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I drove 100 miles last night to see Andrew W.K. play in Towson, MD (near Baltimore). I found out about the show three hours before I left.

The show was opened by some crappy Seattle screamo pop punk band with matching tattoos called Vendetta Red, followed by the carefully groomed punkers Total Chaos (they’re still around and they’re still not joking), who were quick to inform the uninitiated that they are “a band that’s been around for a long time.” You know an era has come and gone when Exploited clones are covering Twisted Sister.

The uninspiring openers gave me a good chance to assess the crowd, which was an odd mix of whitehats and various phyla of high school outcasts, most of them self-conscious in the sort of way that would compel them to have a discussion about starting a mosh pit before actually doing it. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, maybe 30% of the crowd was female.

All social disparity in the audience vanished when Mr. W.K. and company took the stage and pummeled the inhabitants of the room into a large sweaty mass of concentrated positive energy. The show was everything I hoped it would be: loud, intense, and excruciatingly fun. They closed the show with “Party Hard,” at which point there were about 40 of us on the stage, smiles up and down, fists in the air, dancing with furious abandon. It was truly a night to remember.

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