WHAT: Andrew WK
WHERE: Dem Passwords
WHEN: April 7, 2011
Andrew WK performed a set of piano rags and crunk karaoke that would have won him quite a few new fans had he been playing a fraternity party or a fraternity fundraiser or maybe a fraternity reunion. Unfortunately for many attendees, what might have been a blissful reunion became a dystopian mix tape of half-forgotten Mario Brothers music cues and barely remembered tales of PARTYING. Given the jubilant subject matter of most of his songs, the irony of a dwindling crowd grinding their teeth as they tried to grin and bear the never-ending set of half-formed thoughts was perhaps the most interesting effect of the evening.
Of course, there's a brilliance behind all that Mr. WK does. He's a natural entertainer. His fans adore him. He's a virtuosic player of the drunken keyboard and a mighty exciting agitator of crowds. While the art world turns itself inside out in attempts to catalyze audience participation, Andrew has fans literally feeding him while he performs. Fritos. Reese's. Four Loko. Considering the menu, it's amazing he didn't have to barf or take a nap at some point during a performance that could perfectly score tonight's government shut down.
To be fair, he did shout several times that everyone was free to leave. I might have enjoyed that more had I not been waiting for hours to conduct our previously scheduled Q&A for this review only to watch him run to a car surrounded by handlers who apologized and explained that he was "in a daze" and unavailable to answer any questions. I guess that's why they took Four Loko off the market.
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"One thing I've learned as a performer," Andrew WK told his fans after they had cheered and sweated on each other for an hour waiting for him to grace the stage, "is that you have to show vulnerability ... and we're just gonna move on!"
"You guys live in Los Angeles so you must read the scripts, right? I'm not talking about prescriptions! I'm talking about the scripts!" - Andrew WK
DJ Kyle Mabson: "I got yelled at a lot but I expect that to happen when there are a lot of chumps in the audience. They've never been to a place like this!"