Show Review: Andrew W.K., Math the Band, Aleister X

Party punk/rock/metal multi-instrumentalist Andrew W.K., in celebration of the anniversary of his best-selling album “I Get Wet,” took East Coast prog-punks Math the Band and the solo metal/hip hop project Alesiter X on a cross-country tour. I was lucky enough to catch the tour at its Milwaukee, Wisconsin stop. Check out the show review here.

It’s hard to look past the gimmick of “PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY” until you find two bands (Andrew W.K. and MtB) who push the schtick into a strange level of sincerity at around 200 beats per minute.

Accompanied by himself via ipod, Marilyn Manson wannabe Alesiter X started the set off at The Rave in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I still am unsure if this guy was joking around and is really some sort of artistic genius, or rather just plain awful. Fans of the Insane Clown Posse would enjoy themselves, and just about nobody else. The crowd (still relatively small at the time) got into his thrashy hip hop songs near the end of his set, but their cheers fell into the category of insincere pre-Andrew W.K. excitement rather than genuine musical appreciation. The fact that the dude was up on stage alone, singing to his songs/remixes which were playing over the PA (he didn’t even take the vocal tracks out…) was kinda like watching a 7th grade talent show performance. Sorry X, you didn’t win us over. Maybe next time.

Any doubts that the aforementioned opener put in my mind about the rest of the show were quickly dispelled as Math the Band jumped on stage to really push crowd movement with cocaine-esque synthpunk.* It was hard to tell the hardcore MtB fans from everybody else, because the relatively little-known band won everybody over quicker than I’ve ever seen a show turn around. In retrospect they were an absolutely perfect opener to tour with Andrew and his band.

This was the first time I’d seen Andrew and his band actually knowing their material (hadn’t heard of him before Warped Tour 2010), but I could have again been clueless to who this guy was and still had a great time. You get over the “party puke party fun party” cliches really quickly when you realize that they’re true of this guy’s music, and that he exerts an incredible amount of energy and brute force into each and every show. In case there was anybody left to impress, he also sung a tribute to our beloved Milwaukee (much better than NOFX’s about Pabst-Blue Ribbon).

The show was a stop on the “I Get Wet” album anniversary tour, meaning the entire album would be played start-to-finish. When I saw those crazy Gainesville kiddos Less Than Jake perform their album “Losing Streak” in its entirety, they played the whole thing and maybe, like, three more songs. But holy hell, the hour it took to play all of “I Get Wet” was at the very most only half of the set, which must have been 2 hours. A lot of older material was played afterward, as well as some songs from the upcoming album.

I’ll give this show 8/10 stars, taking into account the first opener and some problems with the vocals/keys coming through at times during all of the sets. But overall, I was not disappointed at my second AWK run. Check out the remaining dates here and get yer ass to a show if you can.

*Editor’s Note: I claim all credit for the term “cocaine synthpunk” if it becomes a real genre.

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