Wired Noise
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Wired Noise

Andrew W.K., O2 Ritz Manchester, 20/4/18

“It’s a Friday night 4/20 pizza guitar party in Manchester!” — Andrew W.K.

American rock musician and party god Andrew W.K. has propelled himself back into the spotlight in the last couple of months. Releasing his long-awaited comeback album ‘You’re Not Alone’ on March 3rd of this year to a more than welcome reception, Andrew W.K. has set out on his first U.K. tour since his short string of ‘very special’ solo shows back in 2014 , this time bringing his full band along for the ride.

For his stop in Manchester, Andrew W.K. brought the party to the O2 Ritz and his +1 was Brighton up-and-comers Yonaka. Yonaka took the stage at the Ritz and proceeded to open the night with a raucous display of hard rock guitars, hip hop-inspired drum beats and rap rock-flavoured vocals which got the growing crowd moving.

A long 30 minute intermission later, the lights fell and Andrew W.K.’s ‘The Power of Partying’ begins to play, and despite the ‘song’ literally being the word ‘party’ repeated maybe 40 times accompanied by a marching snare drum, the crowd was worked into a frenzy. Opening with magnificent ‘Music Is Worth Living For’ Andrew and his band showed the near sold-out crowd that they were on top of their game. The best thing about seeing Andrew W.K. live is that the show isn’t merely just a live music exhibition, but a multi-platform motivational speech. For every few songs, Andrew W.K. would begin powerful rants about not letting negativity ruin the party. The setlist itself was a journey through the ups and downs of Andrew W.K.’s discography, with songs from his seminal debut album ‘I Get Wet’, his latest release ‘You’re Not Alone’ and ‘The Wolf’ and ‘Close Calls With Brick Walls’ making appearances. What was really special about this night wasn’t just the performance itself, but the audience. For the entire hour and a half, the audience were constantly active; there was headbanging, there was crowd surfing and there were probably about 100 Andrew W.K. impersonaters losing their shit all night. The audience is a testament to just how much impact Andrew W.K., who is often brushed off (incorrectly) as something of a novelty act, has had on the lives of 1000+ party goers who showed up that night. Towards the end of the night, Andrew W.K. insisted we “party hard for those who aren’t with us”, which sounded as if it could’ve been a warm sentiment to Swedish music producer Avicii, who passed away earlier that day; which was an incredibly nice gesture.

Regardless of your opinion on his party philosophy, it’s hard to deny that Andrew W.K.’s live shows are consistently brilliant. It’s very obvious to see that the King of Partying puts every ounce of effort and energy he has into putting on the very best shows possible. If he’s passing through your city, it’s highly recommended that you go and see him.

Personal sidenote: this is the best live show I have ever seen in my life and I couldn’t recommend seeing Andrew W.K. live more.

Check out the incredible video for ‘Music Is Worth Living For’ below:

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Music publication based in Manchester

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R.A. Hagan

R.A. Hagan

Music writer, ‘comedian’ and seasoned gastronaut. I use my initials because my actual name’s boring.

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