Which songs must be on the Replacements reunion setlist?

Categories: Paul Westerberg
Lego recreation of Let it Be by Leah Garas for 89.3 the Current
With 22 years for us all to think about it, there are options galore for the Replacements' headlining performance at Riot Fest in Toronto on Sunday. Their first show since 1991 could revisit any number of segments of the band's past -- perhaps even their "Hayday." The settling of time has elevated the culture surrounding certain songs, and others seem far too obvious to include in 2013. Will Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, David Minehan, and Josh Freese rely more on punk or Americana? Will they allow any surprise guests, and will the shit hit the fans?

The only thing that's certain everyone's going to have a different opinion. Gimme Noise asked contributors and local fans -- though one declined, noting "no Chris Mars = no reunion" -- to weigh in on what songs the Replacements should play.

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There's rehearsal footage of "Takin' a Ride," "Favorite Thing" ("The most underrated song on Let it Be," says GN contributor Zach McCormick), and "Alex Chilton" posted by the band. (Plus this Instagram suggesting some practicing was happening at First Avenue this week.) It would be pretty shocking if frequent set-starter "I Will Dare" doesn't figure in, and look to 2006's Don't You Know Who I Think I Was? compilation as a primer on other likelihoods from their hits ("I'll Be You") and local radio faves ("Left of the Dial," "Skyway").

 "For me it's all about 'Bastards of Young,'" says Chris Strouth. "It was my fraternity 'chair dancing' song. Chair dancing is sort of a weird phenomenon that takes place at formal events -- everyone in a tux extremely formal. Then the guys would essentially while seated backwards in a chair would sort of jump up and down with it, essentially slam dancing. Needless to say, at the end of the night a number if chairs would get broken. It's actually how I came to love that band. After all, we were the sons of no one too."

"The only song the band should definitely avoid at all costs is 'Dose Of Thunder,'" says Erik Thompson. "That song is fucking terrible." And maybe that'll be reason enough to consider it.

Holy crap, there are so many apt covers that could interrupt (or completely dominate) a Replacements set. Sure, there are the zany numbers ranging from BTO's "Takin' Care of Business" to R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe -- that populated The Shit Hits the Fans, their 1985 cassette-only live album. And with guys who have spent time in other outfits, you could get a humorous dose of Devo, Guns 'N Roses, the Neighborhoods, or heaven knows what else. Big Star or the Box Tops or Yes or AC/DC or Tom Petty or... maybe "Hello, Dolly!" says Replacements historian Jim Walsh.

Full Albums
Usually when the band is set to play a complete album, the promotion wheels are in motion to announce it ahead of time, but who knows? According to Gimme Noise contributor Pat O'Brien, "If they are going to do a full album, they should do Let it Be." Plus, Thompson ranked it as the top Replacements studio album, which we'll take as a similar vote. It's the album that balances the alternating polish and rawness of the band's sound best, but there are plenty of Hootenanny fans who'd prefer something rougher.

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