CJ RAMONE - Live in Toronto
Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto - August 15, 2019
Hey, Ho, here we go again!
On what he has billed as his "Final Tour", CJ Ramone swept into Toronto for a great night of punk'n'roll.
CJ played bass for the Ramones for their last 7 years of existence, and not surprisingly, the evening was full of Ramones classics, as well as his own solo music, which would have fit nicely on any latter-era Ramones platter.
CJ sounds great and looks good for his 53 years, and given how strong his latest solo album (the Holy Spell) is (Ed: refer review below), one wonders why he is contemplating an end to touring. Certainly the 400 or so in attendance at the Horseshoe will want to see him again, given how impressive his performance and that of his band was.
Set highlights included many of the songs from his latest solo album, including "One High One Low", "Stand Up", "Rock On" and "There Stands the Glass", among others. The bulk of the set was made up of old Ramones songs, but surprisingly, none of them were the numerous tracks CJ sang lead vocals on on the last few Ramones albums. Most of the songs were early Ramones classics that CJ played live 1000 times with the band, but they pre-dated his appearance on the albums. While that was disappointing, the inclusion of some deeper album tracks like "The Outsider" and "Glad to See You Go" , as well as the Motorhead song R.A.M.O.N.E.S., made up for it somewhat.
But like his old band, CJ is about attitude, exuberance and rock'n'roll. It was a night to have a good time, drink beer, jump and sing until the 26 song set was over, and you were covered in sweat. Mission accomplished.