The universe is full of pure energy sources, but there are only a handful that we as humans can ultimately rely on—light energy from the sun, love itself, and, without question, the power of partying. As the very conduit of the partying energy of the universe, Andrew W.K. returns to the recorded music world with You’re Not Alone. A more anthemic take on his usual upbeat attitude, You’re Not Alone focuses on grandiose production and thematic dynamism instead of high-energy, fast-paced music found on 2001’s iconic I Get Wet. Andrew W.K.’s “Party Hard” days aren’t so much forgotten as they are evolved, with more recent songs attending a slower roll, but keen to harbor massive sing-along sections and a spiritual crowd inclusiveness.
As to be expected, Andrew W.K.’s emotional energy translates so well to a live show. Gone are the days of his small club performances, iPod nearby and alone on the stage, instead offering increasingly larger venues the energies of a full live band of three guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and a keyboardist.
Friday nights show at the Varsity Theater kicked the weekend into full gear, as Andrew W.K. delivered an excellent performance to a near capacity crowd. The light show, the vibe, the crowd interaction, the loving monologues from the man himself, and the intense interplay of band and audience, each feeding off one another’s stamina to imbue the other with partying strength.
Opening the show was Minneapolis’ own Al Church, a great indie rock band made up of young dudes who got the crowd up an moving. There music seemed to evoke the vibes of The Veils, plus their stage energy is on-point, setting a lighthearted mood prior to the party god himself taking the stage.
After a short break, it was time for Andrew W.K. to take the stage. As the lights dimmed, the volume quickly increased along with the energy from the crowd. Andrew W.K. hit the stage with in incredible roaring response. The man alone exudes the very energy he siphons from the universe itself, channeling and firing it like a deadly party laser aimed directly at your heart. The seemingly endless stamina Andrew W.K. conjures is quite like unto a force of nature, sweat dripping from his face as he lovingly rages his words into the microphone, his stances firm, yet ready to undulate his entire being at a moment’s notice.
I suppose this article is less of a review of the show and more a show of adulation for Andrew W.K. and the things he does for music and mankind. The one key things to understand about Andrew W.K.’s live show, is the overwhelming sense of showmanship and pure fun he and the entire band have on stage. It’s something that must be experienced. The lights, the sounds, the energy, and cool vibes from the performance directly channeled from on-stage out to the crowd.
Andrew W.K. has always embodied the spirit of partying, but the evolution of who he was and who he is now is something that’s difficult to describe. The way he carries himself on and off the stage is less of a youthful energy and more geared towards being an aged entity full of wisdom, full of knowledge, and, most of all, full of patience and love for all he encounters.