Andrew W.K. Cabaret, Montreal QC - February 15, 2004
Published Jan 01, 2006Andrew W.K. is like a musical Jesus, delivering pop metal Christianity for kids. Instead of two testaments, there are two albums, with the sequel being a meeker, more personal volume that's somehow no less heavy than the bloody debut. Instead of godly white robes, there are the white T and jeans that are lightly soiled by a nomadic life devoted to his disciples and their holy cleansing ritual: the party. He's like Jesus plus technology (and power shakes), able to transmit his motivational "be here now" proclamations to millions and personally kick-start aerobic rock gatherings the world over. Those worshipping at the W.K. altar may have to pay for his albums, shows and merch, but hell, religion's not free, and if it's molestation you're after, get a load of that pit. And his show is undeniably awesome. So if Andrew is the son, then Big Daddy must be God. He's also the band's official mascot, tour manager and waterboy, as well as "one of the most intense and mind-bending people on the planet," according to www.bigdaddytildeath.com. Mortal or divine, his appearance signalled the start of the show, when the band starts to thunder, when the crowd starts to slam and surf and dive, and when W.K. emerges with that good guy smile and starts roaring, jumping and jutting his arms up and out like Elvis's karate on steroids. A classically-trained pianist, W.K. often steps back to his keyboard to bang out frilly, anthemic melodies that sit atop the three-guitar onslaught like chocolate sprinkles on a steak. It's the musical equivalent of pro wrestling, a sound that hits punks, metalheads, indie geeks and rock jocks with one stone. From the circle pit frenzy of "Ready To Die" and "I Get Wet" to power ballads like "Girls Own Love" to the caveman chant of "Make Sex" to ecstatic freak-outs "We Want Fun" and the inevitable finale, the defining classic "Party Hard," Andrew W.K. ruled, relieving all the dudes and chicks in the pit and beyond of all their energy and angst, showing love for Montreal and getting it back with interest.