Live Review: Andrew W.K. – Classic Grand, Glasgow 30/07/14

f07146bd2a82afda5c90c7b3cd8753c1I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this won’t be the most impartial review ever written. I love Andrew W.K’s music. The same love a person shares for oxygen or a YouTube video of a penguin failing to jump onto a bit of ice. I will endeavour however to give a fair and balanced account of the time Andrew W.K. hosted a party in Glasgow.

If I’m being honest, I was apprehensive about tonight. A man, a keyboard and another guy (Blakey Boy I believe) on backing vocals isn’t usually the recipe for a good gig. However, as Andrew points out early in the set, this isn’t a gig, but a party (surprise!). The thought of Andrew W.K. hiring out a venue to host a party where he just plays his own tunes pleases me though, so I’m more than happy with this state of affairs.

The night opens with a monologue over the PA leading the assembled crowd in chants of “It’s Time To Party” while we all tried to figure out if we should be saying Party in a Scottish or American accent. This cumulated with them launching into the first party anthem (most of his songs can be described as such) of the night, It’s Time to Party. All of my fears were immediately dashed aside as the crowd went mental and the pints went flying.

The floor promptly turned into an ice rink after drink after drink rained down on the floor meaning the pit turned into some form of drunken figure skating event. Speaking of pits, you’ve never seen so many people pummelling each other, but at the same time, grinning like a kid on Christmas Day. By the end of the show, my cheek muscles had a dull throb in them from the constant smile plastered on my face.

It was a strange sight to see such an empty stage at a high energy show. The lack of guitars, drums or amps seemed slightly unnatural, but Andrew and Blakey Boy strived to fill the whole stage anyway. Whenever Andrew wasn’t playing his keyboard he was running about the stage dancing up a storm while Blakey Boy strode around handing out T-shirts to the crowd.

The enthusiasm for decade old party songs stayed at a high throughout. During the build up for Long Live The Party (or Dance Party, it seemed to be a mix of the two), the audience around me were sort of hopping in anticipation, when the song kicked in all hell let loose and the floor became that bit more slippery. Slide Pits should be a thing.

Similar stories go with Ready To Die where everyone from the bar staff to the crowd were moving through to We Want Fun, I Love NYC (or in this case, I Love Glasgow, Scotland) and the obvious Party Hard.

Sadly I missed my chance to invade the stage at this point with the rest of the crowd as a bouncer decided enough was enough, but I enjoyed the sheer level of insanity produced by crowd during that time.

After a countdown from somewhere in the 90s until zero, the night ended on my favourite AWK song, I Get Wet. With that, the somewhat short, but excellent show ended. The night however was not over as downstairs the after party was just kicking off. I entered on Andrew’s cover of the Mickey Mouse theme and decided that it really has to be added to his live sets.

Despite being a glorified karaoke, this is one of the best concerts I’ve been at. The sheer amount of positivity was mind blowing, as a guy who generally goes to concerts were the musicians sing about death, slaughter (or unicorns..) it was a nice change.

Seeing a person this full of joy, energy and just desire for life to be awesome is electrifying. If you’re ever presented the chance to see the man, just take it. Unless you hate fun, then it probably wouldn’t be for you.

Party!

(Bonus Bit: I didn’t manage to get an interview organised in time, so here’s an old Andrew W.K. interview I conducted a few years ago.)

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