June 19, 2015
I will admit that I was initially confused with the overall billing of this show because I had thought that CJ Ramone was a member of Shonen Knife for this tour and was expecting to see CJ jam with the J-pop princesses but the way the show worked out was that the opening act dropped off day of show and Shonen Knife’s set started the night off. CJ Ramone played a solo set as the headliner at 10 PM.
I was impressed with the quality merch Shonen Knife and CJ had at their tables. CJ sold hand painted skateboard decks, vinyl, and solo shirts. Shonen Knife had merch that reminded me of The Beatles back when they were a pop band; everything was cute, fluffy and nice.
Shonen Knife posted a sign on the front door which stated they did not want any flash photography, video, or cameras in use during their performance. Songs about Green Tea, food, and all things fluffy is how I’d describe the Shonen Knife set. Shonen Knife set were squeaky clean, nice, and poppy and it reminded me of 70’s Saturday Morning Cartoons where the good guy always won, everything was “good” and no one was ever sad.
The crowd for Shonen was obvious to spot and once they finished their set a portion of the crowd went to the merch table to meet the band and then promptly left.
CJ Ramone entered the venue midway through Shonen Knife’s set and he looked a little different than how I remembered him from his tenure with The Ramones. CJ took the stage with a 3 piece band that tore up the Metro Gallery with punk-rock-passion and fury!
The first 1/2 of his set was all CJ solo material while the 2nd 1/2 of his set was all Ramones standards with the closer being “Ramones” by Motorhead!
Watching the crowd go off on songs like “Rockaway Beach”, “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker”, and “Blitzkrieg Bop” you realize just how pivotal The Ramones music truly was to an entire generation of punk rockers. Oddly enough their music transcended through 4 generations of punkers and the crowds prove that point! I overheard one guy in the crowd say, “This was the best $15 I spent this year!” and that is the best comment any musician can get from their audience!