Blast from the Past: Show Edition

Summer (and I suppose Fall) 2011 provided some great opportunities to witness some legendary bands/musicians that I never thought I’d be able to see.

American Punk 

First up was seeing CJ Ramone at The Underground in Sandusky, OH. It seemed like an odd tour stop for the bassist of the late Ramones, but the fact that he was playing within a 3-hour radius was a-ok with me. Although CJ had spent time after the Ramones playing in his band, Bad Chopper, this particular tour was promoted as him playing a catalog of the songs he learned playing in the 90’s, with the greatest punk band in the land.

As an added bonus, CJ brought along guitarist Daniel Rey who started collaborating with the band beginning on Too Tough to Die. You could tell his stage presence and guitar work was born outta the style of the late, great Johnny Ramone.

I got to spend most of the time right up close (seeing that the show didn’t seem well-promoted). The tunes were sweet and it made me feel good that even at 46, this guy seemed to have almost as much enthusiasm as he once had in all the old footage I’ve seen. So now I can say that I’ve at least seen two Ramones—I met ex-drummer, Tommy,  in Nashville playing in his folk-y/bluegrass band when Matt and I went to the Americana Music Awards in 2009.

I Want to Be Stereotyped 

One of the early punk CDs I bought was titled Milo Goes to College. I still consider that album, by The Descendents, a perfect album—every song has its place. I guess I liked the fact that they were fast, but still had harmony. They were simple, but still smart. At a time when some bands were emphasizing drugs and destruction, Milo made fun of wasting away and sang about how he wanted a house just like his parents. Unfortunately the band disbanded when I gained interest in them and the remaining members formed ALL (which I never really got into). Lucky for me, they reformed recently and have stopped at various festivals. Last weekend in Chicago they headlined Riot Fest.

Although the acoustics in the Congress Theater aren’t the best, The Descendents sounded awesome and put on a great show. Thanks guys.

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