The Replacements played their last show in Chicago in 1991, and though the influential drunk-rock band never officially broke up, the likelihood of any new activity dwindled through the years: Singer-guitarist Paul Westerberg has been famously reclusive, bassist Tommy Stinson has been playing with Guns N Roses, Chris Mars has pursued a career as a visual artist (he also left the band a year before that last show), and guitarist Slim Dunlap had a serious stroke last year. That last bit of information actually ignited this reunion: Westerberg and Stinson re-grouped last year to record an EP to benefit Dunlap, and now they've agreed to play some shows as The Replacements, all as part of Riot Fest. They'll perform at the Toronto version of the festival (Aug. 24-25), the Chicago one (Sept. 13-15), and in Denver (Sept. 21-22). (No, we don't know which day of each festival they'll be playing on, either.) But who will these Replacements be, exactly? In 2005, Westerberg told the Chicago Tribune that "I don't know if we could call it The Replacements if it was just me and [Tommy] and two other guys," but presumably that's what it'll be. Still, half The Replacements playing their amazing songs, and doing so in a reasonably sober state? Beats no Replacements at all.
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