The Replacements rehearsed at First Avenue for three days last week

The Replacements rehearsed at First Avenue for three days last week
Photo by Ivy Lovell

Prior to the Replacements' return to live performance in Toronto at Riot Fest -- featured in this week's cover story -- the guys did some local preparation. In fact, anyone who passed by First Avenue last week might've heard their classics echoing from inside the club. Word of this arrangement began trickling out when a 'Mats fan named Tim Letscher posted a since-taken-down Instagram video filmed outside the downtown Minneapolis venue. In it, you could clearly hear strains from "Alex Chilton."

According to bassist Tommy Stinton's manager Ben Perlstein, these secret rehearsals were basically like full-production concerts. Except there was no audience, and guitarist David Minehan handled singing duties on the second day so that Paul Westerberg could keep his voice fresh for Sunday.

See Also:
Cover Story: The Replacements break their 22-year live drought
Slideshow: The Replacements reunion at Riot Fest in Toronto, 8/25/13

First Avenue, by the way, has no comment for this story. According to Perlstein, everyone at the venue aside from management was under the impression that grunge-wannabe party rockers Hinder would be filling the space for rehearsals on Tuesday, August 20, Wednesday, August, 21, and Friday, August 23. On Thursday, the band took a break and visited the MN State Fair.

"All the lights were up, but we didn't have the finger," Perlstein noted, referring to the giant assembly of spotlights lit up like a hand flipping the bird that accompanied the Replacements' two-song encore.

The Replacements rehearsed at First Avenue for three days last week
Photo by Reed Fischer

A recording of the Toronto performance has emerged online via The Replacements - Live Archive Project. Local videographer Rick Fuller was also hired to document the show, so there could be even higher quality live footage on the way.

As we found out earlier today, the Replacements responded affirmatively to a question about potentially playing a show here in Minnesota, but don't expect more rehearsals in town leading up to the Riot Fests in Chicago and Denver in September. Perlstein says the band's next practices will be held in an undisclosed location in the Windy City.

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