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Concert ReviewWestbergesque

On Wilco, Better than Ezra and ‘Mats covers

By 12.Oct.077 Comments

As you can see, I went to see Wilco earlier this week. The set was tight and that little Nels dude can fucking rock the house. Seriously, the dude is like a demon. But this is not about Wilco. Afterall, this is Paul and not

This is about how, I was oddly disappointed that Jeff Tweedy and company didn’t bust out a ‘Mats cover during the concert. I really, really had my hopes pinned on them bursting into “I Will Dare” just for the fun of it and to pay homage to Paul and the boys. After all, I have an mp3 of them covering “Color Me Impressed” where Tweedy says, “Everything we are is because of the Replacements” or something to that effect.

And I wish I could say that this disappointment was only because of the aforementioned ‘Mats cover, but it’s not. I am oddly disappointed every time I go see a band/musician of a certain genre and they don’t do a ‘Mats or Paul Westerberg cover during their set. I am not sure why I’ve decided that everyone who comes through Minneapolis should throw down some props to the band, but I have.

Because I have made this decision you would think somewhere along the line I had heard a lot of bands cover The ‘Mats in concert. You could think that, but you would be wrong. The only band I’ve ever, ever heard cover the ‘Mats in a concert I was attending was Better Than Ezra.


It was a concert called Music in the Park or something like that — Jayhawks, Mason Jennings, Better than Ezra and some other people I have long since forgotten. It was a somber affair because the concert happened just a few days after 9/11. I remember this because the Jayhawks were short a person because they were stuck somewhere and couldn’t fly because planes weren’t flying.

Anyway, Better than Ezra (whom I kinda love) sang “Skyways” and ever since I always expect everyone to cover the ‘Mats. Have you ever heard anyone cover the ‘Mats at a concert you were at?


I am the queen of the underground, a bad ungrateful bunny.


  • blasty says:

    John Doe played “Here Comes a Regular” when he performed at First Avenue a couple of years ago. Woulda loved to have been there, I think that he would do an awesome version.
    He called it an homage to the Mats in their hometown, and, as far as I know, it’s the only time he’s done that song.

  • Wolfdog says:

    Every time I have seen Steve Poltz play in Mpls he has done some sort of Mats cover. I’ve heard him do If Only You Were Lonely, Skyway, and once he sang one line from about 20 Mats songs in the middle of one of his songs.

    I’ve also heard New Orleans’ Dash Rip Rock tear through Can’t Hardly Wait.

  • Monkey says:

    Local bands probably shouldn’t count for this, but a few years back at Mill City (or a similar summer music deal) Flipp played a pretty solid cover of “Can’t Hardly Wait” with a horn section and everything, with the singer screaming “Viva la Replacements!!” at the end, pretty cool moment.

    Also a Mats-obsessed college buddy and I got Martin Zellar to cover half of “I Will Dare” when he played on campus.

  • GtrPlyr says:

    I was at one of those Lollapalooza shows back in the 90’s, the one that had Pavement, Sonic Youth, Hole… Anyway, halfway through the Hole set–after some serious imbibing–I decided I’d had enough, and started heading across the giant grassy field towards the parking lot, where I was hoping to sleep things off in my car. As luck would have it, the moment I left the main stage area, what do I hear but the opening strains of “Unsatisfied.” I was almost tempted to turn around, but my head told me otherwise, so I just continued towards the parking lot as Courtney Love screamed “I’m so, I’m so… unsatisfied.” It felt a bit surreal at the time.

    It really should have been Pavement covering the Mats at that show…

  • Scott says:

    Years ago, I brought my son up to Minneapolis to see Green Day and the Get Up Kids were the opening act. They had covered “Beer For Breakfast” on a rarities album, but I was quite surprised when they played it.

  • Color Me Impressed says:

    … and speaking of Green Day, they’ve covered Bastards of Young quite a few times live. Unfortunately, they didn’t play it at the show I was at.

  • honkywithahaton says:

    apropos of nada …

    The title of the early Wilco song “Boxful of Letters” has always seemed to me to like a short skip from “The Boxtops’ ‘The Letter'”