Andrew W.K. - Avalon Theater - 3/8/12
See also: Our slideshow of Andrew W.K. with Math The Band
Timothy Norris Andrew W.K.'s party platform
Andrew W.K. with Math The Band
Better than:...The sold-out 10-year anniversary show of Har Mar Superstar's Can You Feel Me?, which undoubtedly plays in Har Mar Superstar's mind every single day.
Andrew W.K. isn't the sort of artist who welcomes the projection of complexity or paradox upon him. But there's something I find incredibly hard to grasp about the mere existence of a 10-year anniversary tour for I Get Wet. How does it hold up in 2012 when I'm not sure it held up for even a half hour back when it came out in 2002?
This being an anniversary show, I can indulge in nostalgia. As fall semester turned to spring during my senior year of college, there was a grand total of three contemporary albums that my four best friends and I could agree upon as a proper soundtrack for pounding Keystone Light in our apartment before heading out to pound pitchers of MGD at a bar of marginally increased cleanliness: Is This It?, The Blueprint and a burned copy of an advanced CD of I Get Wet the radio station where I was working somehow got its hands on. Keep in mind that getting an advanced copy of a major label album was some pretty head-exploding shit for me back then and the first 20 minutes of I Get Wet are probably the best 20 minutes of any album ever because every single minute of it is dedicated to partying in the dumbest way imaginable. "It's Time To Party"! "Party Hard"! "Ready To Die"! But whether it's exhaustion, boredom or just the need to badly take a piss, you start to lose focus sometime around "I Love NYC." I'm not sure I've ever actually listened to "Don't Stop Livin' In The Red."
Commercially, it was one of the biggest flops of its time, but Andrew W.K. so seamlessly transitioned into cult stardom that it seemed like the plan all along, affording himself the spotlight in ways that more often are only tangentially related to music. He had an advice show on MTV, he was involved in Adult Swim, he hung out with Soulja Boy that one time. He made records, too. I Get Wet's follow-up The Wolf came out at a time when I was at my brokest, and internet piracy hadn't reached a point where any old album could be had, so I skipped it. I've been told that Close Calls With Brick Walls is amazing, and I've heard it compared to Frank Zappa, so one of those two things absolutely has to be false.
So, who goes to see a 10-year anniversary show of I Get Wet? In short, I'm really wondering if anybody was capable of pulling an opening shift at Los Angeles-area Guitar Centers this morning. Maybe it's a moot point since Andrew WK's stage setup looked like 75% of their displays were on loan, and thus no store will be fully stocked until noon anyway. It was actually a nice visual metaphor for I Get Wet itself.