When Andrew WK announced this secret Hevy warm-up show it was obviously going to be a crazy one. A small students union venue should never play host to such mayhem. Just to confirm things though, 20 minutes before doors the queue was snaking around the corner; half the queue in classic Andrew WK t-shirts, the words Party Hard everywhere your eyes looked. When I got into the venue I was excited (and slightly fearful for my ears) to see they hadn’t skimped on the guitar amps for such a small gig, three full stacks and a bass amp filling the back of the stage.
When the band took to the stage the audience went crazy, crowd surfers coming over before the first song had even reached it’s climax. Andrew was accomponied by a female vocalist, drummer, bassist and four guitarists. Four. Insane. Playing through classic album I Get Wet, the band wasted no time getting the party going with It’s Time To Party.
Moving on to classic single Party Hard, the audience stepped it up a notch, going absolutely insane from the first vocal line. It was almost like an oath, a declaration that everyone in the venue was there, ready to party hard. Amazingly, considering the number of guitars on stage the sound was fairly clear, as heavy as you’d hope for without the messiness you’d expect from having so many layers going on at once.
Ready To Die gave an opportunity for a long piano intro, something which was recurring throughout the set, with Andrew WK showing that he’s not just a vocalist and motivator, he can absolutely shred on the keyboard too. I Love Salt Lake City allowed the band to share a bit of banter with audience, claiming to have forgotten where they were (“who here’s been to salt lake city!?!” followed by 3 hands being raised quietly was an amusing highlight).
I Get Wet went down as well as Party Hard did earlier, the audience screaming along, while the band rocked out on stage. No shortage of rockstar poses from the band members either, with feet firmly on monitors, and guitars held vertically for large portions. Hand signals, and facial expressions showing that the band were having as much fun as the audience. Ending the main set with Don’t Stop Living In The Red, it was obvious that the crowd weren’t going to go home that easily, with yells of “we want fun!” screamed in chorus. The band thankfully accepted this, returning to Andrew playing the piano before sneaking onto the stage to join him with a couple of songs from his second album.
To finish the set, Andrew asked the audience what they wanted to hear, before launching into an epic rendition of Mary Had A Little Lamb. This was thankfully rectified with We Want Fun, which to be honest, I lost track of, caught up in the stage invasion, which started with one person and quickly escalated into a full blown invasion, causing the guitar tech to give up, and then the security guards to follow suite. Thankfully, being the king of partying, Andrew was more than happy to involve the crowd on the stage, passing them the mic and getting them to sing along.
Chaos. Absolute chaos.
Would attend again.