Only Andrew W.K. can take a stage void of everything except a single keyboard, place an overweight hairy bald man with a beard wearing a tank top up there, slap on an accompaniment track, and turn it all into – you guessed it – a party. And boy howdy, a party it was at Portland’s Hawthorne Theater on Tuesday, September 10th. In fact, Mr. W.K. wanted to make sure that we the crowd were reminded, several times, of the fact that we were attending not a concert, but a party.
Many songs were present throughout his set, namely “I Love NYC” and his ever-popular “Party Hard”, to which the crowd responded by literally overrunning the stage. W.K. stayed hidden in the back, playing his keyboard and was apparently fine with it as many times throughout “the party,” people would randomly run on stage and either sing into his microphone or just rock out with him for a second before diving into the crowd.
Nobody seemed to care that a full backing band was not present because the second the first song began, the mosh pit started up and it didn’t let up until the relatively-short set ended an hour later with, oddly enough, no encore. After his last song, “I Get Wet”, ended (off of the 2001 album of the same name) he simply said, “Life is worth living!” and walked off stage, not to return again. For a guy who expressed his thanks many times over to all of the folks who came out for the celebration, this seemed like kind of a bummer way to end the evening.
The long and short of it is that this man puts on an energetic concer… I mean party. It would have been way cooler to see him in the traditional sense with a backing band and all, but it was a relatively unique experience nonetheless. This was the first show of ‘The Party Messiah Tour’, so be sure to keep an eye out for him coming to a city new you. And make sure he does a dang encore!