Electric Six record live album at First Avenue, 5/11/12

Categories: Concert Review
electric six live crop.jpg
Electric Six
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Friday, May 11, 2012


Electric Six recorded a live album at First Avenue Friday night, so the question is, will it be any good?

In a word: yes! Electric Six brought copious energy to a sold-out Mainroom throughout two full sets, with the performance crescendoing to a sweaty, fist-pumping rock n' roll dance party by the time it was said and done. In other words, it was just what you'd expect from an Electric Six show.

The fact that audio from the show was being recorded for posterity may have caused the Six to play it a little safer than usual -- their Mainroom show last fall seemed to pack more of a punch than Friday's, and understandably, the band played their tunes within the lines a bit more than they usually might. But the audio-first focus didn't stop frontman Dick Valentine from striking Messiah poses or the rest of the band from matching their rock n' roll with the appropriate amount of crowd-pleasing orgasm faces.

Suffice it to say that no Electric Six fan went home disappointed after the band played two long sets, including all of Fire and a selection of favorite tunes spanning the gamut of the Six's decade-long run. And for those of you who were there, listen close when the live album comes out -- some of your spontaneous hoots and hollers may be recorded for posterity.

Critic's Bias: I first saw Electric Six during their aforementioned main room show last fall. I took a date who likes to drink -- the sort that's always good company for a rock n' roll show -- and we had a blast. I went in not expecting much but left unable to talk about anything besides how much Electric Six rocks. As I mentioned above, last Friday's show was good but didn't quite seem to have that same special something.

However, as a musician myself, I can't hold that against them -- many nights you're good, but on a few special occasions you just totally rock, and most of the time it's hard to account for the difference. Granted, last Friday I took an over-indulged male friend rather than a hot date, and that could've skewed my perception toward the negative as well. My friend, who was drunkenly swaying side-to-side with his eyes closed for the early part of the second set, dipped without warning and caught a cab home. The text he sent me as he was probably drunkenly nodding off in the back of a cab? "O drank too muxuz I'm bouncing." That's what an Electric Six show will do to you folks!  

I should also mention that I was in First Avenue's main room for Neon Indian's unimpressive set exactly one week prior to last Friday's Six show. The contrast between Neon Indian's drab, dynamically bereft sound and the Electric Six's brand of dancey rock n' roll can't be overstated -- the Six bring the type of sound that makes you spontaneously pump your first and shout "Yeah!", while Neon Indian caused myself and many others in attendance to spontaneously raise our hands to cover yawns and/or check our watches.

The crowd: The show featured a hilariously passive-aggressive mosh pit. Instead of jumping into each other, revelers jumped straight up and down, seemingly so as to avoid all contact with other people. It's too bad the live album won't be accompanied by a DVD -- it would've been the perfect testament to how polite a room full of Midwesterners can be while rocking out.

Setlist:

It's Showtime!
Down at McDonnelzzz
I Buy the Drugs
Germans in Mexico
After Hours
Clusterfuck!
Body Shot
Dance Epidemic
Hello! I See You
Crazy Horses
(The Osmonds cover)
Dirty Ball
Infected Girls

Encore

Dance Commander
Electric Demons in Love
Naked Pictures (Of Your Mother)
Danger! High Voltage
She's White
I Invented the Night
Improper Dancing
(Sexy Trash in between Stop and Continue)
Gay Bar
Nuclear War (On the Dance Floor)
Getting Into the Jam
Vengeance and Fashion
I'm the Bomb
Synthesizer


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