Live In Vancouver (08/20/16)The Cobalt - Vancouver, BC
By Bobby Gorman
Andrew WK is the king of partying.
No one can deny that. Some may say its a gimmick, or a one trick pony – but there’s more than that under the service of the New York by way of Florida by way of Michigan party rocker. The 37 year old is a complex amalgamation of fascinating features. Motivational speaker, Village Voice columnist, TV personality, DJ, entrepreneur and an unrelenting ball of energy. Those are just some elements that combine to form the monster that is Andrew WK who brought his full band to the tight packed Cobalt Saturday night as part of The Vancouver Mural Festival.
And it was – obviously – a party.
WK oozes positivity and energy, very few people could turn a song like Ready To Die and transform it into a jubilant, hopeful anthem. But he does.
In the hour long set that left the crowd tired, sweaty and out of breath, Andrew WK and his band pulled out all the stops. Wearing his signature all-white outfit (that becomes increasingly dirty throughout the evening), the king of parting whipped the crowd into a fury. Pumping his fist, banging the keyboard, swinging his long, creasy hair in every direction. His backing band were equally as enthuastic, bringing their own flare to the performance never letting the front man steal the show completely. For his point, WK stays in the back when necessary, letting his two guitarist duel it off with epic guitar solos and interludes and the entire series is a well oiled machine. From his desire to turn I Love NYC into I Love Vancouver (which was hilariously voted down by the crowd which settled on a mixture of I Love Vancouver! Oh yeah! New York City!) to the tossing of free tshirts into the crowd, every moment was poised to foster most positive, joyful outcome.
Despite being fifteen years old this year, the main focus of the set constantly remains on his breakthrough I Get Wet album. In fact, he only played three songs from other albums: The Wolf‘s Tear It Up, Close Call With Brickwalls‘ You Will Remember Tonight and The Jackass Soundtrack‘s We Want Fun. The first two of which very few people knew but when he pulled out Party Hard, It’s Time To Party or Take It Off, the crowd went bezerk.
And for She Is Beautiful? Well I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many crowd surfers as I did in those three minutes.
They ended the evening with the titular I Get Wet, said farewell, gave high fives and walked off the stage. No cheesy encore, the lights turned on and that was it – and that’s the way it’s meant to be.
Andrew WK and his band partied hard for an hour straight. He created a sea of positivity and excitement and brought a smile to every single face in the crowd. There was nothing else left to give, no more sweat left to drip, no more heads left to bang. To force an encore would’ve been disingenuous, and Andrew WK is not disingenuous.
So it ended as quickly as it began but no one complained. It was an hour long party, the kind that only The King of Partying can deliver