Riff Review: Richie Ramone Makes Hamilton Hop


Richie_Live_1_smallIt’s been a forgone conclusion for a long time that we’ll never, ever get to experience the Ramones the way they were. The deaths of Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee, earlier this millennium washed away any chance of any type of reunion tour cash-grab, but what we’re fortunate to have are surviving members, like Richie Ramone, willing and able to bring some of the band’s most memorable tunes to multiple generations.

Touring in support of his first solo album, Entitled, the Ramones drummer of nearly five years stopped for a date at Hamilton, ON’s This Ain’t Hollywood for a set constructed out of his new songs and Ramones classics.

Before a packed-in collection of punk fans and artists – including Teenage Head and Tongue Fu guitarist Gord Lewis – Richie triumphantly pounced upon the stage to a collection of roars that easily guided him behind his kit.

Richie kicked off the energetic 75-minute set, with “Criminal,” cut number one off of Entitled, before jumping into his best known contribution (in terms of song writing) to the Ramones, “Somebody Put Something in My Drink.”

As Richie bounced between the kit and the front-of-stage mic, his bandmates – Alex Kane (guitar, vocals), Clare Misstake (bass, vocals), and Ben Reagan (guitar, drums) – excitedly powered through a Ramones-heavy set that richie_live_5included “Durango 95,” “I Just Want to Have Something to Do,” “Wart Hog,” “(You) Can’t Say Anything Nice,” and of course, “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Throughout it all, the dancing, drinking, fist-pumping front rows never gave Richie and company a reason to doubt the continuous momentum of fun that Ramones tracks can inspire.

After generously sweating it out – literally – through a 17-track set, Richie and company took the mandatory pause before re-emerging for an encore that began with “Loudmouth,” and ceased enjoyably with “Cretin Hop.”

From my row-two spot upon the floor, Richie appeared to play with the vigor and technical proficiency of someone not as near to 60 as he is. It’s truly a pleasure to hear any Ramones track live, but it’s a true privilege when one of the band’s members is able to present it to you in a way that’s familiar, yet all together new.

-Adam Grant

To view all of our videos from Richie Ramone’s Hamilton performance, visit the Riffyou.com channel on YouTube.

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