Words by: Aaron Lafont
Electric Six :: 11.26.07 :: The Parish :: New Orleans, LA
Since breaking through in 2003 with the indie smash, Fire, the Detroit-based party boys, Electric Six have taken their satiric, tongue-in-cheek dance rock on a self-effacing, high-octane ride of Spinal Tap proportions. Whether they're traversing festival stages around the world, fueling a rave in the U.K. or rocking a U.S. club, E6 heartily adhere to their bombastic creed: It's showtime! For most, Monday nights mainly reinforce the ensuing monotony of another long, boring week, but for a small, devoted contingent this Monday was a time to let it all hang out.
| Dick Valentine - Electric Six |
Ushering in the evening's main event were The Willowz, whose drum heavy, feedback-driven showers followed the garage-meets-glam flair of We Are the Fury. The latter act tapped into a promising niche and the former took their place somewhere in the middle of a long line of Jack White tribute bands. Subsequently, amidst an odd array of lights and faint puffs of smoke, frontman-lyricist and the only remaining original member of E6, Dick Valentine led his bawdy bunch onto the stage. Despite walking out in a shiny, satin cape, Valentine quickly shed his comical front, breaking out his best Thriller moves during fan favorite "Dance Commander." Later, upon citing the government's negligible role in the handling of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, Valentine lit into the sardonic, political melee "Rock & Roll Evacuation," urging the crowd to recall his actions whenever faced with impending peril.
The double entendre continued throughout the night, as Valentine's dance-happy perversions were spiked by guitarists Johnny Na$hinal and The Colonel's AC/DC-like riffs and synth wiz Tait Nucleus' Duran Duran-esque melodies. The crowd had no problem getting down to the anti-corporate parody "Down at McDonaldz," whose angular squalls led into the rattling hilarity of "Infected Girls (Do It Better)." Around mid-set, the dance off was in full effect as a trio of tunes from Fire – the Billy Idol flavored "She's White," disco laden "Improper Dancing" and the anthemic "Danger! High Voltage" – got the amped-up convocation's hands in the air. Seizing upon the energy in the room, E6 sealed their set with the '80s metal hooks of "Be My Fucking Habit" and the key led pulse of "I Buy the Drugs."
| Electric Six|
Valentine and Co. returned to deliver a three song encore. Upon reemerging, Valentine proclaimed E6 to be "New Orleans' premiere party band," further reaffirming his announcement with the declaration, "Who'd you expect, Better Than Ezra?!?" With that, the sextet struck back into the soiree, steering the pounding rhythms of "Dance Epidemic" into the anticipatory bedlam of "Gay Bar." As the mania peaked, Valentine bid farewell to the Big Easy, leaving his mates to wrap up the evening and secure the mayhem left in the wake of "Germans in Mexico."
While playing the role of anti-rock stars may not be a new trick on the musical landscape, few have worn that hat better than Electric Six. With four formidable albums and a handful of monster singles already under their belt, E6 show no sings of spontaneously combusting anytime soon (à là The Darkness). Add to the mix an excessive touring schedule with pockets of party-hearty fans spread across the globe, and they possesses all the qualities essential to turning out a slightly better than lackluster career. And that may be precisely what Dick Valentine has in mind - attaining just the right amount of quasi-fame to dance like a hooligan and yell, "It's showtime!" whenever and wherever he pleases.
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