Andrew W.K. The Sound Academy, Toronto ON February 5
Published Feb 09, 2009The night, on paper at least, was every self-respecting punky teenage boy's wet dream; mindless party music, dress up, videogames and Jason Mewes of Jay and Silent Bob fame wearing a stupid hat. The FU! Awards ceremony was a thin veil for what this evening really was: an excuse to be young and stupid.
Ergo, no one really paid any attention to what's happening on stage between the sets, which is good news for the Cancer Bats who managed to look foolish while accepting their award. They shouldn't take it personally though, as no one actually seemed to care about anything other than the headliner, and not just because everything else was fairly lacklustre; he has a reputation of hedonism that these kids respect.
Andrew W.K. finally took the stage amidst a plethora of his own look-alikes, and kept them there for the whole gig. With no band, a backing track and just a tiny keyboard, he shouldn't have been completely laughable, but his message is one that's hard to mock. No one comes to see Andrew W.K. for brilliant musicianship - they flock to his shows to party, and that's what he does best.
Apart from spending way too long chatting in his near-ironic drawl at the beginning of the set, setting up a mood that doesn't need to be set up, he gave the crowd exactly what they wanted, including a shirt that mocks the cover of his own debut album and the same stereotypical fist pump that we all know and love. He forced a circle pit that never stopped, promoted love and happiness, and tantalized his dedicated followers by leaving "Party Hard" up until to the very end.
All Andrew W.K. does, really, is create a space in which people can go completely primal and forget everything else. Deep down, that's what everyone wanted, and it's also why his set, despite the futility of the rest of the night, was a complete success.