SXSW Music Live: Bash & Pop

Replacements bassist ties one on

“Let me offer you some important advice,” offered a clearly loose Tommy Stinson upon greeting yours truly on Wednesday evening, minutes before taking the stage at the Hotel Vegas patio. “Never play any club that doesn’t stock your brand of booze.”

Tommy Stinson (Photo by John Leach)

That didn’t stop Stinson, a man who has been a Replacement, a Gun and/or Rose, and is now a reactivated Bash & Popper, from enjoying some alternate tipple. Minutes later, facing a crowd warmed up by a Tom Petty Greatest Hits CD, his tossed-off greeting landed another bull's-eye.

“So, the waiting is the hardest part, right?”

Then Bash & Pop launched into “Not This Time,” opener of new disc Anything Could Happen. Had this been a Replacements show, Stinson’s inebriation would’ve signaled one of those nights when not a single original gets aired, the set veering into 162 of the worst cover songs they couldn’t really remember. While Bash & Pop continues the ’Mats’ devil-may-care tradition, this is Stinson’s more professional side.

As the quartet showcased most of Anything Could Happen and a handful of new tunes, Bash & Pop evinced both swagger and control. They rocked like murder, but with a wink and a grin the frontman’s brandished since he was a teenager playing bass on classics like “Color Me Impressed” and “Bastards of Young.”

Still, he was feeling ornery and clearly smarting from a recent bout of heartbreak to hear his lyrics and his stage introductions. “This is for anyone who felt they needed to change to please someone else” led in new song “Anybody Else.” Other times, the constraints of playing a major music festival brought out his inner punk.

“We’ve been here all week, and we’re playing 30 minutes? My ass!”

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Bash & Pop, SXSW, SXSW Music 2017, Tommy Stinson, Replacements, Guns N’ Roses, Tom Petty

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