Alt-rock anti-heroes the Replacements famously ended their decade-long run July 4, 1991, during a sad gig at none other than Taste of Chicago. But later this year, some form of the band is reuniting for at least three Riot Fest appearances -- including Chicago.
Wednesday evening, the Riot Fest lineups for the Chicago, Toronto and Denver festivals were updated online to include the Replacements headlining slots. The Toronto and Denver lineups include the Replacements in the regular lineup. The Chicago lineup for some weeks now has included a mystery performer, indicated by questions marks; now a legend is added indicating that "????????????? = The Replacements."
An official Replacements band web site also launched around the same time as the Riot Fest updates. The new site advertises the three gigs.
While it would be nice if the band's first reunion gig took place in Chicago, where they unceremoniously fell apart, the earlier show is Toronto on Aug. 25. Chicago's Riot Fest takes place Sept. 13-15 in Humboldt Park.
The 'Mats have been toying with a possible reunion for some time. Founding members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson recorded a covers EP last year as a benefit.
That connection in the studio apparently inspired the guys to reignite the act. "After two or three hours, my voice was shot," Westerberg told Rolling Stone last fall, "but we were rocking like murder for a while."
Call it a reunion, if we must -- a break-up was never actually announced. Stinson walked off the stage 21 years ago in Grant Park, and the band eventually fizzled to a stop.