Thursday, April 16, 2015

the replacements and me

A million things have happened in the last 24 hours. So cool and exciting and fun. I will start with the Replacements.

Right before the show I was dreading it. I was tired and wanted to just get a good night sleep. I had a super busy next day and was going to be in trouble without sleep. Also, I remembered that I was never crazy about the band. They are great, but their sound does not match the sound I love love love, does not align with the vibes that gives me joy, does not vibrate on the wavelength that floats my silly boat.  I could not remember why I bought that $69 ticket.…

Then I remembered that I wanted to see them because I wanted to follow Paul Westerberg. I just wanted to support him. I am weird about music and experience it in a way that is probably different from most people. I had seen Paul solo in New York in the late 90’s I think, at Irving Plaza, and during the set he started to cry. It wasn’t a big deal, he just teared up and sang through it and I think he sat in awe a bit when the song was done. That is my memory of the night. And I so related to him and his being moved to emotion during his set. I suppose I put my own meaning on it, since I have no idea what was going on for him, but it made me feel empathy for him and his process. I know he struggles with being in a band and touring and having a family and so many things and I just wanted to see where he was at and support him by being there. I have never really felt that way about a show/band/person in music and think it very strange. But I felt drawn to go.

What came up for me while watching the band was so very many things. While I love a few of the replacements songs, they really are a guy’s band. The audience was 90% male and 90% of that 90% were die-hard fans who knew every word and loved everything the guys did. I remember seeing them at Danceteria and a few other show as a teen or in my very early twenties. My boyfriend and his friends, guys, were so into them. I was really transported back to that time in college and “college music,” what they called indie bands back then.

I had stopped gong to see hardcore shows in 1984. I had been part of the first wave and that scene was over. Then there was a period of not fitting in so I checked out “new music” and to find out what I liked. Listening to the Replacements iconic sound brought me back to the smells and clothes and people of that specific time I had just written about,, college and boyfriends and open relationships and bands, a time when that was all that mattered.

Standing there watching the show, a die hard male fan so very kindly motioned for me to stand in front of him because I was shorter than him and he wanted everyone to get to see it, so cool. So I had a perfect view and so many emotions and experiences washed over me and passed before my eyes. The band was ok and my experience was so f*ing deep, man.

They did Androgynous, which is amazing, and more and more feelings and memories came back to me. This band was such a big part of my youth whether I loved their songs or not and I was not going to fight that. I felt everything from rage to bliss and everything in between.  The set progressed and by the time they did Bastards of Young I felt the absolute swell of love in the room, love, everyone there loved these guys, and it moved me to tears. As I write this I am very aware and still in awe of how strange my experience was. After that I was completely elevated by the music. I was in total transcendence. The band, the songs, the show, it was all amazing. I left understanding the power of music and was so grateful that this band played this show for me and us. Wow.

Oh, and my cell phone died and I had watched the show alone, separated from my ride home. So I trusted my sixth sense and just allowed myself to be ok, like I would have been back in college, at a show, knowing I would find my people, no worries. And low and behold, sixth sense found brought us together and I was home in time to get 8 hours sleep, perfect and ridiculous.

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