"1, 2, 3, 4!"
There was precious little time to talk Saturday night as Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg ripped through an hour and twenty minutes of music that was originally written and recorded by the now-defunct punk band the Ramones. Frontman and party animal Andrew WK opened the festivities by saying simply "Let's have some fun!" before launching into the Ramones's catalog.
The band segued immediately from one song to the next, rarely stopping for even a moment's pause in between. By the time the Blitzkrieg reached the twenty minute mark, they had already ripped through eight songs clicking in at an average two minutes and thirty seconds apiece. The rapid pace was in keeping with the Ramones's style, with the preternaturally pumped Andrew WK, clad in his trademark all-white outfit, seemingly stoked for every precious moment of the set.
What Blitzkrieg did was a little bit easier to grasp than how to classify them. Marky Ramone was their longtime drummer, but he's not making any claims to be the current incarnation of that band, just an outfit that plays Ramones originals. Nor are they really a tribute band, since tribute bands don't typically have a former member of the band they're imitating within their ranks. Nor did Blitzkrieg's members necessarily try to imitate the Ramones members any more than is necessary to play the music, other than drummer Marky being a former member (he wasn't imitating himself) and the bass player having a look somewhat similar to original bassist Dee Dee.
For the vocals, Andrew WK did at times resemble original vocalist Joey, albeit at a more breakneck speed. The differences between the two vocal approaches was most apparent on the slightly slower numbers like "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" and "Do You Want to Dance." On numbers like those, Joey's vocals often expressed a romanticism that linked the bands to the rock n roll from the '50s that inspired them. WK mostly took a more hardcore punk, faster and harder is better, approach, with less concern for vocal expression and more concern for keeping everything pumped-up.
Blitzkrieg just kept on playing, not taking more than a few seconds to pause until they reached the 40 minute mark. At that point, WK took maybe a half a minute to introduce the song "Pet Sematary" before the band kicked into high gear again. The band next played no less than six songs in the next ten minutes before apparently calling it a night.
It was fairly obvious, however, that the band intended to play at least one encore, since they hadn't played the Ramones's signature song, "Blitzkrieg Bop." After a few minutes of the crowd chanting "Hey! Ho!.. Let's go!" The band took the stage a second time. They wound up playing not one but two encores, ultimately closing the night with what the crowd was waiting for, "Blitzkrieg Bop," after an exhausting hour and twenty minute set.