A Glance Back: A big stir for a small crowd

Few artists in rock music today have created such a stir among those who normally would not listen to hard rock as Andrew W.K. has. In fact, he has caused a rift between many music fans and their friends. Many people are wondering, “Is he serious?” For some, he represents a return to the meaningless hair-band rock of the mid-1980s. Others do not allow themselves to break down the music as much. It is quite easy to be fooled by the long, black locks and thin lyrics. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Andrew W.K.

He was genuine when he cried out, “Isn’t it amazing to be alive?” to a small crowd of fans at the Smith Center during Fall Fest. In many interviews and shows, W.K. has made it clear that his music expresses his gratitude for the gift of life, so a tiny crowd certainly won’t bring him down. For the few hundred students who came to check out the free performance, W.K. put on a worthwhile show for just over an hour – the man spent more time in the middle of the crowd singing with every fiber of his party-hard being than on stage. Refusing to be disappointed by the light turnout, he yelled, “Everyone else has no idea what they are missing!” and doused the audience with the contents of his water bottles, hitting many lucky revelers close to the stage.

W.K. started the show with the power chord-driven “Violent Life” and then led into songs from his new album, The Wolf. The crowd was slam dancing from the minute he took to the stage until the last chord was played. And every chord was played for the crowd, and sometimes even by the crowd – W.K. shared the microphone with one lucky fan during most of his hit “She is Beautiful.” He commanded his audience to pump their fists to the beat of other favorites, including “Party ’til You Puke, “We Want Fun” and his new single, “Never Let Down.”

W.K. closed the show with the title track from his first album, I Get Wet, delighting the crowd with his signature dance moves, leg kicks and, of course, head banging.

It was difficult to not be captivated by the genuine enthusiasm and energy W.K. puts forth. Many critics disregard him as a complete joke, but many others hold his particular brand of entertainment in high regard. Even if they didn’t, Andrew W.K. would probably keep on loving life.

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