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Electric Six At Bowery Ballroom 9.29.2013 [Zumic Review & Photos]

Jimmy Haas

by Jimmy Haas

Published October 2, 2013

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Sunday night was, as everyone knows, the final episode of Breaking Bad. But there were some people out there who decided that a night with Electric Six was more important. And in the end, I think we made the right choice.

Faux-French band Les Sans Culottes opened the night, and as always, made everything a bit more French for an hour. Their French version of "These Boots Are Made For Walkin" always gets people moving, possibly because they know the song even though it's very likely no one in the audience understood any French at all. Also, keyboardist Benoit Bals has the best stage name in all of music.

Admittedly, I did not see almost any of the next band, My Jerusalem, as that time was spent preparing for Electric Six, both mentally and physically, by means of drinking. Electric Six is a different kind of band, and I needed to be in a different kind of mindset to fully appreciate the weirdness.

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They took the stage at 11 p.m., and things got immediately got freaky. This was my first time seeing their new guitarist, Da Ve (pronounced Dah-VAY), and he was wearing a neck brace. Whether this was necessary or just part of the act, I have no idea. Keyboardist Tait Nucleus? (the question mark is part of his name) was wearing American flag sunglasses, and I have no idea how he could see what he was doing in the dark on stage. Their other guitarist, Johnny Na$hinal was, as always, wearing an entirely bright white suit.

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Vocalist and band mastermind Dick Valentine is most of the stage show of Electric Six. He's the only one who really speaks to the audience, and when he does, it's mostly rambling about nothing or talking about his drummer, saying such lines as "My drummer is on the drums tonight." For a man that said that over 80 percent of Electric Six's songs are about absolutely nothing, this makes sense in a backwards way.

They opened up the show with the crowd pleaser, "Synthesizer," the first of many fan favorites that they would be playing. Others include "Down At McDonnellzzzzzzz," "Naked Pictures (of Your Mother)," "Clusterfuck," as well as my personal favorites, "Future is in the Future" and "I Buy the Drugs." They also, of course, played their big hits that even non-fans know, "Danger! High Voltage" and "Gay Bar," followed by its lesser-known sequel, "Gay Bar Part 2."

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Electric Six is also preparing for the release of their ninth studio album, Mustang, next week. They treated us to three or four new songs, though I have no idea what any of them were called. Valentine did describe one as being about (and I'm struggling to remember exactly what he said here) two robot football teams and giant aliens, or maybe cheerleaders. I don't think that even if I remembered word for word what he said that it would make any more sense than that though.

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The band left the stage, only for Dick Valentine to return with Tait Nucleus? for a stripped down version of "Jimmy Carter." Then, the rest of the band returned for a rousing finale of "Dance Commander." They went out on a high note, and everyone went home and got to see Breaking Bad later that night. So in the end, everyone at the show definitely made the right choice.

You can pre-order Mustang on iTunes now. It will be worth it for the song, "Adam Levine," all on its own.

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