Andrew W.K. / High On Fire / Vaux - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

Andrew W.K. / High On Fire / Vaux

live in Chicago (2003)

live show

This was it. After nearly a year of hearing good things about Andrew W.K., and listening to everyone glorify him as the "audio messiah", I was going to see him. I had saw him on Warped and wasn't impressed, but something told me that was due to the fact that he was on late and kids were all tired from insane performances by their other favorite bands. I disregarded that experience.

A wise part of me said: "Don't take too much stock in what people say, if you get your hopes too high, they're bound to fall back down to the ground."

With those two conflicting thoughts in my head, I walked into the Metro, a couple minutes late, (Hey, my family was having dinner) true, but I walked in.

Once I entered, I heard something powerful, loud and nearly incomprehensible coming from the stage, so I charged up there, to find Vaux.

I saw the 6 guys up on stage, each holding down their instruments, guitars, bass, drums, vocals, organ. Organ? Yes, an organ. Onstage, they gave their all, screaming, moving jumping around what little room the Metro stage afforded them. They mixed the orgran well into the music, complimenting the frenzied hardcore assault.

How did the crowd react? Occasionally. Yes, a good 60% of the fans were college frat type meatheads. Yep, Vaux didn't have many fans there, but after that performance, they should have many, many more. It's really a shame that there were that many death metal stoners there, but, those that saw Vaux and paid attention liked them. I got a "refused-esque" feel about Vaux. That's gotta be good.

Next up came High on Fire. Not being a fan of death metal, I can't comment on them. They didn't inspire much energy in me, though. I suppose if you like them, that wasn't a bad way to spend 45 minutes of your time.

Waiting. And waiting. Watching the techies, guitar doctors, and other roadies setting up Andrew's set, I was restless. 30 minutes felt like an eternity. I was anxious, was the "audio messiah" as good as he was touted? Was he the answer? What was the question?

Andrew W.K. was kickass. He stirred up the meatheads, frat boys, punk rock kids, scene point collectors, and assorted other people over 20 something into a mosh pit frenzy. I've seen better live bands, but he was powerful. And good. He's better than 90% of the bands I've seen live.

YOUR MONEY WILL NOT BE WASTED GOING TO ANDREW W.K. You'll have a good time. Bring your friends. Bring your girlfriends. Bring your date. Spouse, whoever. This guy knows how to get a party started. If you're on the fence about seeing him live, just go see him. You'll have a great time.

For those interested in a setlist, here's what I can remember:
1. unknown (the one that has a chorus that went "gonna be a party tonight")
2. ?? Perhaps a song called "take it off?"
3. Don't Stop Living in the Red
4. She is Beautiful
5. Ready to Die (Damn, did he go off on that song! 2nd best of the night.)
6. new song called "you are something i didn't catch" (I just didn't hear the last word)
7 New Song called Never Let Down
8. I dunno.
9 We Want Fun
10. New song called Tear it Up
11 Party Hard
12 I Get Wet (Wow. One of those live versions that blows the recorded one away. I wish I had a tape recorder. Best song of the night.)

I can't say that he's the "audio messiah" or that he'll save us from bad, uninspired, canned, cliched music, but he's great live, and if you didn't have fun there, you may as well commit suicide, because there's no hope for you getting joy in anything else.

Other: Why not a 10? High on Fire.
There should be a AWK icon, and yes, it should be scott giving the devil horns.
And just incase you're still reading, go see him.