On aesthetics alone, Andrew W.K. may seem an unlikely choice to sing 35 classic Ramones songs alongside longtime Ramones drummer Marky Ramone on his latest tour. W.K.’s trademark all-white getup doesn’t exactly jive with the Ramones’ signature look of ripped jeans and biker jackets, but that’s the point. Ramone didn’t want a Ramones clone to front his latest band. He wanted somebody who could handle the material and who also had their own vibe. Enter W.K., the party-obsessed, power-chord-shredding frontman probably best known for his 2001 debut, the party-metal classic I Get Wet.
If early reviews are any indication, the pairing works well. Rolling Stone gave the opening-night performance a glowing review, especially W.K.: “He brought his own flavor to the Ramones’ catalogue,” wrote William Goodman. “He has a knack for igniting crowd involvement, imbuing a sense of concert camaraderie that’s infectious and admirable.”
Though Ramone wasn’t the band’s original drummer, he’s their best-known, joining the group for their fourth record onward, including Road to Ruin and End of the Century. He left for personal reasons for a few years in the ’80s, but eventually returned, logging 15 years of service with the band and over 1,700 shows. He is also the only living member of their most revered lineup, which included Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee.
Even if the Ramones are timeless, its members aren’t. You should jump, or at least pogo, at the chance to hear the band’s greatest hits performed by someone who played on most of them. At 57, Ramone isn’t exactly old, at least by current rock ’n’ roll standards (McCartney is 71, Dylan is 72), but he also isn’t likely to log 1,700 more shows. In fact, there are only eight American dates on the current U.S. leg of this tour. And if you can’t find a bit of pleasure in watching Andrew W.K. sing “I Wanna Be Sedated,” maybe you already are. With FIGO, Loud Eyes. Neumos. 8 p.m. $25 adv.