Andrew WK @ The Corner
I don’t even know what to say about this show. Everything about it goes against the grain of seeing live music in Melbourne. In this town, where audiences and bands frequently compete to see who can be the most disinterested in what is happening in the room, seeing the things that Andrew WK managed to do to the crowd was amazing. Without his band, and armed with little more than a piano and backing tracks, the ironic party monster took the crowd at the Corner and showed them with all the grace and delicacy on Jodie Foster hoisted onto a pinball machine.
Two songs into the show WK had invited the audience to join him onstage which they did. They didn’t leave. Most of the show was conducted to a wall of sweaty, seething fans and they writhed about in a froth of joy and somewhere in the background WK banged on his piano and belted out hits from I Get Wet. You got the feeling that everyone who came to the show was a true believer in a proper party – they took very little encouragement to reach a state of utter mayhem. At a certain point, WK seemed to become redundant, as the punters hurled themselves about the stage with the righteous fervour of a Hillsong congregation- albeit one that believed less in a capitalist God and more in ironic sleeze-glamrock and taking buckets and buckets of drugs. Once or twice WK stopped singing all together, dropping back into an instrumental vamp while security dragged off over-stimulated fans.
Of course WK made his presence felt. There was plenty of call and response, sing-a-longs and asides to the crowd as he walked us through his hits. Several times he pointed out that we weren’t watching a show, we were at a party and it became more and more evident as the night went on. As we stumbled out after the closer, it felt less like I’d been at a show and more like I’d witnessed some strange, wonderful, slightly disturbing cultural event in a country where they do things very differently.
BY LIAM PIEPER
Photo credit: Ben Gunzburg
LOVED: The crowd, raucous, sweaty; wonderful.
HATED: Not being able to shake the feeling that the crowd had given me intravenous HIV.
DRANK: Shit, man, what didn’t I drink?