17 May 2012
The Bakery, Perth
By Shane Pinnegar | Photography by Maree King
Anyone expecting a repeat of ANDREW WK’s triumphant Big Day Out set in 2011, where his anthemic party rock tunes rocked a huge crowd in the sun were in for a bit of a shock when his solo tour hit our shores this year.
In fact – this tour was pretty much the polar opposite of his BDO appearances – starting from the support acts through to the headliner.
Openers Frozen Ocean barraged the sparse crowd with a guitar and drum onslaught better suited to a teenager’s garage jam, before Aleister X appeared on stage, made up like a teenage King Diamond and wearing a boxer’s gown with hoodie, breakbeating (or whatever it’s called) exuberantly.
More power to Andrew WK for wanting a diverse lineup, but most of the admittedly slim crowd sought respite in the quieter outdoors area, leaving Mr X to perform in a circle of a couple of dozen of his more ardent fans.
The One Man Party Tour is Andrew WK’s first solo tour of Australia, so instead of a six piece party rock band, he is sporting a heavily synthesised backing track and a keyboard, bolstered only by his boundless energy and enthusiasm, and vocals.
Well, half his vocals – it’s not long before he pulls the aforementioned Aleister X onstage to handle the lion’s share of the vocals from that point onwards.
Different it sure is, and whilst the charm in It’s Time To Party, Take It Off and Bangers & Beans are enduring, it’s just not the same without the band playing live, the chick doing backing vocals, and a guitar riffing hard.
Let’s be fair to the man though – the sound tonight is muddy as hell and lyrics are hard to distinguish throughout. It does WK no favours and it’s only the 5 or so dozen front and centre that are loving proceedings.
Our host’s energy never flags for a moment though – as befitting a motivational speaker, he bounds about the stage, bashes frenetically at his piano, chants and sings and engages and does everything except jump through a burning hoop to get the crowd involved and into his tunes – it’s just the format isn’t ideal for the songs.
They run through frantic versions of Ready To Die, We Want Fun, I Love Music and introduce I Love NYC with “We feel like we’re in New York City right now”. Wishful thinking, methinks!
Party Hard and an invitation to the crowd to storm the stage excite those at the front, but overall the opportunity was missed and we weren’t alone in leaving disappointed at the unfulfilled promise of the night.
Review posted 23 May 2012