Tuesday, March 27, 2012

andrew wk show review

Andrew WK
St Andrew's Hall
Detroit, MI
March 24, 2012

Andrew WK sparked up his I Get Wet ten year anniversary tour this spring, and while I missed out on the pre-order, I didn't miss out when the tickets hit the general public. At $20 a pop, Heckyeahwoman snagged those bad boys as furiously as possible. That's the good news.

The bad news was that I had to wait about two months for the actual show.

So was it worth it? The wait? The $20 tickets?


The venue, St Andrew's Hall, was formerly a church, and you can kind of tell - like if a church had the pews gutted, a couple bars installed, a downstairs basement venue (set of the concert scenes from the movie 8 Mile), and that familiar stink of piss, booze, and sweat.

First opener, Aleister X came out with a British accent and black guitar, all veiled in a boxing robe, hood up. Faint background music and beats would come and go as he would perform what could vaguely be construed as songs. In what was possibly the worst live performance I've ever seen, Aleister X literally rapped, howled, and sang, while reefing on his guitar with simple power chords and simple palm muted power chords. One of his last songs, something about night time, or dark side, or something, was really the only thing he played that wasn't horrible.

Maybe he had really poor sound - his guitar, vocals, and background music just didn't mix well at all. Maybe he is horrible, but by the time the ante-penultimate song rolled around, you could barely hear him over the booing.

Car-crash cliche, had to look, couldn't turn away, so we watched the whole set.

Next up was Math the Band. Sadly, we missed about half the set, as we were downstairs in the less crowded basement venue enjoying some drinks. Our descent up the stairs to see them treated us to the SUPER PUMPED sounds of what I would describe as pop-punk-synth-bouncy-PUMP-rock.

Pop-punky, furiously strummed electric guitar with really fast, super-bouncy synth notes, energetic vocals, and what looked like one floor tom all played by a male-female duo. Dude on the guitar and most vocals, shawtie on the synth, drum, and some vocals.

Very energetic, a great opener for Mr. WK.

About half an hour later, the stage darkened and BOOM, a wall of musicians appeared, with Andrew WK right in the middle! The crowd went apeshit as the band went right into It's Time to Party; I threw my concert tee around Heckyeahwoman's neck and ran up front.

The show consisted of the band playing I Get Wet in it's entirety, in order, front to back. And it was spot on - the track listing is definitely ordered for maximum partying. The only reprieves were a little bit of banter to introduce a few of the songs. Most notable was him changing the words from I Love New York City to I Love Motor City.

While his music isn't known for virtuosic musicianship, it was great to see him play his keyboard, and carry a few notes during a few of the slower songs and brief interludes. But when he whipped out his pizza-slice-shaped guitar to play a pretty bad guitar solo transitioning into She is Beautiful, it was kinda awkward. But then he tore into the catchy little intro and everything was right in the world again.

About 6 or 7 song later, just like that, it was time for the encore. Clearly I Get Wet sapped the crowd of most of their energy; the couple songs he played from his second album, The Wolf, while kinda familiar, and good in their own right, don't compare with PARTY vibe of I Get Wet. He closed out the set with a new tune, and a jam maybe from Close Calls With Brick Walls.

There are very few headliners that could make up for the shittiness of experiencing Aleister X; Andrew WK is one of them. 10/10 performance, would definitely go again.

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