The Replacements in Philly: The Band Was Great, But I Have Some Complaints

rsz_replacements_philly_2The 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.

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  1. Skippy in WV says


    • Skippy in WV says

      I saw Marilyn Manson at The National in Richmond last Wednesday. It was an awesome show. There were maybe 1500 people there. You could easily walk around and have your own space. My only complaints were 1) it was WAY too loud 2) like you, Mr. Kay, the prices. Water was $3.50 and draft beer was $8 for a 12oz cup.

  2. I suppose it’s really thanks to old Axl Rose that you get to see the band doing a tour. Since Guns ‘N Roses is on hiatus – Tommy gets to play with Paul. I guess people hold their noses up at him for playing with Axl – but I recall reading somewhere that he worked as a telemarketer after the end of The Replacements. So I am sure he’s alright with what he gets to do now. I bet you saw a bunch of people looking at their phones also. I was watching a Pirates game the other day (on T.V.) and noticed most of the people behind home plate looking at their phones or whatever it was. I don’t get that.

  3. The Mole says

    Haha, oh boy do I hear where you’re coming from on the doucheketters. I was on the floor in Forest Hills and some punk shoves his way in front of me shortly before the band came out. I had been there for the 2 opening acts. Threats were given as my 49 year old self was taking no shit from a 22 year old hipster. Had I been given the actual chance I would have punched him square in the face. So yeah, I get it. It’s great to see the younger crowds enjoying the band but not if they’re only there to tweet about it, That being said, DAMN IT WAS A GOOD SHOW!

  4. Reminds me of the Clapton Guitar Festival I went to 10 years ago… crazy packed but there was a funny little lady in front of me completely cool with the crowd until he plays Layla and everyone around us sparked up… Then she just sat there with one of those little hand held fans in front of her face, searing hate intermittently penetrating from her eyes through the fan blades to every pot head.

    • Clapton story. Clapton is in the same AA group as a buddy. Most New Year’s Eves Clapton is the house band for the AA group’s (dry!) New Year’s Eve Party. I got to go once, just maybe 200 people, and Clapton and his band playing all evening. It was pretty good 🙂

  5. If the crowd’s too rowdy, you’re too old. Or you’re in Philly. I’m 50something, know the rules for mosh etiquette, and enjoyed my ass off. Dinero es, the shit does in fact hit the fans.

    • Mosh etiquette? This had nothing to do with moshing or dancing, or anything of the sort. This was drunken assholes being obnoxious. Spin it any way you want, but that’s what it boils down to. They weren’t reacting to the music, they were just being aggressive dickheads,

  6. madz1962 says

    I had a little different problem last month at two separate concerts.

    April 18 we saw Jeff Beck and April 25 we saw Steve Winwood. Both at the refurbished and really glorious looking Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. Small, intimate place where every seat is excellent.

    Now, I know Jeff and Steve skew towards an older crowd but holy hopping Christ on a jack hammer. I almost felt like I was at a morgue. The audience never moved out of their chairs. And if they DID happen to raise themselves for an ovation, they were quick to plant their asses back down. I felt like we were playing Mah Jong. Who the hell SITS through an entire concert? And I couldn’t stand because I would have blocked the view of the geriatrics behind me.

    And the prices were just as ridiculously high as Jeff’s venue. I mean $22.00 for Sunsweet Prune Juice??? Ridiculous.

    • In Donald Fagen’s book Eminent Hipsters he talked about looking out at the audience (on a small, non-Steely Dan tour) and feeling like he was playing at a nursing home.

  7. I saw Clutch at the 9:30 maybe five years ago. Seemed like every other person in the place was a 6-foot-10 hipster douchebag, and they pushed as one to the front. Thanks, Gang of Dicks.

    Not quite the same, but I saw Psychedelic Furs around 1990. I don’t recall any outstanding douchebaggery from the audience, but the sound was just awful: very loud in a hall with terrible acoustics. I don’t know if I liked the show or not; I couldn’t hear it even though it was wicked loud.

    • johnthebasket says

      Hendrix (and Noel and Mitch) filled a 12,000 seat arena with sound, and I was very close to the stage, but the music wasn’t jarringly loud. Had earplugs been available then, which they weren’t, they wouldn’t have sold a single pair.

      It’s no surprise that the decibel level is inversely proportional to the competence of the performers. I’m told that big-hat country is the loudest, and that makes sense. They have a crappy vehicle, so all they can do is honk the horn and adjust their hat.


    • I saw clutch a small handful of times in the late 90s it wasn’t douchy then. I was a douchy who jumped on stage and got punched off stage at the cotton club.

    • Jazzbone Swirly says

      I think the loudest noise level I’ve ever experienced at a rock show was seeing Dinosaur Jr play, both in 1990 or thereabouts and again in 2007.

  8. I hope on the Jeff Kay To Do List is an Official Ad Vs. Reality Review for those new McDonald’s Sirloin burgers. I’m thinking a 100% sirloin burger cooked by McDonald’s is going to be like a hockey puck, but I’d like the official word.

  9. My wife dragged me to D.C. in February to see Puddles, of Puddles Pity Party. The show was a hoot! Not cheap, but that clown can sing. Be warned: Puddles is big on audience participation. Oh, don’t bring any kind of SLR camera unless you’ve got a press pass, the venue staff nearly denied me entrance for having a D3 and Quantum battery.