There's something that's always fun about going to shows in Boston around Christmas and New Year's. Maybe it's just that almost all the college kids are out of town and the city is just dead. There's something that feels like you're in on some little secret. Or maybe it's just that parking isn't an issue, even in Harvard Square on a Saturday night.
Cassie Ramone's set really hyped up the "Christmas Time Spectacular" aspect of the night. Considering she's the one with a full Christmas album that shouldn't be any surprise, but the majority of her set her unique and stylized renditions of Christmas classics such as "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," "Run Run Rudolph," and "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree." She even made the universally horrible "Wonderful Christmastime" by the usually great Paul McCartney listenable, which is a feat alone. For most of her set she was joined by Colleen Green on bass and backing vocals. When I first heard about the show and how it was part of a "Christmas Time Spectacular" tour, I was worried that the majority would be Christmas music. Turns out I was right, but that made the night that much more fun. Sometimes you don't actually know what you want.
Colleen Green also played a handful of Christmas songs including "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)" by the Ramones and a song from the Christmas special The Year Without a Santa Claus. Playing with a prerecorded backing track (mostly drums with some keys and guitar) like a 21st century Sebadoh, she pulled out a few originals like the audience requested "Darkest Eyes" and "TV." It was a very charmingly loosely put together set and perfect for the occasion.
A few notes on the venue. Any time you see the name of the venue is "Democracy Center" and it's an all ages drugs and alcohol free show, you know it's going to be a young, young crowd. But holy shit was this a young crowd. I'm pretty sure I was old enough to be just about everyone's dad, and in one case, grandfather. It was incredibly DIY, with no stage and a small PA. The performance area was a few rooms into the building and off a kitchen, so you really felt like you were wandering into a house party that you weren't invited to, especially since this seemed like the place to hang for most of the crowd. It was a great show and night, but I felt about 100 years old by the end of the night.