November 7, 2008 – 4:54 am

The days of The Replacements might have been long gone but on his own, Paul Westerberg still knows how to have a good time.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Solana Beach 2005 [Hiptune, 2CD]

Live at Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, CA, February 27, 2005. Very good soundboard.

It’s unfortunate that Paul Westerberg never had the kind of financial success that lesser bands had when he was with The Replacements. [Critical accolades he had by the truckful.] Replacements soundalikes such as Soul Asylum and Goo Goo Dolls had better successes though probably none matched the kind of fandom the Mats received.

Here is what a BigO writer said about The Replacements’ Tim when we put out our own record guide - 100 Best Albums 1975-1995: “The Replacements possess, in their struggle with dream and reality, a wonderful sense of innocence and disenchantment. This probably prompted Rolling Stone magazine to call Tim (1985) ’simultaneously mature and adolescent’.”

It is with this mixture of “innocence and disenchantment” that one should approach this 2005 gig. If you have been used to perfect sounding live gigs, then this one is not for you. Sure the recording is very crisp [Replacements fans will tell you they’ve heard worse] but it is the performance that will tear you apart. As the name of the tavern suggests, Westerberg sounds as if he could have gone belly up anytime soon but he doesn’t. Though by the time he gets to The Partridge Family’s I Think I Love You, he does miss and slur his lines and totally bushwacks the song.

But then there is a good bunch of Replacements tunes - Little Mascara, Skyway, Waitress In The Sky, Kiss Me On The Bus - all delivered with the usual Replacements aplomb. Not to mention Westerberg “solos” such as Love Untold and First Glimmer. If only he’d performed the Mats anthem Bastards Of Young and Swinging Party - then we’d all sloshed happy.

As Westerberg said in an interview a couple of days before the Solana Beach gig: “Doing this is just as fun on any given night or on any given song as it ever was. Yesterday was pretty good, and today, a couple of songs were so fun, we were just peeing in our pants. It’s the same as when I was 15, and it doesn’t go away. We’re taking the approach of a band who is ready for anything, as opposed to a band who knows 12 songs perfectly. They’re ready to rock.”

Today’s younger music listeners have American Idols to tell them what’s supposed to be hip and current. Back in the ’80s, you watched these guys play as if their lives depended on it; in Asia, as the next best thing, you hunted down their records.

This show was requested by reader Nicolas Caillot.

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.

Disc 1
Merry Go Round (6.3MB)
Someone Take The Wheel (5.9MB)
Live Forever (5.6MB)
Makin Me Go (3.9MB)
Let The Bad Times Roll (5.6MB)
No Place For You (5.5MB)
As Far As I Know (4.6MB)
Take Out Some Insurance (8.9MB)
AAA (4.6MB)
Final Hurrah (6.0MB)
Only A Hero (4.9MB)
Achin’ To Be (5.6MB)
Little Mascara (5.9MB)
Heart Of Stone (3.5MB)
Kansas City Star (2.2MB)

Disc 2
Valentine (7.4MB)
First Glimmer (7.4MB)
Crackle And Drag (6.2MB)
Skyway (3.6MB)
What A Day For A Night (5.5MB)
Waitress In The Sky (3.6MB)
Love Untold (7.0MB)
Another Girl, Another Planet (3.5MB)
Whole Wide World (3.9MB)
Kiss Me On The Bus (5.7MB)
When Will We Arrive (6.1MB)
Can’t Hardly Wait (6.2MB)
Can’t Hardly Wait (last part) (2.9MB)
I Think I Love You (5.3MB)

Click here to order Paul Westerberg albums.

  1. 15 Responses to “SWINGING PARTY”

  2. Paul Westerberg is one of those extremely underrated songwriters… I saw the Replacements in 1986 and indeed, the played as loud as possible, it was a total chaos but it was sooooo incredible good. The days before Nirvana… eeewww…

    By psyclist on Nov 7, 2008

  3. You guys just keep getting better and better. Sometimes you pull something completely unexpected - something that’s been sticky and thick with decades of mind-cobwebs - out of your cyberbutts and [i]>sproink!<[/i] back into foreground for a spell.:) Thank you!

