|Joe Queer at Le Poisson Rouge|
The Queers is a punk rock band formed in late 1981 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, during the first wave of punk rock. Led by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Joe King (aka Joe Queer), the band’s name poked fun at what he called the "Art Fag" community in his home state. The Queers broke up in late 1984, but King reformed the brand with a new line-up in 1986. The band began recording during the second wave of punk rock with 1990’s debut album, Grow Up, and has since recorded 1o additional albums. King remains the only constant band member, with as many as 40 musicians having been former members in the band’s history.
The Ramones are no more, but that seminal punk rock band may have been reincarnated in the Queers. At Le Poisson Rouge tonight, the Queers captured the Ramones’ sound and sense of humor, even opening the set with a cover of the Ramones’ “Rockaway Beach.” The short and fast songs followed each other in quick succession, and the fierce pace encouraged relentless moshing by the fans. King played a bit of lead guitar on some songs, but this was barely significant, as the music was pivoted almost entirely on the Queers’ trademark power chords and goofy lyrics. King’s lyrics were all about having fun, and that message was lived on stage and in the audience. For the 45 minutes that the Queers were on stage, punk rock ruled!