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Tuesday, December 12

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Review Mon Mar 26 2012

Review: Andrew WK @ Riviera, 3/25

Ten years ago I saw Andrew WK at Laga in Pittsburgh. Half of the crowd (those there to see Lost Prophets, mostly) had no idea what to make of him. Strange looks like "Who is this guy to have fun with metal?" and "He must be a joke" came from all corners of the room. Of course, those of us who knew what we were in for had a grand old time. People screamed the lyrics. They jumped on stage. They moshed and pogoed. A kid who sat in front of me in an Internet law class ended up on Andrew WK's shoulders. It was all great fun with a party leader who created energy for everyone else to feed from. Even some of the early scoffers jumped on the bandwagon.

Now it's 10 years later. Andrew WK's headlining the Riviera and he doesn't have to win over anybody. He can be looser with a friendly audience. Feel like playing your first album front-to-back and interrupting it to show off your classical music training with some "Rhapsody in Blue"? No problem. Need four guitarists? Sure. Get the crowd to chant "Pizza"? Why not? Like anyone at this level of success, there's not much of a challenge anymore. He still preaches about having fun and making the most out of every second alive, but there's no one in the back corner having an epiphany and thinking, "This guy's right!" Devotees dressed in his signature white t-shirt and jeans were everywhere. A girl did her makeup to mirror I Get Wet's album cover. A kid with "Party Hard" written all over a cycling cap crowdsurfed at least a half-dozen times. Only Morrissey sees more people trying to join him on stage. With that hysteria surrounding him, the energy never stops.

Andrew WK, his wife and a backing band of six churned out chunky riffs that wouldn't be out of place in hair metal, fist-pumped until they physically couldn't, encouraged circle pits that'd level towns if they were made of water instead of people and sang/screamed with tremendous gusto. (Andrew WK's a little hoarse.) A complete performance of I Get Wet (with "I Love Illinois" substituted for "I Love NYC"), clearly the highlight to most everyone in the crowd, was followed by some scattered hits from later albums. An encore of "We Want Fun" produced absolute chaos on the floor. Was it the most musically proficient show? Not exactly. But is it hard to top as far as entertainment? For sure.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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