Coming in to Trees from flooded roads spanning the whole Metroplex, a packed house of fans made their way for a Friday night of partying with Andrew W.K. With recent twitter updates, there was some talk among our group of friends that W.K. might opt in for some Gundam Rock, but we weren’t expecting it. Starting off was Son of Stan who warmed the crowd up well enough for Andrew W.K. coming up next.
As Andrew W.K. was getting ready to take the stage, the lights went low as a fanfare started to play from the stage. The curtains haven’t been pulled back yet, but “The Power of Partying” from the new album was playing quite loudly as the crowd pumped their fists in rhythm changing “Party! Party! Party!”. This led to three guitarists, a drummer, and a bass taking the stage and laying out a meaty intro for Andrew to take the stage and start with “Music is Worth Living For.” It’s good to note at this point that Andrew enters the stage with a clean white shirt.
Andrew W.K. bounced off the walls with energy while barraging us with his signature wall of sound, not wavering in the slightest while pounding out some fantastic piano melodies with his vocal work. One difference in the live rendition of Andrew W.K. that was greatly apparent was that he was a very big fan of sliding notes on the piano. While they’re apparent in his music in general, he was really hamming it in here. After a few of the new songs which warmed up the pit, Andrew W.K. went straight in to “Take It Off” from I Get Wet, starting a string of his older songs.
The energy in the crowd spiked sharply the moment that the piano from “Ready To Die” began, and Andrew W.K’s barrage of riffs lured me straight into the pit. Sprinkled in with most of the big songs from I Get Wet were some lesser known choices by Andrew W.K., opting to push out a few songs from The Wolf, and Close Calls With Brick Walls (the album he never referred to by name on stage, he always called it his “third studio album”). With three guitars pumping out a wall of sound, it seems like it would be tricky to have the drums retain their power on stage. I’m not sure how they did it, but mic placement for the drums for Andrew W.K. was absolutely wonderful, and may have led to some of the meatiest drums I’ve heard in a live setting. Andrew W.K. pointing to his now beige, sweat covered shirt dedicated his next song to sweating, cue “I Get Wet.” Despite exerting quite a bit of energy, Andrew W.K. didn’t waver from start to finish.
After ending with “You’re Not Alone,” and showcasing solos for every performer on stage, Andrew W.K. took off, but the crowd wasn’t done with them yet. I knew that there would be an encore considering that he hadn’t even played “Party Hard,” but I was very interested to see how such an encore would start. Each member took the stage one by one and pumped out a whirlwind of cacophonous noises (all pristine and clean, there was very little distortion) until Andrew W.K. jumped out on stage again, instantly starting “It’s Time To Party.” Afterwards, Andrew W.K. delivered his thanks to the crowd. “Thank you for partying with me on a Friday night! You could have gone to that party, or that party over there, or even that party, but no. You came to THIS party!” Turns out that flooded roads couldn’t stop the party, it just warmed people up to get wet. Andrew W.K. proceeded to let us know (after another deep cut from Close Calls with Brick Walls) that everything up to this point was just a warmup, and that there would be a countdown to the real party. At this point the crowd must have known it was a count down to “Party Hard,” but those uninitiated to the countdown that Andrew W.K. runs were in for quite a fun time. “Ninety-Nine! Ninety-Eight! Ninety-Seven! Ninety-Six!…” Andrew chants out, a fan of big countdowns. As the crowd chanted all the way down to One, the crowd was ready for their final party of the set.
While I had the chance to see Andrew W.K.’s motivational speaking in the past, his live music proved for an extremely fun time. Andrew W.K. is the best at what he does, and it transfers quite well to a live environment. Even if you find yourself indifferent to Andrew W.K.