Andrew W.K. / The Locust / No Motiv - live in Philadelphia (Cover Artwork)

Andrew W.K. / The Locust / No Motiv

live in Philadelphia (2004)

live show

I don't like to move at shows anymore. I'm not even 20 yet (the official starting age of scene laziness) and I would just rather sit down at most shows or stand somewhere off to the side. I'm one of those pretentious scenester guys that all the other kids hate, except for the other scenesters who admire my unmoving attention to the bands and my crossed arms. My shirts are tight and my bands are obscure and I hail "Kid A" as a work of genius. Andrew WK had different intentions for myself. It was his goal to get me to rock out at his show, and god damn, if he wasn't successful at that, then the bands I like don't name the titles of their songs after obscure inside jokes that aren't referenced in the songs themselves.

But before the man himself came out, there were the genre spanning opening acts. The show began right as I entered The Trocadero, to some painfully generic rock band called Fireball Minestry. It was a bunch of guys who were trying very hard to be "metal", but came off more like Nickelback. When they saw people in the crowd not feeling them, they said something along the lines of "Hey man, don't hate us because we don't write songs about girls not liking us, and romance and all that!". Well, quite frankly, they didn't really write songs at all -- just one that they rearranged several times. I don't like it when bands write all whiney girl songs as much as the next guy, but just because you don't write whiney girl songs doesn't make your songs good.

Next up was No Motiv, who had their equiptment ripped off the show before. I don't know the names of their songs, but I am familiar with some, and they played real well. It didn't seem like there was much of a No Motiv fan turnout, except for one girl proudly rocking out in the front row. They all definitely seemed like they enjoy what they do, especially for being around for a relatively long time for a band. Their set was comprised of some nice punk ditties (although not too punk, we don't want to enrage anyone in the comments section below). They are a decent amount heavier now than I last remember them. Plus they seem like real nice guys (the drummer even gave his sticks to the girl who had been rocking out). If you feel bad enough for them losing their equipment get their merchandise or stuff, it sucks when indie bands get their shit ripped off.

Next up was The Locust. I had heard one song by the Locust before the show, but I had no idea really how fucked up they would be. My friend just told me to get ready to be amazed. The four-piece came out dressed entirely in tight white body suits, with black bug eyes. By the mic-check I knew this band would be nuts. The guitarist moved like a robot up to the mike and let loose a high-pitched howl, "Chhheeeeck!". The more nasally bassist did the same and the keyboardist followed suit. Without saying anything they broke into a wild half minute of sound. I must say, these guys are incredibly insane. They are technical beyond belief and really don't have any sort of taste for a set time signature. I would call them music if you define music as a pattern of assorted sounds, anything beyond that is questionable. If you want to get a picture of what they sound like, think of the wildest and most spastic Blood Brothers moments, and then overlay four other separate Blood Brothers freakouts over it. My favorite part of the set was during the last song when the keyboardist just played five minutes of a grating, squealing sound and I turned around and looked at the audience. The entire theater was blankly staring at the band as if they were killing a bald eagle onstage -- it was beautiful. At some point during their set I heard someone say, "I don't get it, I just don't get it." But, if you do get it, then you understand the beauty that is the Locust, as I now do. Complete conversion to fan in one show. Hell, they are original after all.

Finally, it was time for Andrew WK. The band came out first and started rocking out and the crowd surged forth. I decided that I would stand aloof on the side, watching everyone else get their dance on. By the time Andrew came out, it seemed like he had been getting pumped backstage for an hour. He was out of control and wanted to make sure that everyone else was out of control as well. I stood there on the side still, watching everyone freak out. I was enjoying myself, watching the band perform their songs. Then it hit me -- literally. I looked to my left and a boy was in mid-air, flying towards me.....sideways. He hit me and I flew backwards into the other scenesters nodding their heads to the beat, looking indignant that they all got knocked over like bowling pins. I realized at this point, that an Andrew WK concert is not about standing around just listening to music. It's about freaking having a ball! As I watched some kid riding on another kid's back go screaming past me, I realized that it was my duty to jump into that crowd and have a blast. The crowd was actually coordinated enough to get a large circle pit going, which was fun to dance around in. Andrew WK himself is awesome. When he isn't singing, he does strange robot mimes to the beat of the song. I don't know what he is miming when he does it, but its great to watch. He's just feeling the music and doing what it tells him -- and that is to mime pushing a box across a table (?).

The set was heavy on material from "I Get Wet" and it was a blast. The last time I had that much fun at I show was back in the day when I was not yet "mature" enough to sit down and drink weirdly named coffees at shows. Shit was flying through the air, mainly people, and it was basically just a huge party. One thing that is definitely apparent is that Andrew WK is filled with love, like a teddy bear or something. He loves his fans with an incredible passion. He performed "I Love NYC" with the words "I love Philadelphia" instead. He just wants to show his love, and Andrew, that love is returned by all of us in Philly. He kept saying how appreciative he was of everything. He is definetly the most positive rock star in the business. You think he gave The Locust a huge group hug when they came off the stage? Because I do.