On this date in history, 5/25/1995, I saw the greatest punk band of all time on the stage of the wonderfully intimate venue, The Vogue.
I’m talking about the Ramones and this was their final tour. When I was a teenager soaking up every bit of rock music I could wrap my ears around.
The Ramones appeared in their denim and leather glory in an ad in the rock fan magazine called Circus.
The cover of their eponymous debut album called out to me and although their very existence was a result of their rebellion against a lot of music I really liked, I fell madly in love with their energy, the economy of their stripped down to the bare essentials attack.
The absurdly catchy nature of their melodies. And those lyrics and song titles! Nobody had ever written songs like “Blitzkrieg Bop”, “Beat On The Brat”, “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” and “Teenage Lobotomy” before.
The Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop (Live)
So, here I was at this little club in Noblesville, full of its own rich history, witnessing this iconic band cramming over 30 songs into a 90 minute slab of punk rock brilliance.
Nearly every song began with bass player C.J. barking out the intro ingrained into every Ramones fan’s heart…1,2,3,4!…and they were off to the races, Johnny bashing out the 3 chord anthems, Marky pulverizing the simple, but staggeringly tight beats that ran the locomotive, and Joey, impossibly tall and ghostly white in his leather jacket and rose colored glasses, long black hair hanging in his face as he sang those crazy lyrics in an almost impossibly fast pace.
The KKK Took My Baby Away – The Ramones
Some of the highlight songs for me included, “Judy Is A Punk”, “The KKK Took My Baby Away”, “Psycho Therapy”, and “Pinhead”, where their pinhead mascot came out with the famous “Gabba Gabba Hey” sign and had every fan in the room shouting out those words and pumping our fists in the air.
I’m listed as the concert critic in these reviews, but what I really am is a fan. I started going to concerts when I was 13, and I will continue as long as I am physically able, because I am a fan.
I’ve seen so many amazing shows, and they bring such joy into my life. The Ramones were joy incarnate and I’m beyond lucky that I got to be there that night!
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic