Live Review: Andrew W.K. and The Evaporators at The ShowboxPosted by Bebe Besch
Andrew W.K. (all photos by Bebe Besch)
#1 PARTY TIP? Treat yourself to an Andrew W.K. concert and you won’t wake up the next morning regretting it. On Sunday night, Andrew W.K. and team brought his explosive touring party to The Showbox at The Market. His tour is appropriately named the “I Get Wet” 10 Years of Partying Tour, of which Seattle was the first US date. At Seattle’s show, as promised, Andrew W.K. opened with “It’s Time to Party” and afterwards made his way through each song sequentially from his 2001 release I Get Wet.
Some other things were to be expected from Andrew W.K.’s performance, and he did not disappoint. Kindly, Andrew W.K. waited for us photographers to leave the photo pit before showering the crowd in the many bottles of water that were set aside on the stage (everyone should have expected to get at least partially wet at this show). Andrew W.K.’s signature white t-shirt and jeans combo with paired dance moves were in full display as he party-pumped his fists (renamed personally to avoid comparison to the unfortunate Jersey Shore first pumps) with stomping and uppercutting galore.
Singer Cherie Lily mirrored his stylishly characterized moves and swaying locks on stage, who happens to be a core member of Andrew W.K.’s team, while doubling as his wife. The two were spitting images of each other though they looked nothing alike in appearance; it was their vivacious personalities that thrived off of one another. The stamina one of them alone possessed was impressive enough, but to watch the couple together is something more of a phenomenon – though it was Andrew W.K.’s show, it seemed Cherie Lily and his other band mates on stage helped Andrew to be even more ”Andrewy,” because the best way to party hard successfully is with friends.
When it came down to it, all of us at The Showbox were friends too, or at least that is what Andrew W.K. had us believing. Unlike most concerts where a band might feel the exhaustion of touring from city to city, Andrew W.K. addressed Seattle and his fans multiple times throughout the show, even rewording the lyrics to his song “I love NYC” to “I love Seattle, Washington.” It didn’t matter that people from all different spectrums had crawled out of the woodworks to attend this show – regardless of if you saw your dreaded enemy from high school in the crowd, it mattered not, because everyone could agree that for this hour and a half, we were going to party the hell out of The Showbox at the Market. Andrew W.K. told us to “enjoy each other,” and we followed. In between I Get Wet and his newer songs, the crowd stood together and instead of chanting the typical “one more song” or maybe “W.K.” which would have been expected, everyone roared “WE WANT FUN,” to which Andrew W.K. obliged diligently.
The W.K. team came back out onto the stage to perform five more songs with a thrilling finale instrumental. Andrew W.K. reminded us, “this is not a concert, this is a party!” and instructed everyone in the crowd to make a running circle as he and his friends took to an epic head-banging conclusion. Say what you want about his “cheese” factor, Andrew W.K.’s enthusiasm is genuine, and there’s positive energy behind it. He’s branded himself as someone who can look past sorrows to instead focus on things worth celebrating in life, and in concert, the man and the music he has created becomes an even bigger utopia, shared by the unambiguous feelings of all of his partygoers.
Close to the end of Andrew W.K.’s performance, a kid in the crowd nearby yelled to his friend “I’m so glad I came to this show instead of studying for finals!” Party on kid, you’re living proof that Andrew W.K.’s passion for life will continue to persevere, hopefully for many decades to come.
It’s Time To Party
Girls Own Love
Ready To Die
Take It Off
I Love NYC
She Is Beautiful
Party Til You Puke
Got To Do It
I Get Wet
Don’t Stop Living In The Red
We Want Fun
Never Let Down
You Will Remember Tonight
The Moving Room
New Thrash Instrumental
“She Is Beautiful”:
When it comes to eccentric live bands, The Evaporators take each award. The band came out dressed in matching attire and fronted by Nardwuar the Human Serviette (formerly John Ruskin), who was joined by some members of The New Pornographers as his counterparts. Quickly, it was apparent that we were in for special entertainment as Nardwuar began to loosen up on stage. He would preface each song with descriptions, including the explanation of a song inspired by both Def Leopard and Shania Twain (at the same time) as well as the follow-up of their shocking song “Milkshake Murder” with another song about cheese, because milkshakes pair with cheese(burgers). “I Gotta Rash” was also outrageous with lyrics such as “Give me some ointment/I need an appointment,” where Nardwuar turned to different audience members with hopes they had a spare treatment to help him with his progressing problem.
Besides the bizarre lyricism and showmanship on stage, Nardwuar surprised the crowd by getting very friendly and involved offstage. At one moment, Nardwuar had folks in the crowd holding both himself and his keyboard air bound, suspended so that he was forward facing his keyboard and able to play while people supported his stomach and feet below him. Nearing the end of The Evaporators’ performance, Nardwuar joined the crowd again, and managed this time to get each audience member to crouch to their knees while the band’s synth beat played on loop. He kept everyone crouched there until he stripped and changed into a new outfit, and on his cue, the audience jumped in cohesion with the music’s looped end as it spiked into a bursting bridge. Less of a concert, and more of a theatrical performance with the addition of music, The Evaporators weren’t in the same category of a “party” that Andrew W.K. was about to produce following them, but they definitely had us enjoying ourselves in a different fashion than we would have expected while crossing the threshold into The Showbox’s venue.