Electric Six | 06.07.07

live_electric6Valentine was the dance commander with a repertoire that included holding the microphone stand above his head, gay disco moves, and synchronized kicks with the guitarist.





Creepy Crawl, St. Louis

Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine greeted his first St. Louis crowd with possibly the best rock 'n' roll introduction ever: "We are in between records right now, so this show really doesn't count. We're just gonna play a grab bag of songs that we really like." Without having to persuade the audience to buy their new material, and by using a boundless, spontaneous, greatest-hit-type set list, an additional element of fun fueled their party-oriented songs.

The warm St. Louis welcome made for an easy transition to fist pumping, shirts-off Detroit rock. Fans aided the six band members, serving as faithful back-up singers, shouting back every word. A thin line was drawn between fans that found Valentine's antics, fake voice, and macho-rock hilarious, and the serious, sincere fans who didn't see the humor. These fans were immediately put to the test with opener Night Kills the Day, the young New York four-piece, who, I'm sorry, were laughably bad.

Possibly the highlight of the show for me was watching Night Kills singer Luke Brian conduct the show. In between ridiculous banter, Brian's voice would transform into the counterfeit Interpol/She Wants Revenge style. The band truly believed in their music, but the people in my area, including Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship, were constantly bracing ourselves from hysterical laughter, leading many to believe this was a beautifully orchestrated joke from Electric Six. With only a month of performing since their debut album, I'll give them a break; there were some pretty good moments in the 30-minute comedy. Fans who fail to find humor in Electric Six were the ones who enjoyed Night Kills the Day.

Sandwiched between the hilarity, both purposeful and unintentional, of Electric Six and Night Kills the day, the second band on the bill, Test Your Reflex, was a little bland. Test Your Reflex of Southern California represented the west coast, though lead singer Ryan Levine sounded more like he was from Southern London, picking up a European accent from his Cure/U2 influences. Their best song (featured on MySpace) was the summery, melodious, "Thinking of You."

Just before ten o'clock, Electric Six began their domination. Valentine was the dance commander with a repertoire that included holding the microphone stand above his head, gay disco moves, and synchronized kicks with the guitarist. By the seventh song fans were already pumped, but "Danger, Danger, High Voltage!" electrified the crowd. No, Jack White did not make a special appearance, nor could he have fit on the packed Creepy Crawl stage. The surprising highlight from the show was "Pulling the Plug on the Party" from their newest album, Switzerland.

Valentine was in a chatty mood. He introduced his gender-based songs: for the guys, "Devil Nights," and for the girls, the minority, "Infected Girls." Next came a lengthy skit about President Bush, who they claim to support, in which a microwave transporter will somehow keep Bush in office forever. By now they were claiming "St. Louis' Premier Party Band" rights, and the "St. Louis' Premier Political Party Band" title. The skit transitioned into back-to-back hits with "Rock and Roll Evacuation" and "Gay Bar" (although not as awesome as the PBS remix).

After a short encore, Valentine told the crowd that they came here to play 18 songs, not a mere 16. The night came to an end with arguably the best Electric Six song, "I Buy The Drugs," followed up by the first song off their first CD, "Dance Commander." Though Night Kills the Day made a strong running for most entertaining, Electric Six's eked out a victory. | Joseph O'Fallon


Set List:

1 Mr. Woman
2 Future Boys
3 Naked Pictures (of Hour Mother)
4 There's Something Very Wrong…
5 Improper Dancing
6 Dance Epidemic
7 Danger Danger High Voltage
8 Pulling the Plug on the Party
9 Devil Nights
10 Infected Girls
11 Bush Skit
12 Rock and Roll Evacuation
13 Gay Bar
14 Be My Dark Angel (I think)
15 Synthesizer
16 Instrumental "It's Coming Back Up"
17 Germans in Mexico
18 I Buy the Drugs
19 Dance Commander

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