In Retrospect 3 Weeks Post The Replacements Show

Courtesy of Nate Ryan via MPR
Courtesy of Nate Ryan via MPR

Am I getting too old for this stuff? Maybe. Either that or I just don’t know how to properly enjoy live music at this age—perhaps I’m in transition. Three weeks ago I went to see The Replacements play at Midway Stadium in St Paul, MN and the following list will explain why I, at 31, don’t enjoy concerts anymore. And for the following seven reasons I had a horrible time at the most anticipated concert in Minnesota history.

ONE: I despise online ticket hoarders. You know who bought most of the tickets during the presale? The online ticket vendor scum. Then they sold the ‘Mats tickets for double, triple and quadruple the standard $60 face value—I hate online ticket vendors slightly less than I hate Ebola. In fact, here’s a list of the worst things: Cancer, Ebola, Online Ticket Vendors. Alright, enough about them. Let’s move on to my flaws.

TWO: My drinking ability is waning. I can’t drink as well as I once could and I don’t know that yet. I had a few drinks before leaving the house to go to a friend’s place where a few more drinks were consumed. From there we rode our adorable bikes to the friendly light rail where we enjoyed a Jameson and Ginger Ale for the road (rail). We got off the train and proceeded to Midway Stadium where we locked up our adorable bikes and then meandered toward the stadium—where we had a few more drinks. And drinks lead to bathroom breaks and my bladder can hardly handle the tinkling line.

THREE: About the bathroom breaks. Just before entering the stadium I made sure to take a potty break (yes, I said potty). I stood there, thinking about bocce ball, Kate Upton, WWII or anything to take my mind off the explosion that was about to occur inside my body. I waited in line for about 30 minutes and I just about wet myself. Then, after the opening band, The Hold Steady, finished their set I left my spot in the middle of the pack to go stand in line for about 40 minutes. Same thing—Mother Teresa!, Care Bears!, Joey Lawrence!, Dragon Ball Z! I kept my mind on anything I could think of to avoid peeing in my pants, down my legs, and into my shoes. I finally made it into the disgusting portable toilet but the process took so long that by the time I got back to where my girlfriend and friends were I was shut out behind a wall of interlocked Minnesotans.

FOUR: The audience issue (Maybe this gripe is unfair). In an attempt to get back to where I had last seen my group I was telling people I needed to get to my wife who was alone and waiting for me—nobody cared. Now that I’ve had some time to reflect I have to admit that trying to shimmy my 6’4” body to the middle of 10,000 people is kind of bogus. Anyway, I tried and I got a few feet further from the back but then the ‘Mats erupted into their first song, “Favorite Thing”—at that point my favorite thing became the Red Hook beer I was holding. My group was half a crowd away and I was so far back the band was fuzzy the sound was muffled. So I decided to go for a walk and see if I could salvage the night with a new hoodie.

FIVE: Thanks for nothing, merch tents. I didn’t want to buy a Replacements hoodie in the beginning of the night because I didn’t want to hold onto it for three hours. So I waited. But by the time I got back to the tents they were all sold out—unless I wanted to spend $40 on a small. Bring more XLs, dummies! Nobody at this show wore a small (okay, maybe a few people) and nobody’s kid likes the damn Replacements (well, maybe there are a couple). Damn it. After I stood in line for 45 minutes and failed to get a hoodie the show was almost over. So I stood at the gate, watched and waited for my friends.   

SIX: My adorable blue bike broke. Have you ever gotten on your bicycle and, while pedaling, notice that the chain fell off and then lost your balance? I have. And the de-stabilizing juice I was drinking all night made sure I didn’t catch myself as I fell—in slow motion—down to the concrete, elbow first. My fault? Yeah. My bike’s fault? Totally. I got back on my feet, fixed my chain and then noticed my front tire was flat. Stupid bike. We had to call a cab.

SEVEN: Uber Cab gouged us. We don’t live that far away but the Uber Cab bill was $163.00. Yes, One Hundred and Sixty Three American dollars. Sure, other people have paid that much but they were probably traveling across state. We found out the hard way that Uber charges triple when picking up people in the middle of busy crowds after an event. They got us good. A ride that usually costs a little over $50 ended up costing closer to $200. I feel like vomiting just thinking about it. Let this be a lesson to you all.

You’re probably asking: what about the actual concert? How were The Replacements? How was The Hold Steady? How did it sound? Did Westerberg do anything crazy? Did Tommy say anything ridiculous? How were the two dudes who played in the places of Bob and Chris? Did The ‘Mats play a straight show for, like, the second time in their history of playing legendarily awful shows in the Twin Cities? Tell me, tell me!

Here are your answers: The concert was amazing. The Hold Steady played with passion and you could tell how much it meant to Craig Finn to open for and then introduce his heroes. As for the ‘Mats, they played flawlessly; they rocked. And the only reason I know that for sure is because my buddy found an excellent recording of the Midway show online. I’m glad he did because now, three weeks removed, I can sit back, listen to the concert and think to myself, I was at that stupid show. What a horrible night.

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