (which, as Pitchfork reports, is yet to be determined)? And can we expect a reunion show to happen here in their hometown?


  • Christine Hafner

    Nooooooo! Not more Replacements! Even more horrible when referred to as The Mats’! Does anyone in this city feel how I do about the never ending worship of this band?! I blame Jim Walsh. GAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!


    • Christophee D

      Shut up

      • Christine Hafner


      • Deanna

        I agree, “Guest” shut-up. What is the point of trashing the Mats on an announcement that will have their fans exicted to see them again?!

        • Christine Hulson

          Obviously, there is such a shortage of negativity in the world, some people seek to remedy the situation. Far too many happy people celebrating what is important to them, and clearly that SHOULD be irraticated. I get it.

    • Onan The Barbarian

      “Does anyone in this city feel how I do about the never ending worship of this band?!”


  • Mike Spike Piotrowski

    At long last! A chance to see “live” one of America’s most prolific songwriters, performing to fans who have been waiting decades for the chance to witness genius in the flesh! “Opportunity knocks once and the door slams shut!” All Hail, the ‘Mats!!! ;p

  • MAT

    Yay!!!!!! To the “Guest” who hates the Replacements, perhaps Beyonce or Justin Bieber will play here and then you can cheer about that. Meanwhile, intelligent people of the Twin Cities will look forward to seeing the ‘Mats, especially since they are helping out Slim Dunlap.

  • Cindy Bailen

    As a person from back in the day, I’ve waited for the Replacements to come back possibly longer than I waited for Mission of Burma, my other favorite band. And while I’ve seen the Burmas 100+ times, I’ve never seen the Replacements. Wondering how long it takes to drive from Boston to Toronto…?

    • MAT

      Worth the effort involved, regardless of time or distance!

  • AllMediaReviews

    personally, I’m more excited for the Galactic Cowboys Reunion September 13th. My suggestion “Ranch on Mars” by the Galactic Cowboys.

  • Christine Hulson

    I was amazingly lucky enough to see the last show they played in Chicago and I am REALLY hoping I get to see them again… what a different experience it will be with the improvement in the lead singers life! I hope they hit TIM hard!!

  • mnjoe

    I would break open the piggy bank for a show at First Ave.

  • Erin Doherty

    OMG! (I can’t believe I just typed that….)

    I’ve waited for years for this news…. in the revitalization of so many great bands from the 80’s and 90’s I’ve had high hopes the Replacements would join the list of so many other great bands that have reformed. (If only the Clash had reformed before Strummer passed…. RIP)

    Here’s a ticket…. Dramarama opens for the Replacements……(oh..and special guests… Hoodoo Gurus)