Once upon a time the Replacements were the most committed fuckups I’d ever seen in my life. Onstage, they might play only the first two or three bars of a song and then fizzle out. They might resort to inane, spur-of-the-moment covers. Or they might waste time bantering pointlessly with the audience. And then again, without warning, they might (might) bash out one of their own tunes as if their lives depended on it. Frustrating, pathetic, funny, obnoxious, slightly disturbing and depressing, they were never dull, and sometimes they were very, very great. Together with their powerful, compassionate albums, those shows somehow proved that rock and roll and rebellious fucked-uppedness are as inseparable as honesty and truth. Now this hard-rock foursome from Minneapolis returns after a difficult, year-long hiatus from recording and performing. During that year they replaced their lead guitarist and split with their manager, and I have no idea how they’ll sound as a result. But if it’s any indication, their new album, Pleased to Meet Me, cut after those changes, is powerful, compassionate proof of the fact that rebellious fuckups don’t have to stop being rock and rollers to mature and survive. Friday, 7:30 PM, Riviera Night Club, 4750 N. Broadway; 769-6300.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Greg Helgeson.