    On an topic unrelated to this show, I’d like to offer - for the assistance of anyone else who frets over the fact that so many great ROIOs seem to fall out of rotation as one’s collection grows - a tradition I started last month:

    Every day I scan my database (I’ve been working on an ongoing scannable catalogue of my ROIOs on the computer for aeons with questionable success) for shows played on the day’s date (e.g. the first thing I listened to today was the U2 show I got from you, held on November 7, 1987 at Denver’s McNichols Arena. Now I’m searching for some live cassettes for a Chet Atkins and the Cluster Pluckers show from 11-7 (it’s not catalogued yet and I don’t recall the year)

    Just thought it might help some others avoid neglecting some music that might otherwise be overlooked.:)

    Thanks again, Folks.

    By Society's Pliers on Nov 8, 2008

  4. Oh yeah . . . that whole dissertation sprung forth from this awesome Paul Westerberg, whom, along with The Replacements, had been misplaced in the smoky haze ‘neath my cranium.

    Did I say “Thank you!”?

    By Society's Pliers on Nov 8, 2008

  5. I thought Paul was off the “sauce” during this time-frame….he sounds a little “off” here no?

    By Saul on Nov 8, 2008

  6. Hmm This sounds really good to me.I wasn’t really expecting that my request would become reality one day.That’s great!
    p.s:Isn’t Westerberg a little bit drunk on this show?

    By Nicolas C on Nov 8, 2008

  7. The Replacements were easily the greatest live RnR band in the world on some nights. On other nights they could be dreadful. But that was there charm. One night at the Beacon Theatyre they were s*&t playing “Hello Dolly” for 8 minutes with Paul after the show throwing ice cubes out the window at his adoring throngs. The next night at the Ritz they lifted the roof. The whole place was literally transfixed. I get chills thinking about it.

    By David on Nov 8, 2008

  8. In reference to being a little drunk, that was also part of their charm on many nights.

    By David on Nov 8, 2008

  9. Please please please More Westerberg, More Mats.
    Great posting!

    By Winthrope Marion Purcival V on Nov 11, 2008

  10. Westerberg without a brandy and a smoke after/before the show wouldn’t be Paul Westerberg. The real talent of The Replacements is here.
    Thank you for this EXCELLENT ROIO. Cheers

    By platterpile on Nov 15, 2008

  11. I saw Westerberg on this tour in New Orleans and he indeed had a few drinks and pills and played his heart out. It was immediately and easily the best show I’ve seen. When he played “Alex Chilton” he pointed out that Chilton might be “running around outside somewhere”. He then changed the lyric to “if he dies tonight I’ll join him”. Priceless.

    By Levi on Nov 16, 2008

  12. Paul sounds off indeed. It sounds like the tape had been slowed down.

    Even the announcer sounds ain’t right!

    BTW, the Mats broke up on stage in a free gig in Chicago at Grant Park in 1991.

    By wINDY cITY on Dec 6, 2008

  13. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard Paul Westerberg sing sober.

    I think this recording needs to be speed corrected, though.

    By Eric on Nov 11, 2009

  14. Eric: These are the proper speed… Paul is just THAT drunk. :(

    By Driver on Apr 19, 2010

  15. There is a poignant moment in the pre-show interview where he and the DJ talk about the death their respective parents. I know PW seemed to oscillate from sober to drunk during that tour but it isn’t hard to speculate that talking about the death of a parent could have contributed to his condition that night. Or maybe not.

    If you want to listen to the interview you can download it here (at least for as long as it is available — maybe the good people here can add it here): http://www.filedropper.com/01-radiointerview .

    By pl on Apr 20, 2010

  16. Paul definitely was drinking on this tour, but he never sounded nearly as wasted as he does here. Apparently he had broken or severely sprained an ankle the day before this show, and was on heavy painkillers. Perhaps he poured a cocktail or two on top of these, I don’t know, but I’ve heard recordings of at least a dozen other shows from this same tour, and he doesn’t sound nearly this out of it on any of them.

    I saw Paul’s show in DC on this tour. After a rousing first 3 songs or so, he seemed really pumped up. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a $100 bill and handed it to someone in the audience, asking them to get him a drink. He told them to keep the change.

    By Cherokeeflan on Sep 14, 2010

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