New York's punk prototypes, the Ramones, wear jeans and T-shirts full of holes and so do their fans. Last night these fans encountered the dress code at Louie's Rock City, where their heroes were playing. The result was an absurd and somewhat disconcerting parking lot scene with Ramoes fans furiously attempting to sew up their tattered garments or find acceptable garb in order to gain entrance to the club.
By the time the Ramoes finally appeared and Dee Dee Ramoe shouted his first "one, two, three, four" of the night, nothing mattered. When Joey Ramone leaned forward, assuming his characteristic crouch, and Johnny began his classic buzz-saw guitar attack on "Blitzkrieg Bop," the sellout crowd jumped to its feet for the evening.
The Ramones maintained a manic, breathless pace with the shaggy-haired Joey moaning and croacking his way through the band's best originals such as "Rockaway Beach" and rock classics such as "Surfin' Bird." They settled into a powerful, slow drone while rendering the Searchers' Mercybeat classic, "Needless and Pins." By the time they had finished their second encore, the Ramones had proved that, like the early Beatles, their blend of power, melody and image is one of rock's simplest, most undeniable and original.
Opening was Richmond's best rock band, Single Bullet Theory. This fiveman, new have unit provided a set of convincing power pop, mixing a driving rock beat with memorable songs.