Replacements At Bumbershoot: 'Color Me Impressed'

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After more than 20 years The Replacements returned to Seattle to play the city's annual music festival, Bumbershoot.

The 'Mats have been playing selected festival gigs since last summer when the band regrouped after being broken up for over 20 years.

Original members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson are backed by Josh Freese and Dave Minehan, who have toured with Westerberg in the past.

Though it's sort of a half reunion due to original drummer Chris Mars being uninterested, guitarist Bob Stinson being dead, and his replacement, Slim Dunlap having suffered a stroke, the shows the band has played have had both the magic and the chaos the band is famous for.

The Seattle show however was a triumph. Westerberg, wearing what appeared to be a Batman Soccer jersey under a vest, showed up ready and the band seemed energized by the packed crowd at the festival's main stage.

Though the group went on when it was still light out, something Westerberg joked about, that did not hold the band back.

The set included many of the group's classics, including a country-tinged "Androgynous," "Can't Hardly Wait," "Alex Chilton," and an anthemic "Bastards of Young." Unlike other shows where Westerberg handed off vocals to "Green Day's" Billie Joe Armstrong there were no guests and none were needed.

Yes, there were missed lyrics, a nearly dropped mic, and other mishaps, but it would hardly be a Replacements show without them.

The Bumbershoot show was The Replacements playing the gig they always deserved but never quite achieved.

Absence has made the heart grow fonder and the band, which was beloved by critics and other bands in its heyday, had -- at least for a night -- an audience worthy of its catalog.