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Archive for Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Andrew W.K. bonds with Bottleneck crowd

September 3, 2003

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For some musicians, performing live is all about the adoration from the crowd.

For Andrew W.K., though, a concert is all about his adoration for the crowd.

W.K. (short for Wilkes-Krier), known for have-fun anthems such as "Party Hard" and "It's Time to Party," proved his love of the fans with a high-intensity show Sunday at The Bottleneck.

Despite spending the summer traveling across the nation on The Vans Warped Tour and taking just two weeks off before starting this excursion in support of next week's release of his second album, "The Wolf," W.K. didn't seem to be missing any of his trademark energy.

While some portions of the audience probably showed up only for the band's hair-metal music, Lawrence's notoriously elitist indie-rock crowd also turned out in droves, embracing the frenzied show and the "enjoy life" message of the material. During such favorites as "I Get Wet" and "She is Beautiful," more than 75 fans crowded the stage with W.K. and his bandmates, stage diving, dancing and singing along as the front man often gave up lead vocals for a few lines.

W.K. repeatedly addressed the crowd members, thanking them for understanding that one of his shows was less a concert than a celebration, and pointing out that it wasn't just the band performing, but the band and fans playing together.

The singer and his audience may have been celebrating jointly, but W.K. and his touring group were the real highlight of the show, nailing each song despite -- or maybe because of -- the often suffocating mass of people on the stage.

W.K. also made sure to localize the celebration, holding up a patron's sign that read, "You can't spell Lawrence, KS without A.W.K." and singing the chorus of his own "I Love NYC" as "I Love Lawrence, Kansas."

Despite a set that lasted just a bit more than an hour and featured fewer than a dozen songs, it was obvious that love was mutual.

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