Andrew W.K. Praises the Twin Cities Ability to Party Hard

There was a party going on inside Varsity Theater on Friday night as the undisputed King of Partying, Andrew W.K., made a stop in Minneapolis in support of his album You’re Not Alone

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Photo Credit: Justin Bailey

Out on his second run of North American dates in support of his 2018 release and his first album in over almost a decade, Andrew W.K.’s You’re Not Alone Tour made a stop in Minneapolis last night at the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown. Andrew was supported by a five-piece band, including three guitarist’s, with stacks of amplifiers almost to the ceiling, effectively covering up the giant “Andrew W.K.” banner hanging behind the stage.

Performing for over an hour and a half, the setlist was certainly built on a foundation of songs from the most recent record but included a generous share of classics, as well as a few deep tracks, including a favorite of mine, “Pushing Drugs,” from his 2006 album Close Calls with Brick Walls.

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Photo Credit: Justin Bailey

During the performance, the undisputed King of Partying had nothing but praise for the Twin Cities, taking a moment early in the show to remind everyone that a large portion of the band’s debut album was recorded here, which received a large applause break from the crowd.

“Now is the time in the party when I play the guitar shaped like a taco,” Andrew W.K. said. And he did just that. He played a solo on a taco-shaped guitar. Then he said, “Alright then,” and went on to the next song.

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Photo Credit: Justin Bailey

His ability to fit the word party into just about every single sentence he spoke was also very appreciated by the crowd, as they attempted many times to get the show started early by chanting “Party! Party! Party! Party!” in the half-hour changeover between the opening act and his performance. A follow-up chant from the crowd was provided after the band exited the stage, before returning for the encore.

As always, the highlight of the night is the performance of the smash hit Andrew W.K. is most known for, Party HardWhen I saw him perform at First Avenue just over a year ago, I mentioned how he inexplicably counts down from one hundred before performing the song, however, because 93.7 FM, better known as 93X, was promoting the show, he began the countdown from ninety-three.

It’s like New Year’s Eve! But it’s New Life’s Eve. After tonight, life will be partier. You’re going to hold onto this feeling, and amplify it. It’s a creshendo! Will you count down with us? And then when this kicks in, will you go completely crazy with everything you’ve got?Ok, we’re going to build it up, but when it kicks in, it’s go time! Ninety-three, ninety-two, ninety-one…

What ensued was absolute chaos, unlike anything you can find anywhere else. To anyone not in the know, it might feel a little cheesy or goofy, but watching a room full of punk rock fans running into each other while screaming “When it’s time to party we will party hard!” is something special, and I was honored to have been a part of it for the second time now.

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Photo Credit: Justin Bailey

I said it at the end of my first review, and I’ll say it again at the end of this one; whenever Andrew W.K. & Co. are in town, you need to be in attendance.

Andrew W.K. Setlist Minneapolis, Minnesota – Friday, September 14th

  1. Music Is Worth Living For
  2. Ever Again
  3. Take It Off
  4. Ready To Die
  5. She Is Beautiful
  6. Tear It Up
  7. You Will Remember Tonight
  8. Never Let Down
  9. We Want Fun
  10. Break The Curse
  11. I Get Wet
  12. You’re Not Alone


  1. It’s Time To Party
  2. Pushing Drugs
  3. Party Hard

Written by Justin Bailey

Managing Editor & Social Media Admin for Music In Minnesota. Graduated Valedictorian of my class from IPR - College of Creative Arts with an A.A.S. in Music & Entertainment Business. ICON Award Winner. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


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