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Show Review: ANDREW W.K. at Saint Andrews Hall
Saint Andrews Hall was packed to the brink for the homecoming of Andrew W.K. It's been 10 years since his debut full length album "I Get Wet" was released and his stop this past Saturday in Detroit saw the Michigan native perform the classic album in it's entirety for this 2012 anniversary tour.
I was quite anxious to see who would turn out to see Andrew in 2012. I was around for the original "I Get Wet" tour and saw Andrew start out at the Shelter and then slowly build momentum and a highly energetic and devoted fan base that took him from St. Andrews Hall, to Clutch Cargos, and then eventually to the Ozzfest stage. The second half of this past decade Andrew has faced legal disputes,album release issues, and even the departure of him performing with a live band. These are just a few factors that have taken him out of the live concert touring spotlight.
But it was apparent as I walked through the doors on Saturday night that nothing has changed in regards to his rapid fan base. His fans have not forgotten and now most of the people in the crowd were old enough to drink, which wasn't the case in 2002, so the level of party mode was extremely high. People lined up at the merch booth, and as they did back the day, were donning their own homemade "party" shirts.
Only two of his Andrew's original "I Get Wet" band members are taking part in this tour, but that hasn't stopped the current members from dressing and styling themselves after the original members to give it that reunion feel. In addition to the new players they also have Andrews wife Cherie Lily joining them on stage. She supplied backup vocals and a mass amount of energy on stage.
The entire "I Get Wet" album was performed in chronological order. The crowd erupted with the first track "It's Time To Party" and I was knocked off my filming perch for the first time that night instantly. I believe the final tally of me getting knocked off my perch totaled about a dozen times during the show. The floor was just that packed with movement. The crowd never lost it's intensity for the songs and were often seen jumping on stage to sing with Andrew which was accepted and well received by him. The stage diving was quite impressive as well considering St. Andrews Hall had the barricade much farther from the stage then I have every remember seeing in the past.
One fan was spotted with a pretty bad cut above his eye which was dripping with blood. I caught wind of it when his friends got my attention so it could be documented with my camera as the fan was smiling and was proud to continue rockin' out despite the wound.
Andrew would improvise songs on his keyboard between the "I Get Wet" songs that would amount to keyboard solos. Andrew had many kind words to say about his home state of Michigan throughout the set and even changed the lyrics to his "I Love NYC" song to "I Love The Motor City".
After the entire "I Get Wet" album was performed, the show continued with tracks off later albums including "The Wolf" and "Close Calls With Brick Walls" as well as a new song entitled "headbang".
You don't get many shows with as much energy as a Andrew W.K. come around much anymore so don't skip out if he comes back around which I sure hope he does.
I felt nostalgic entering the show that night and walked out feeling good that 10 years can still feel like yesterday. Thank you Andrew W.K. ! LONG LIVE THE PARTY !
Video:Casey Schwochow (Ambervillain Films)