12:41 am. “Bohemian Rhapsody” comes on full blast in the Knitting Factory. The drunken rush of air-guitaring and “Galileo!”ing comes with it. There’s a sold-out house waiting for Andrew W.K.’s Christmas party to kick off, wondering what “A Very Special Solo Show” entails – and wondering it over many, many drinks.
12:53 am. Everything goes dark. Sirens are blaring. People are chanting “TONIGHT WE PARTY” like it’s the end of the world. You can hear the sting of their palms as they lean over to smack the stage.
12:59 am. A.W.K. leaps front and center in his signature dirty white pants and white tee, fist-pumping with muscles that only Mr. Clean could understand. He’s instantly devoted to “It’s Time to Party,” diving into the keys with madcap glissandos and a full-body bounce. There’s an extra mic stuck in the crotch of his pants, amplifying whatever is going on down there too.
1:03 am. He’s racing around and yanking all the speakers closer, shouting, “Can we make it louder?” as his long hair flies around him. “Okkk,” he yells in a distorted voice. “We’ve got a song about partying today!” The audience flips. His smile is a toothpaste commercial and it never lets up.
1:08 am. The audience catapults a fan onstage every couple seconds, while Andrew tears up a ragtime intro to “Ready to Die.” His two backup singers are rodeo-dancing under a random barrage of ice cubes. The rainbow strobes are changing so fast, we’re scientifically close to discovering a new color.
1:22 am. They throw out some bloody tee shirts for Christmas presents. The full-room mosh pit is making their own. Then they’re thrusting mics in every direction, crowdsourcing the vocals to “We Want Fun,” “You Will Remember Tonight,” and “I Love NYC.” Fans are surfing a wave of sweat and spilled drinks.
1:41 am. Under A.W.K.’s direction and without any context, we’re all slowly counting down backwards from 100. It’s as awesome and ridiculous as it sounds.
1:50 am. We’ve totally lost control. Most of the front row ends up thrown onstage by our ankles, spilling around Andrew for “Party Hard” and “I Get Wet.” We’re doing both, and loving every minute of it.
Article: Olivia Isnehart
Photos: Shayne Hanley