Andrew W.K.’s First Proper Miami Peformance Brought Crazy Party Vibes | Miami NewTimes | By Kat Bein
It’s crazy to think Andrew W.K. and his merry band of brothers have been getting wet and a party going for 15 years. It seems like just yesterday we were all up in the F.Y.E., lured to the censored packaging of his bloody CD cover.
It’s even harder to believe that, in all that time, Andrew W.K. never had a proper headlining Miami gig, but such was the case until Saturday night’s mother-lovin’ get-down at Grand Central. The dirty-white-T-shirt enthusiast looked just as large and happy-go-lucky as ever. And the wait was worth it. We can now say with total assurance that when it’s time to party, dude will party hard.
A couple of local bands got the party started, and if Bleeth was anything as rad as Wastelands, we’re officially sorry we missed them. Miami is really crankin’ out some rock ‘n’ fuckin’ roll these days. The three-piece Wastelands tore the place up proper with a bunch of instrumentals that incited the bashful beginnings of a pit.
Their music was raw and exciting, and the band had great stage presence. The guitarist even let kids in the front row jam on his ax. One was even pretty good.
After just enough time to suck in a cigarette and reup at the bar, a host of rockin’ dudes took to the stage. Three guitarists, two bassists, and one drummer arrived with still no sight of W.K. From the long-haired Weird Al look-alike to the shaved-head muscle man, everyone in this band looks like a different ideal specimen of the rack band dude. They led the crowd in a chant: “It’s time to party!”
The band ripped into the dark, brooding, and energetic “Violent Life” instrumental as Andrew himself came running onstage, banging on the keys and getting what the kids now call “turnt.” He’d soon hit the mic and let us know, officially, it was time to party, and we were gonna do it tonight.
The pit, bashful no more, was swirling to life, getting bigger and crazier with each song. Girls were jammin’ on shoulders and dude waved his sneakers around in the air as would-be crowd surfers took a dive. W.K. is 100 percent a showman. His key melodies are on point. He’s kind of the Jerry Lee Lewis of our day but without all that awkward incest shit. From time to time, he’d come out and conduct the crowd in a massive sing-along.
Taking a break from the regularly partycentric program, he grabbed his own guitar and asked us to get “Ready to Die.” He ripped out a massive solo, working his way into the most metal rendition of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” — and it’s not even Christmas! This dude is crazy. Then he dedicated “She Is Beautiful” to all the ladies in the house. We swooned.
It should be noted that a line of six badass rock bros standing onstage is quite the sight. W.K. is the kind of icon who lasts a decade and a half, because while there’s the general notion that it’s all kind of satirical, it’s done really, really well. They really are rockin’ the fuck out up there. The pit really is knockin’ each other around, but none of that like one-dude-with-his-shirt-off-kicking-people-in-the-head nonsense.