I must admit that other than the songs I had heard on the radio, I knew nothing about Andrew W.K.
All I knew was that the word "party" was in the title of many of the songs, and that he was getting heavy rotation on MTV due to the fact that he had music on the Jackass Movie soundtrack.
So, what was the big appeal? Everyone kept saying, "You gotta check this out!" I've been told that a million times and most of the shit sucked, so you can understand my skepticism as I walked into the Bridge Street Music Hall show with the attitude: "Impress me
" And that is what he did! As the lights dimmed the crowd began to chant, "We want Fun!" and they got it!
From the opening notes of "Time to Party" to the closing notes of "Party Hard" and the encore: "Red", the band and Andrew were balls out, pure energy. The only point of reference I can offer for how much energy this guy has is to compare him to Iggy Pop. He dances like a madman: kicking, punching, and thrashing around. He stage dives and welcomes the crowd onto his stage. And somehow, with all this action, singing, and hugging the fans that make it to the stage, Andrew still finds time to play some keyboard and guitar parts as well.
The intensity of the show never let up. It was slam, after slam, after slam and the crowd loved it. Sure, some of the songs sound vaguely the same, but you move anyway. You can't help yourself. To not get caught up in the moment and dance like a maniac, you would have to be clinically dead.
But it isn't just the music that makes the night: It's Andrew himself. The guy is so real.
After the show, he took a few minutes to clean up and catch his breath, and then spent the next three and a half hours signing autographs for the fans. (THREE AND A HALF HOURS!!!)
And, he doesn't just sign his name and move you along assembly line style; he actually talks with you. He asks you your name. He shakes your hand and then writes you about a paragraph worth of personal stuff based on your conversation with him. Then, he signs his name. He really lets you get to know Andrew. I think that this may be the biggest reason that his fans are so rabidly into him. In a time when most "Rock Stars" spend tons of money on giant, muscle-bound goons to keep fans away, he actually welcomes their company. He doesn't think he is any better than the people that come to see him. In his mind, he's just an average guy, that just happens to be in a kick-ass band. He understands that it is the fans that make him who he is.
Every kid dreams of meeting his favorite Rock Star (Hell, some guys devote entire websites to it
) but few ever get to meet their idols. But Andrew doesn't leave until every single person there gets a chance to meet him. Then after everyone got his or her autographs, he still took time to sit down and do the interview with me. We talked about the album, the Jackass Movie, the kids, and the "Party Hard" mantra. It came out very well. After the interview we hit Denny's for breakfast and coffee.