• Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg With Andrew WK Live At Santo’s Party House, New York City, May 3, 2013.

    Joey Ramone’s been gone for a while now and nobody can realistically ever fill his shoes. So there was a bit of trepidation on the part of this writer when it came time to check out Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg with the unlikely choice of Andrew WK on lead vocals. Not that Andrew isn’t awesome, because he is – nobody preaches the gospel of the power of positive partying like he does and his conviction and dedication to the good times is undeniable. But he’s not Joey Ramone.

    Thankfully, it became obvious as soon as the band hit the stage to kick off their new tour that he wasn’t even going to try to be Joey Ramone. This was Andrew being Andrew, dancing around the stage like a madman clad in his trademark grubby white shirt and jeans, long hair flailing around and that perpetually insane looking grin of his smeared across his unshaven face from start to finish. Marky’s drumming hasn’t slowed down AT ALL, he’s still completely on point and he delivered rock solid backbeats from start to finish as the band blistered through over thirty Ramones classics, playing pretty much the greatest hits set that you’d expect them to. They slowed things down twice – the first time for I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend and then, during the second encore, for What A Wonderful World, but outside of that it was fast and bop-tastic through and through.

    In true Ramones fashion there wasn’t a whole lot of banter between songs. Frequently he’s yell ‘Holy Smokes!’ or ‘Oh my gosh!’ when someone would grab him or jump off the stage – which was unexpected but seemed completely sincere. Andrew got a few words in here and there. He introduced a ‘song about a really great book’ before playing Pet Semetary, thanking the crowd now and then, talking about his tardiness and introducing the band, but outside of that it was one song into the next, just the way it should be. Santo’s Party House, which is WK’s own venue, has a pretty lax policy about stage diving and Andrew had pretty much anyone who wanted to be on stage up there with him, letting the crowd sing along into the mic and dance on stage with him. The whole band seemed to be feeding off of the energy of the sold out crowd and just over an hour after they started, they closed the night off with Blitzkrieg Bop, more or less sending the place into a frenzy.

    So yeah, Andrew WK is not Joey Ramone, but he doesn’t need to be. He treats the Ramones legacy with respect but definitely puts his own spin on it, while the band, backed by Marky, keeps the original sound more or less intact. With Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny all gone now, it’s not like there’s going to be any sort of legitimate Ramones reunion happening any time soon and if Marky is able to keep bringing their music to fans hungry to see it done live and done with a ridiculous amount of energy and enthusiasm, so be it. This show was a complete blast and you’ve got to respect these guys for doing it the way they did, not aping what once was but paying a sincere tribute to it by doing it their own way.

    If you want to check out the dates and locations for the rest of the tour (which will last from May to October and will bring the band to Europe, then back through the USA before heading to the UK), you can do that here, but for now, some pictures from the kick off show – PARTY HARD!!

    And some video that we didn't shoot!

    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Cool! So they do Ramones songs? Looks like a good time, and glad that Andrew WK isn't a Joey-ripoff.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      It's ALL Ramones songs, except for I Don't Wanna Grow up (which The Ramones covered), What a Wonderful World (which Joey covered) and the Motorhead track R.A.M.O.N.E.S. - so yeah, it's pretty much 100% Ramones. And Andrew killed it. He was fantastic.
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Looks like fun. I didn't know too much about Andrew WK...just Aqua Teen Hunger Force...but he seems like a good guy who's down to party.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      Yeah, it's pretty well established that he likes parties.
    1. Roderick's Avatar
      Roderick -
      Thanks for satisfying my morbid curiosity about this tour.
    1. Nolando's Avatar
      Nolando -
      He ain't no Michale Graves, tho'.
    1. Busterface Wallace's Avatar
      Busterface Wallace -
      I want that show to come near me.