It’s been a crazy week in Melbourne. The nights have been hot and the days even hotter and yet, it is still not summer. It’s bound to get crazy hot as Marky Ramone, the last surviving member of the legends of punk rock The Ramones is set to take stage at The Croxton Bandroom in Thornbury, Melbourne.
As a storm rolled into town, the crowds started to pour in to the bandroom. I guess you could say the night is set to be an electrifying night (pun intended). The crowd was a sea of classic Ramones shirts and patch covered denim vests. It was easy to see that it was going to be classic punk rock all night long.
Kicking off the night is local Melbourne band Ablaze. Formed back in 2010, they were definitely were here to show why they were picked to support the famed Marky Ramone. They have the feel of the classic melbourne rock sound that made bands like AC/DC and Airbourne big though with softer, clearer vocals from Danny Slaviero. Lead guitarist Ben Anderson and bassist Dave Knight had great chemistry on stage together and was very easy to catch the eye with their energy. Rounding the rock sound with rhythm guitarist Matt Dynon and drummer Dan Mangano, these guys have a definite future ahead. I will point out this though, you can never have too much cowbell as Ablaze has shown.
Melbourne glam-rockers Sisters Doll hit the stage in their bizarre dress sense kits. It was definitely a sight to behold but one familiar to fans of Australia’s Got Talent after placing top 5 in 2016. Even for a support act, the band made sure they had enough theatrics to bring in a crowd. Think a PG Steel Panther mixed with Def Leppard with how much fun their set was. Lead vocalist B. Monroe was on point tonight especially with the covers of ‘I fought the law’ and ‘Ever fallen in love’ which had people singing along with them and even brought this reviewer into a good time to join in. It was a sign of the things to come for the crowd.
The night also happened to be bassist Auzy Foxxx’s 20th birthday so to play with Marky Ramone on your birthday is always an amazing feat. It was hard to look away as he took centre stage with a leather jacket/white top hat combo and black lipstick to give him a very distinct look on stage. Drummer Lipz was playing the show and was a joy to watch him spin the sticks on multiple occasions and the energy behind the drums was shown in Blondie classic ‘Hanging on the Telephone’. If you’re a fan if old school Motley Crue, Steel Panther and Def Leppard, Sisters Doll is a band to catch if you want some good, local fun.
The headline act for the night, Brooklyn born Marky Ramone is the last surviving Ramone and drummer of the hall of fame punk act The Ramones. He may be 65 years young yet he refuses to show it by bringing out some of the most explosive shows around. This night was no exception. With Marky still sporting the signature Ramones “haircut” and with 38 Ramones classics on the cards, the crowd was in for an absolute treat and for all die-hard fans, it’ll be no surprise if anyone walked out with a voice.
Walking onto massive cheers and starting a massive cheer of “HEY! HO! LETS GO!”, Marky jumped behind his famous drum kit and jumped into ‘Rockaway Beach’ that had the crowd bopping around and singing along. Being a much older audience, there was no chaos and mayhem that came from the prime Ramones days but there was still a love and respect for the music.
The one gripe I had with it all was that the stage setup had Marky all the way at the back of the stage on drums. Being the main reason anyone went to the show, having a setup similar to that of Phil Collins or Spiderbait, it would’ve better suited everything and everyone having the drum kit setup at the front of stage as he was mainly shrouded from view by vocalist. Other than that, the show was filled with the over the top energy and enjoyment expected.
There was no stopping during the show. It was song after song with no breaking in between and was absolutely intense. The only way to tell between songs was by the signature shout of “1 2 3 4” to move on to the next classic. With a setlist of songs including ‘Do You Wanna Dance’, ‘Commando’, ‘Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment’, ‘Oh Oh I Love Her So’ and ‘Pet Semetary’, the crowd was absolutely loving every second. As the night went on, the crowd was moving more and more as everyone started to enjoy themselves more and more especially during the much loved ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll High School’.
Throwing in a few covers in here and there was a curveball but definitely a fun time. Afterall, hearing a cover of The Trashmen’s ‘Surfin’ Bird’ always makes for a good time and it was a surprise to hear a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’. A bit too much fun for one punter though who somehow got past security and onto the stage only to be taken off by security after about 30 seconds and escorted out.
The obvious show stealers were the hits ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ and the shows ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ which caused the crowd to go absolutely ballistic. It may have been technically a cover version with the original drums but hearing it live just brings a feel to it that just can’t be matched as knowing that Marky Ramone is involved is a memory everyone there that night will cherish.
In the end, Marky Ramone still rules behind the drums even if it is with a cover band of his own former band.