Electric Six 10/07/11
Key Club – West Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
I believe it started with a tweet, but perhaps it was a text. Regardless of tweet versus text it was a threat declaring that my ass was expected to be at the Key Club in West Hollywood on Friday night. If I was not at the Key Club, there would be serious consequences and repercussions of my action. While this may sound rather harsh, it was for my own good as my soul needed an intervention. A fan of the greats like Tenacious D, 2 Skinnee J’s and of course Ween my life was void of Electric Six for far too long and come high or hell water Steve and Johnny were going to make sure I saw the light.
From unsolicited packages left on my door containing mix CD’s to videos left upon my Facebook page my education of Electric Six beyond “Gay Bar” has been intense over the past 72 hours. Bashed into my brain I was grateful for a brief knowledge of the Detroit based Rock and Roll revival as I made my way into the Key Club well past 10:30pm. Before I was able to consume my first plastic cup filled with PBR the already exciting night was kicked up to a whole new level when I spotted my pal Matthew. One of the last folks I expected to see at the show he was in fine form celebrating the birth of a college friend and Electric Six fanatic. Now it really was a party and when the band walked on stage just past 11pm I knew that they would be the perfect soundtrack.
The group opened with a tasty new jam called “French Bacon” from their soon to be released 8th studio album Heartbeats and Brainwaves. The crowd played it cool as energetic front man Dick Valentine held his microphone stand high above the near capacity crowd. It wasn’t till the third song “Down at McDonnelzzz” that the devoted fan base began to bounce up and down smashing into each other. With the lightning quick delivery of the songs chorus from Valentine paying tribute to the Golden Arches performed perfectly I knew the intervention had worked and I was hooked. Then the band insulted my hometown.
That’s right, before launching into the country number “Pink Flamingos” the group bashed The City and its fans from the night before. As I quickly turned my World Champion San Francisco Giants hat around (I only have a few more weeks to brag, cut me some slack) and pointed to the orange SF the band launched into a song that reminded not so much of country music, but of a classic Bay Area punk band Pansy Division. Despite bashing my town, I had to laugh it off and assume that tonight in Costa Mesa they would bash West Hollywood.
An important observation from the evening that must be mentioned: Yes, fans bounced and gently moshed to classic Electric Six songs like “Jam It In The Hole,” “Danger! High Voltage” and “I Buy The Drugs.” Yet when the band busted out “Gay Bar” and “Gay Bar Part 2” it was the fluffiest straight up gayest most pit I have ever seen. It was more like dry humping rubbing fluffy ballet then a mosh pit and it totally worked. Oh and the one gal in the pit, she took an elbow to the face from a man grinding another man. Dude was so into it he didn’t even realize he connected Charles Barkley style with the gal.
The band had a unique connection with the audience by not connecting at all. At one point Valentine insisted in a daiquiri from the bar, yet when it was presented to him he totally ignored it. Fans up front would raise their hands in hope of a handshake or high five and were repeatedly ignored. The oblivious arrogance worked and made the crowd want the band that much more.
After an hour long set Valentine and friends left the stage to a thunderous applause. They quickly returned and informed us all they had not come here to play twelve songs, but in fact they had three more songs for a grand total of fifteen songs. The six piece tore through solid versions of “Synthesizer” and “We Were Witchy Witchy White Women,” yet it was the final number that the crowd had apparently waited for all night (I say this cause some dude behind me kept saying “I’ve been waiting for this all night”). “Dance Commander” lived up to its name as Valentine and company kicked it up one last time for a still energetic and downright worshipful audience. At the end of the song, Valentine dove into the crowd hugging and celebrating with anyone willing to come over. I watched from a distance as fan after fan walked away smiling from their moment with Valentine. I knew it was best to let all of them have their moment this time around I was not yet worthy. But know that next time I see Electric Six I will go and get my hug.