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Replacements Reunite at Riot Fest Toronto, Play Career-Spanning 23-Song Set

Twenty-two years and seven weeks after they last performed, the Replacements closed out Toronto’s Riot Fest on Sunday (Aug. 25) with a 23-song set that combined their classics with more than a few choice deep cuts. The setlist is below.

Opening with ‘Takin’ a Ride,’ the opening track of their debut album, 1981’s ‘Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash,’ the ‘Mats worked more or less chronologically over the course of the next 75 minutes. Dressed in a plaid jacket, frontman Paul Westerberg was typically self-deprecating in his stage banter. “Sorry it’s taken us so long,” he said after the second song. “For 25 years, we’ve been having a wardrobe debate.”

Joining Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson were guitarist Dave Minehan and drummer Josh Freese, both of whom were part of Westerberg’s tour behind his 1993 solo debut, ‘14 Songs.’ Guitarist Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke last year, but his presence was noted before ‘Swingin’ Party,’ which was introduced as a “special request” from him.

The group stuck leaned heavily on the punkier side of their catalog. This left longtime favorites ‘Skyway’ and ‘Here Comes a Regular’ off the set list in favor of lesser known tracks like ‘Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out,’ ‘Wake Up’ and a cover of Sham 69’s ‘Boston Breakout.’ Also absent was ‘I’ll Be You,’ the closest they ever came to a Top 40 hit. (It reached No. 51 in 1989.)

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Replacements show if everything went perfectly. According to reports, Westerberg forgot lyrics to “Androgynous’ (a request that wasn’t on the printed set list) and ‘I Will Dare.

At the encore, someone came out and put a Montreal Canadians jersey on Westerberg, much to the dismay of the Toronto crowd. But all was soon forgiven as they played ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses,’ the show-stopper from the musical ‘Gypsy’ that appeared on this year’s ‘Songs for Slim’ EP, which raised more than $100,000 for Dunlap’s medical bills. The final song was ‘I.O.U.,’

The Replacements’ next show will be on Sept. 15 at Riot Fest Chicago, the same city that witnessed their previous final show on July 4, 1993.

Replacements Riot Fest Toronto Set List 

‘Takin’ A Ride’
‘I’m In Trouble’
‘Favorite Thing’
‘Hangin’ Downtown’
‘Color Me Impressed’
‘Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out’
‘Kiss Me on the Bus”
‘Androgynous’
‘Achin’ To Be’
‘I Will Dare’
‘Love You Till Friday’ (w/ Chuck Berry’s ‘Maybellene’)
‘Merry Go Round’
‘Wake Up’
‘Borstal Breakout’ (Sham 69 cover)
‘Little Mascara’
‘Left of the Dial’
‘Alex Chilton’
‘Swingin’ Party’
‘Can’t Hardly Wait’
‘Bastards of Young’

Encore

‘Everything’ s Coming Up Roses’
‘I.O.U.’

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