While there's been plenty of ink spilled about the recent comeback of the Replacements after a 22-year hiatus, the band was not greeted by massive crowds at the annual Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival this past weekend in Indio, California. Although reviewers praised the band's Friday night set, the gig didn't get many attendees.
Industry bible Billboard wrote that the "legendary Minneapolis post-punk collective may have been listed in the second-biggest font on the 2014 Coachella bill, but their performance ... produced a staggeringly small crowd." The review said that only a few hundred festival-goers gathered to watch the seminal band's first California appearance since 1991, prompting front man Paul Westerberg, 54, to "...slather all of his commentary with a fresh coat of bitterness after taking the stage."
"Well, hello," the singer-guitarist said. "There's been a lot of good music today, huh? We'll put an (expletive-ing) stop to that right now."
The Billboard story went on to note that the music was "...met with disengaged silence from the attendees," with crowd members wandering away as the set continued. "By the time the Replacements wrapped, about half of the audience that had seen the start of the show was still standing," it concluded.
Despite the indifference, "the Replacements actually put on a tight, well-produced breakdown of their discography." The Reverb music website highligted the performance in a post entitled "Five Coachella 2014 moments you’ll be talking about next week." In its Coachella Diary, the BooklynVegan website said the 'Mats "...delivered a winning performance." Writing in the Riverside, California Press-Enterprise, music blogger Vanessa Franko raved that the band "put on a stellar set" even though "nobody was there to see it."
USA Today reported that the 10-day Coachella event is the top major outdoor music festival in North America. It said that while festival producers don't reveal sales figures, the sold-out three-day passes are expected to hit a six-day total of more than 225,000 people.