There are few bands that change the course of an entire industry and subculture. It is arguable that American punk would have met inevitable failure if it were not for the innovative work of The Ramones. Their simple, fun, and catchy songs brought American punk to a level that was enjoyed by a broad audience, whether or not they were a part of the punk scene.
To be in the presence of one of the Ramones is to be in the presence of a punk deity.
On Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg tour, which thundered into D.C. on October 2nd at the 9:30 Club, the legendary drummer graced fans of all ages with the music of The Ramones and the vocals of modern rock phenomenon Andrew W.K. Passionately drumming on his shimmering gold drum kit, Marky still sports his famous shaggy black hair and never deviates from an attitude of enthusiasm and focus. Though not the front man of the show, his stride both on and offstage during the main performance and two encores was accompanied by a smile of appreciation as he looked out at the crowd, the punk legend filled with the connection to his loyal fandom.
Andrew W.K., who lives up to his reputation of being a dynamic performer, plays the role of front man effortlessly. There is something magnetic about W.K., whose voice is not only on point live, but who also constantly entertains the crowd with spontaneous lunges and dance moves.
The tour, however, is not about Andrew W.K. The singer did an impressive job of respecting the legacy of The Ramones. Indeed, W.K. treated his performance as an homage to the great punk band. While he made an effort to alter his style of singing to suit The Ramones’ songs, he did not in any way attempt to imitate Joey Ramone, which made the gig more authentic as opposed to becoming a cover show, which under different circumstances and musicians, it could have disintegrated into.
The show at the 9:30 Club captured the high-energy, excitable, fun atmosphere that The Ramones are known for. Over 30 songs were played in their set, covering Ramones originals such as “Blitzkrieg Bop”, “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “Beat on the Brat”, as well as famous covers such as “What a Wonderful World” and “Do You Wanna Dance?”
Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg world tour, which launched in New York City in May 2013, will continue through the end of October and conclude in Glasgow, Scotland.