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Electric Six infects the Key Club

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By Tyler Davidson

By Tyler Davidson

“I Buy the Drugs.”

“Infected Girls Do It Better.”

On the ever-glamorous Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, hundreds of fans have packed into the Key Club, some adorned with t-shirts bearing outlandish statements like these. Each and every one of them is here to see Electric Six, a band just over a decade old that has risen to prominence with their one-in-a-million brand of disco-influenced rock music.

Before the Detroit-based sextet hits the stage, the night is opened up by Night Kills the Day, an alternative rock band from New York. While not stinking up the place, the band manages to perform a somewhat mediocre set. Not amazing. Not completely awful. Just kind of…there.

The frontman of the group (known only as Luke) hops around stage with all the exaggerated showmanship of Mick Jagger on speed, a fact that only seems to distract from the forgettable rock music being blared over the speakers.

Next on stage is a band called Test Your Reflex, who at first glance appear to be nothing more than a cookie-cutter emo group in the vein of…well, just about every other band on the scene, but start to impress right out of the gate. The empassioned vocals of lead singer Ryan Levine are the hallmark of this melodic rock band, which could be compared to a wide variety of groups, from U2 to Dashboard Confessional.

After a set impossible not to at least tap your feet to, it is finally time for the main event of the night. The Key Club erupts as guitarists Johnny Na$hinal and The Colonel casually strut across the stage decked out in white and black suits, respectively, followed by drummer Percussion World, keyboardist Tait Nucleus?, bassist Smorgasbord! (filling in for usual bassist John R. Dequindre), and finally, the strangely charismatic frontman, Dick Valentine.

Without much ado, the group launches into a sonic frenzy that has everyone on the floor jumping up and down in unison. The crowd is packed shoulder to shoulder, shoving and dancing at a frenetic pace that would have knocked anyone off of their feet, had there been room to fall.

The band scatters their biggest hits, songs like “Danger! High Voltage,” “Naked Pictures (Of Your Mother),” and the YouTube classic “Gay Bar,” throughout a surprisingly long set that has every fan in the building singing along, while Valentine squints his way through each song, staring off at nothing in particular.

The tongue-in-cheek humor that has become one of the group’s trademarks makes its presence known, as Valentine rants about Electric Six going from “southern California’s premier party band” to “southern California’s premier political band,” while in the same breath casually mentioning that the band voted for George Bush because “(they) thought it would be funny.” It is farcical political rants like these that segue into songs like “Rock and Roll Evacuation,” an upbeat (yet unusually insightful) number that includes the phrase, “Mr. President, I don’t like you./You don’t know how to rock.”

From their debut album, “Fire” (so named for the vast abundance of the word on the disc), to their latest release “Switzerland,” Electric Six has retained the title of one of the most uniquely enjoyable bands on the planet, a fact supplemented by an incredible live show.

Blending hilarious lyrics with infectious grooves, Electric Six’s fire is just starting to spread, ready to consume the music scene at a moment’s notice.

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