The Replacements played Chicago’s Riot Fest this past weekend, marking just their second performance in 22 years. Western Promotions founder Heather West, who ran public and press relations for the fest, describes the media onslaught for Paul Westerberg and company as a “mob scene,” even though the band announced they wouldn’t be doing any press. “They’re great guys and they’re a lot of fun to work with, but there’s been a lot of respectfully passing,” West told Billboard. She’ll be out in Denver next weekend as the traveling carnival-themed punk rock fest enters its third and final weekend of the year.
Reunion hoopla aside, the Replacements’ set could have held its own as arguably the weekend’s tightest on songcraft and execution alone. Joined by replacement members (pun intended) Josh Freese (drums) and David Minehan (guitar), Westerberg and original bassist Tommy Stinson, the band’s 2013 incarnation proved a high-functioning unit from the set-opening fury of “Takin’ A Ride.” There was the snottiness (“Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out”), songs not played at last month’s premiere reunion gig (“I Don’t Know”) and the juicy essentials (“Alex Chilton,” “Bastards of Young,” “Color Me Impressed”). Onstage, the only thing more irreverent than Westerberg’s baggy red shorts was a giant light up middle finger. (Full setlist below)
Pete Wentz, world famous bassist for Friday night headliners was complimentary of the setting. “This is pretty organized for a lot of the festivals we do,” he told Billboard. Being asked about touring with Panic! At The Disco once again — a band he helped introduce to the world in 2005 — he reminisced on some lighter moments from that year’s Nintendo Fusion Tour, at which both bands played in Toms River, New Jersey:
“It was at a high school. We had our manager’s band open the show before Panic! and the kids were like, “What is this?” And I think Nick Jonas, the Jonas Brothers were at the show, and Nick Jonas is a diabetic… he was giving himself insulin and security in the bathroom freaked out and were trying to arrest him for doing drugs! Also when before Panic! played we switched out their intro music and we played “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and all the kids were into that!”
Fall Out Boy’s Riot Fest performance included an appearance from a very special guest spending the summer in Chicago — the National Hockey League’s iconic trophy, the Stanley Cup. According to West, the NHL reached out to Riot Fest and Fall Out Boy to facilitate the surprise, since the hometown Chicago Blackhawks had won the prize months earlier.
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) September 14, 2013
Earlier that evening, Fall Out Boy posed for a photo with a team from MAC Presents (above), a sponsorship and fulfillment agency that arranged a fan meet-and-greet pegged to an interactive media exhibit done by Samsung Galaxy Mega.
To hype the release of the new Samsung Galaxy Mega, the MAC Presents team introduced guests to a pair of interactive media exhibits — the Music Box, which played music controlled by fans dancing on a projection-mapped floor (tweets with the #makeitMEGA hashtag were auto-tuned to create the vocal tracks) and the Graffiti Box, a digital graffiti wall shown below: