The Replacements were great in Philly on Saturday night, and the setting was beautiful. The weather cooperated, as well. Check this out (click on the photo to enlarge it). The band sounded fantastic — possibly better than ever. I know that borders on blasphemy, but I believe it’s true.
And as we were standing there watching them crank out their unforgettable songs and big pounding anthems, with the HUGE crowd shouting along, I wondered: how are they not millionaire rock stars? How did they not sell zillions of records?
Most people don’t even know who they are. They know A Flock of Seagulls, for God’s sake, and Men Without Hats. But not The Replacements, who recorded some of the best albums of the ’80s. It’s one of those cosmic questions that can’t be answered, I suppose. And, anyway… the people who know KNOW. Oh, we know real good.
So, it was a fine evening, and I’m happy my kids got to see them. They’ve grown up with their music playing in the house, and in our cars. It was a big deal to them, historical. And that makes me happy. There is proper respect there.
However… I hope you’re sitting down, but I have a few complaints. Nothing to do with the bands — all three were excellent, Including J. Roddy Walston, who was new to me. Check out this song, if you’re interested. It’s both rocking and somewhat off the rails. Good stuff.
No, it wasn’t the music, it was the venue. And the people inside it. It’s undeniably beautiful, on the water, etc. But, holy shit… the assholes!
I’ve been to hundreds of shows, including many in Philadelphia, and the asshole quotient was abnormally high on Saturday night. There were MANY people in that place who needed a punch in the fucking mouth. Drunk and obnoxious… shoving their way through… nearly knocking people down with their dickhead aggressiveness… I know it happens at every show, but it was happening more than normal on Saturday.
Plus, there were a lot of people my age (old), who seemed to have little interest in the actual show. There was a group of salesmen-looking douches in front of me, looking all prosperous and ready for the golf course. They probably made their fortunes selling bleacher seats, ceiling tiles, or some other super-exciting product. And they talked throughout the entire show. Hollering into each others’ ears, and yukking it up. They were also drunk off their asses, and I hated them oh so much.
Why would you fork over $70 for a ticket, go through all the hassles of driving there and parking, and pay almost no attention to the bands? Fuck those guys.
And it felt like the place was drastically oversold. There was no escaping the crowd. I mean, it was PACKED. Usually you can wander off and decompress if you start feeling claustrophobic, or whatever. But there was no escape on Saturday. There weren’t even any walkways, or anything. Just people, everywhere, always touching me on all four sides. I’m surprised somebody didn’t freak out and throw themselves into the river. It seemed like it was at 125% of capacity.
Also, the prices. Check it out. You’re never going to get any bargains at a place like that, but this felt a bit over-the-top. I also paid $20 to park. Good stuff.
I’m glad I got to see the band with my kids, and, like I say… they were fantastic. Absolutely no complaints there. But the assholes — always on the move, never standing still — and the sheer mass of humanity detracted a bit from the experience. Oh well. I’d probably be bitching if it was all sedate and well-behaved too. There’s no pleasing me.
I’ll see you guys again soon. I have a lot of non-Replacements stuff to write about. So, maybe tomorrow? Don’t hold me to it, but I’ll try.
Have a great day, my friends.