Review: Andrew W.K. Parties Hard at the Showbox

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It has been eleven years since Andrew W.K.’s I Get Wet album reached number one on the Billboard charts. A lot of time has passed since then, and many musical trends have come and gone. Today’s music landscape is flooded with quiet indie pop that can be, well, pretty depressing. How would I Get Wet play to today’s music fan?

We got a pretty clear answer to that Sunday night at the Showbox as Andrew W.K. played his hit album in its entirety for the first time in seven years. In front of a packed house he blazed through songs about having a good time and partying.

The Showbox crowd ate it up. I Get Wet is an apt title as several circle pits sprouted up and halfway through the first song both fan and performer were drenched in sweat. W.K. made sure he took care of his party faithful by spraying the crowd with water throughout the show.

Andrew W.K.’s stage was adorned by his giant bloody visage, stacks of Marshall amps and a piano. He was accompanied on stage by four guitar players, all tuned down in D, and all representing different eras in heavy metal fashion. You had your 80’s feathered hair look, the early 90’s short hair and black tank top look and the long hair, bearded look of the late 90’s early 2000’s.

These four guys pounded out riff after riff that got the crowd jumping and was a unique back drop to Andrew W.K.’s piano banging. Classically trained on the piano, Andrew W.K. was channeling Jerry Lee Lewis, minus the leg kicks, all night.

He was also backed by a female back up singer who was dressed in an 80’s workout leotard that would have made Jane Fonda proud. She matched Andrew W.K’s energy all night and helped get the crowd revved up.

Not that they needed much help. Before the set started the crowd began chanting “Party! Party”, getting ready for what they knew would be good fun. And that is what Andrew W.K., and I Get Wet, is all about. Having fun and partying. At several times during the night he encouraged the gathered to “have fun, make the best of it”.

As the band broke into the first song, “It’s Time to Party” the crowd erupted, the mood was set, and Andrew W.K. proved that there was still a passion for good time, loud, party metal.

This show was only their second of their tour, which continues in the United States into April before heading overseas. For only their second show the band was tight and the music was loud. After completing the I Get Wet set the band took a quick break before coming back out for more.

The second set, while filled with all the elements of the first, did seem to lose some momentum. Whether it was because Andrew W.K.’s post I Get Wet material is not as familiar or because humans just can only take so much high energy music, the show seemed to slow down a bit.

That’s not to say they didn’t have a good time with the newer material. People flooding out of the Showbox into the cool Sunday evening air were all smiles, yells and of course, very wet.

For more information on the Andrew W.K. world vision, including new album and tour dates, check out his web page here.

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