Andrew W.K. – at The Roxy – Review

Andrew W.K.

with Flogging Molly, Andrew WK, Lost City Angels, and Allister @ the Roxy, Oct. 28
by Brad Reed

“Uh-oh,” I remark to my friend, seeing only a guitarist and a drummer on stage. “I smell a White Stripes rip-off coming on.”

“They’re not a White Stripes rip-off!” exclaims the girl in front of me, probably one of the band members’ girlfriends. “They’re a pop-punk band!”

Unfortunately, she was right. The bassist and rhythm guitarist of Allister came out on stage and fluttered into “Scratch,” off their newest album Last Stop Suburbia. The Green Day impersonation is dead-on, which is too bad because Green Day has been dead for the last few years. 1994, guys, eight years too late! I get a beer and listen to them play some more Green Day songs that they claim to’ve written. I down the beer quickly and head back to the stage. I hear frontman and band namesake Timmy Allister describe the next song, “None of My Friends Are Punk,” as being about “all the punks who sold out and went corporate.” Time for another beer. Seriously, these guys would sign a record contract using Satan’s dick dipped in an inkwell of their mothers’ own breast milk if they were asked to.

Hometown heroes Lost City Angels were up next. By this time, I was too drunk to pay much attention (four beers throughout Allister’s 20-minute set had gotten me pretty rocked), but their set sounded excellent when I wasn’t taking a piss or stumbling around aimlessly trying to find my friends. The band mixes pop sensibilities with the Boston “Fuck off, ya bast-uhd!” attitude, owing not a little of their sound to fellow Massholes, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Nothing, however, could prepare me for Andrew WK. Foolishly going right into the center of the mosh pit, I found myself suddenly flung about like the skinny white kid I am, elbows, knees, and feet all nearing my precious groinal area. After the first couple songs, I was exhausted and ready to get the fuck out. But then WK and his cohorts ripped into “Ready to Die,” and I got a second wind. I pushed, I shoved, I pounced as WK sang absurd lyrics like “You better get ready to die! You better get ready to kill!” If you’ve never heard WK’s debut album, I Get Wet, it’s a strange mixture of songs about partying and/or killing people. The most glaring example: “We dent, we rob, we choke, we gun / We kill, we stab, we rob, we steal / PARTY ‘TIL YOU PUUUUUUUKE!!” Or, off the album’s title track: “I get wet without even trying / I get wet when I know that you’re dyin’.”

Lyrical non-sequitors and wrath of indie snobs (who want every band to have the integrity of Modest Mouse) aside, WK is cool as fuck because his creed is “DO WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT! AAAAAAAAAAAH!!” and I think he’s crazy enough to actually mean it. OK, so the music is cheesy and the riffs are cartoonish, but the sound is so goddamn infectious, you can’t help but love it.

A microcosm of the WK Philosophy happened when I started wailing on this one guy in the mosh pit who pissed me off by blocking my camera. When I turned him around, I discovered it was my friend Derek whom I’d lost earlier. WK would have approved: The best way to show friendship is by BEATING THE CRAP OUT OF EACH OTHER! AAAAAH!!!!

Next thing I know, some bastard rips off my jacket and flings it into the audience. I would have been angry, but people are rushing the stage as WK starts to sing his final song, “Party Hard.” I somehow find my way up there and fall into some shit and have no idea what the hell is going on. All I know is that I’m partying. Hard.

Almost too partied out to continue, I sit down and have a cigarette. I don’t feel like I can sit through Flogging Molly, but I decide to stick around anyway. I’m very glad I did because the Mollies’ set was by far the highlight of the night. Just a smidgen less energetic than WK, but infinitely more musically talented, the band opened their set with the title track of their new album, Drunken Lullabies. Mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and drums blend perfectly in a Pogues-inspired romp that would make ol’ Shane MacGowan proud.

The beautiful and talented Bridget Regan captured my heart by playing both fiddle and tin whistle with equal skill, and the rest of the band simply rocked, never letting up on the lightning pace that the songs demanded. Not wanting to rejoin the mosh pit (and feeling it would be inappropriate with such kick-ass Celtic music playing) I stand off to the side and attempt (very poorly) to jig by myself. The band gets more and more impressive as the set goes on, attacking “Black Friday Rule,” “The Worst Day Since Yesterday,” and “What’s Left of the Flag” with relentless energy.

Before playing “What’s Left of the Flag,” which has been getting airplay on WBCN recently, lead singer Dave King thanks BCN’s Oedipus for “having the balls to play a song about my father.” Yeah, that’s pretty cool. Very, very good show, an’ a round o’ Guinness to all concerned.