Big Eyes for CJ Ramone

Nostalgia holds a strong grip on a lot of humanity. When you bring in nostalgia for a band that helped usher in the punk genre, you’re going to attract a lot of people looking for that original sound. While I enjoy watching CJ Ramone play some covers of The Ramones, what I enjoy more is watching him do his original stuff. He brought along Big Eyes for the tour, plus one of my local favorites, No Gimmick, opened up the Phoenix stop.

Despite No Gimmick being a band for about two decades, that hasn’t put a damper on Johnny’s energy. He will tell the audience he needs the break for his age, but I’m not quite convinced. He jumped around the most of anyone to play this night. Mike is always a good sport to take part in the show tradition, what I will call Johnny’s “Who Wants to Date My Bassist?” As always, a great set from these dudes.

Following them up was the band CJ boasted he handpicked for the tour, and that was Big Eyes. With good reason he can be proud of this band. They have a modern rock sound mixed with a seventies style punk. Kait, on lead vocals, does a fantastic job singing and guitar. There were a lot of smiles up there, they were enjoying the set. I was having a lot of fun watching Big Eyes, so hope they make a return to Phoenix sometime soon.

Last up was the man most came out to see, CJ Ramone. This was the second time I’ve seen him, though a different line up of musicians around him. He mixed in a couple Ramones songs like “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Want to Be Your Boyfriend” into the set. The later one being one of a couple that he touched upon the love triangle with Joey, Johnny, and Linda as the real subject matter. However, what really shines to me is the great stuff CJ has written and released. I’d say two thirds of the set was this, and it was fun. Kait, from Big Eyes, joined him for a song she did recorded vocals on too. Add in his awesome personality to get a great set from the legend, CJ Ramone.

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