Show Review + Setlist: Electric Six at the Firebird, December 30

Categories: Show Reviews
Although the club wasn't lucky enough to nab Electric Six for the actual holiday, the Firebird scored big by getting the Detroit sextet to play on New Year's Eve Eve. The group's funky synths and churning hard-rock guitars combine with frontman Dick Valentine's uproarious lyrics and cocky delivery to make Electric Six the ultimate party band.

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electricsix.com
With Valentine clad in a garish gold cape, the group immediately set a festive tone with its new single "Body Shot," a perfect distillation of their strengths. The sizable crowd latched onto the song's slinky groove and responded warmly to follow-up "Formula 409" but truly kicked into gear during "Down at McDonnelzz," which provoked frantic jumping and dancing. From that point on, it was a case of total audience immersion. The band mostly kept up, pounding solidly through rockers and dancier tunes alike, though Valentine betrayed some end-of-tour fatigue. Ever the devilishly charismatic ringmaster, he didn't even try to match his studio falsetto on "Down at McDonnelzz," and his improvised mid-song rant about the drummer in "Future Is in the Future" wasn't quite as inspired as usual.

These minor issues were forgotten after "Future," as the Six went on a roll. The goth-rock of "Waste of Time and Money" sounded positively massive and the dramatic vocals of "Night Vision" soared above the song's epic '80s-rock backdrop. Even new album Kill's rote nadir "Steal Your Bones" gained new life with a great performance. Yet nothing could touch the unstoppable "Gay Bar." Though they likely play the song every show, Valentine and Co. gave it a hellacious run-through that set off frenzied crowd surfing. The show peaked here, with a few mass sing-alongs, the excellent B-side "I Am Detroit" and an encore "dance trilogy" comprising some of Electric Six's career highlights ensuring that the party kept hopping the whole night.

Though one of the most entertaining acts in town, opening act the Livers had something of an off night. The '90s-flavored alt-punk duo of Luke Roulston and Scot Freeman sing and play guitar in front of a video of them playing drums and bass. They also show skits. These videos are normally funny, but a "Christmas Story" parody dragged to the point where Freeman apologized over uncomfortable silence. At least by this point the duo and the soundman had gotten on the same page, and the Livers rebounded with enthusiastic performances of their catchiest material for a strong finish.

One-man act Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship (a.k.a. Corey Goodman) yelled about a woman who smells good and people whose ugliness makes him puke, over his brand of Sega Genesis electroclash music. He did so in Lt. Dangle shorts while running around the Firebird, wiping his sweat on audience members' shirts, taking drinks from his gas can and blurting out banter like "Who likes things?" In other words, it was your normal SFYYR show. It's not for everyone, but it's hard to deny Goodman's magnetic stage presence or his sheer fearlessness. Most of the crowd couldn't and gave him a healthy amount of applause after his brief set.

Setlist: [special thanks to Mike Wagner]
1. Body Shot
2. Formula 409
3. Down at McDonnelzz
4. One Sick Puppy
5. Improper Dancing (INXS interlude)
6. Danger! High Voltage
7. Future is in the Future
8. Waste of Time and Money
9. Night Vision
10. Steal Your Bones
11. Gay Bar
12. Gay Bar Part 2
13. She's White
14. I Buy the Drugs
15. I Am Detroit

Encore:
16. Dance Pattern
17. Dance Epidemic
18. Dance Commander

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