Date / Venue: Friday 1st December - The Studio, Auckland
How many Ramones tribute/cover bands have you seen in your lifetime? Me personally, a lot, as the songs alone are worth it every time. Those anthem pop-punk songs are timeless and changed the world and my life. So, I wouldn’t pass up the chance to see Hall Of Famer Marky Ramone and his Blitzkrieg.
Waiting for the band to take the stage, a carefully curated soundtrack plays of NYC classics including ‘Chinese Rocks’ by ‘The Heartbreakers’. Which was enough to start the sing-a-longs…..
Then, Maaaaarky (said in a drawn out NYC accent) approaches the mic to some haunting 1960’s, secret agent man instrumental and begins the chant. “Hey, Ho, Let’s Go” and with no time spared …BOOM! Straight into ‘Rockaway Beach’ and we’re off like a Rocket to Russia.
This unrelenting set was impressive to say the least. 1,2,3,4 hit after hit in true militant Ramones style. Teenage Lobotomy, Psycho Therapy, Do You Wanna Dance, Sheena is a Punk Rocker, 53rd and 3rd, Rock n Roll High School.
Joey’s stand-in Iñaki Dorronsoro (Sumisión City Blues) a kinda punk hybrid of Stiv Bators and Nicolas Cage, wore his superman tee, tight black jeans and a leather jacket. He was the only one to represent the Ramones uniform. Certainly living up to his superman strength with a vocally charged, vaudvillian performance. 1,2,3,4 into the next, and next song, his pipes held out whilst not taking one mouthful of water. Although, was popping some strange pills. Hydration in pill form perhaps? I digress, his delivery and interpretion of Joey was reminscent of a 1980’s Joey with his growl and rasp. With a little help from his friends on backing vocals, it was the best Marky Ramone Blitzkreig I had seen.
To be honest, I wasn’t too impressed with the last version of the Blitzkrieg I saw with Michale Grave on vocals in New York City. Although, I can still taste Marky’s signature pasta sauce from that show. There was much less sauce this time or perhaps not in a crowd of sweaty, naked, large breasted men that at times looked like they were all going to make out got a tad saucy….or was that just sweat?
But the award goes to the one and only crowd surfer of the night that happened during the Louis Amstrong cover ‘What A Wonderful World’….
“The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky Are also on the faces of people going by I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do They're really saying I love you”
A crowd filled with many emotions.
The musicianship of Aurelien Budynek (DareDevil Squadron) on guitar, and Alejandro Viejo Lewezuk on bass locked it in with Marky and were tight.
That unmistakeable drum sound. However, a tad too bassy for my liking (no fault of his own) just an odd mix, especially his floor tom, but nonetheless, his cymbal and snare work took you right back to the original Ramones sound. His aloof, relaxed drumming demeaner is one to behold when you play every set like a machine gun.
Aurelien on guitar cheated being a metal player, as he was playing all the Ed Stasium, Tommy and Daniel Rey guitar parts while hocking at fans and flipping the bird. For those of you that didn’t know, Johnny was not big on guitar solos and had others record and play those for him either in the studio or from back stage. Alejandro’s bass was fierce yet like our charming Dee Dee, had a sweet and delicate nature with his beautiful backing vocals. The K.K.K key changes were superb.
As the band tired I started to really enjoy it… the songs slowed just enough to get into my hips with Rock n Roll Radio, Needles and Pins, She’s The One and I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.
Two encores and a buffet of songs on offer, I’d say most Ramones fans were thrilled. Especially the collection of fans fighting over the drums sticks being given out at the end of the show to Frank Sinatra’s ’My Way’ over the house PA.
I then found myself at the bar next door listening to even more Ramones and drinking god awful tap beer. Viva Los Ramones!
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