One of the Twin Cities best loved and and most enduring music traditions is First Avenue’s annual Replacement’s Tribute Show. As usual, this year’s edition will take place at The Turf Club on Friday November 23. Expect this show to sell out. Don’t wait on your tickets or you’ll be left crying on the pavement. Details and tickets can be found HERE
If you’re a show veteran you already know how this goes down. If you don’t, let’s spell it out for you. On one hand, this is the most complete showcase of up and coming local rock bands on First Avenue’s radar. Eight bands each play a hard hitting 4 or 5 song set of selected Replacements tunes, alternating between the Clown Lounge and main stage. This year’s line up features break out bands The Bad Man, The Shackletons, Last Import, Doomchild, Mad Ripple, Fury Things, Hoot For Slim and Sapphire. Trust me when I tell you that bands get really stoked to play this one and they really pull out all the stops. The cover may be true to the original or a completely new take on a classic.
All that insanity is simply the appetizer for hosts The Melismatics, one of the most respected rock bands in the Twin Cities. If you’re not familiar with these guys, you may recognize front man Ryan Smith as the lead guitar player for Soul Asylum. Their set will be based on a theme. No word yet on what it will be this year. In the past, each of the albums has been featured front to back. Last year it was based on a fan voted list of their favorite Replacements’ tunes.
A cavalcade of established guest vocalists jump on stage to front each of The Melismatics numbers. Curtiss A is a stalwart as are the likes of Nick Costa, Kraig Jarret Johnson, Nato Coles and Lydia Liza. Once long ago, The Replacements advocated a Hootenanny. And this is just what takes place. There is a sense of fun and celebration (and beer) which permeates everything that happens during a Mats Trib.
Not surprisingly, given all the great musicians on hand, all their musician friends come out for the party. It’s not that often we see the community out in force. This one always manages to pull it off. Maybe it’s because there’s generally a good cause behind the festivities. This year, a portion of the proceeds are dedicated to the Aaron “Hix” Lee Medical Fund.
Seriously, rock fans. You can throw yourself into the black hole of Black Friday shopping and drag your tired, frustrated self to your couch. Or you can come hang at the Turf for a very special party. Christmas will wait. The stores will still be there (and a bit saner) Saturday. Buy yourself and your favorite people an early present with Turf tix. You’ll be glad you did!