Okay, OKAY, I'm normally not into those cringe-inducing, "surviving member(s) of a band that peaked three decades ago" style bands, and when I heard that Marky Ramone was touring (uh oh) with Andrew W.K. (huh, okay) I was on the fence. A lot could obviously go wrong...
The fabulous Trent Moorman interviewed Marky, who assured us that he was simply going to play the 35 best Ramones songs and Andrew W.K. would be singing them. No new album, no new songs, just the tried-and-true punk standards you know and love. Plus I guess you can't really go wrong with Andrew W.K.—the guy has remained a magical (if not slightly mysterious) unicorn for so long I almost forgot how excellent he is live. He wants to party. Not in a creepy way, in a fun way that might include him giving stranded kids a ride home after a show (true story).
Every single leather punk jacket and/or pair of white jeans in Seattle (plus a couple that flew here from Denver just for the show) was at Neumos last night. I missed the opening bands, but walked in right as Marky and Andrew (along with an enthisiastic guitarist and bassist) took the stage.
They ripped into ALL the hits (I almost started naming them, but you know what they are)—super fast, super loud, with little or no stops between songs. Marky looked pretty good with dyed dark hair and bangs; his drumming was tight in that pro-drummer way where all their power seems to be coming from the elbows down, with little other movement. It took 10 minutes before the crowd gave in and smashed together with fists shaking, screaming along. I don't remember the last time I've seen so much raw enthusiasm. Legs bashed faces in sloppy crowd-surf efforts, kids hopped up on the stage to sing along for as long as security would allow it.
My date and I took our opportunity when "I Can't Make It On Time" started (one of my favorite Ramones song and personal anthem), asking our kind buddy to hold our purses and lift us up into the crowd (he won the "dude of the night" award for sure). I tumbled onto the stage and hugged Andrew W.K. around the waist for as long as I could until security pushed me back into the sea of hands and sweat. Everyone smelled like hair products and soup. I woke up with a giant bruise behind my ear and the kind of head ringing that may signify damage. Worth it.