If you are reading this and had your billion dollar hopes smashed by the games Thursday and Friday last week, I’m sorry. I’m even sorrier if you weren’t able to find your way over to the High Noon Saloon Friday night. Electric Six was back again and soothing everyone’s soul with machismo-drenched electro-rock.
I made my way into the High Noon part way through the second opener’s set. Yip Deceiver’s Davy Pierce and Nicholas Dobbratz were bouncing energetically on stage, flitting between singing and crafting beats out of their various analog devices. While it was apparent that they had yet to develop the on-stage chemistry needed to capture and hold the interest of a venue, the music was quite enjoyable. A mix of 80’s synth-pop and hipster dance music (think a brighter, happier MGMT) it was a more than satisfying soundtrack to my first beers of the evening.
Shortly after Yip Deceiver’s departure from the stage, my cohorts and I made our way closer to the stage, so as to bear better witness to the Six.
After another drink or so, the members of Electric Six began to assemble on the stage. In a slight disappointment, none of the band members were dressed as extravagantly as they had during my previous encounter. Dick Valentine wore no shimmering cape; the only flashy accoutrement was the neon shades of the keyboardist. Despite this minor letdown, the crowd was juiced as we could see that Mr. Valentine’s trademark smirk and eye-glint were in effect tonight. This was going to be fun…
The band is touring in support of their new album, Mustang, so naturally there were some new cuts thrown into the set, with two fairing particularly well. Super-disco cut “New Shampoo” (about shampoo) got the crowd dancing and mega-rocker “Adam Levine” brought the already energetic crowd to a near-mosh.
While the new songs were met favorably, the old classics were received like returning champions, every lyric belted right back to the band. “Gay Bar” was played earlier than expected, but made sure that the crowd got a boost about a third of the way into the set. Also sprinkled throughout the set were “Hello! I See You”, “Naked Pictures (Of Your Mother)”, “Down at McDonnelzzz”, and “I Buy the Drugs”, each met with roars of approval and drunken karaoke.
Dick was in top form on Friday. Songs were introduced both by name and by place in the setlist and were commented on after completion. Not that the audience disagreed, but to him each song was better than the last. Midway through the set, he claimed that the Six were from just outside Madison and that the High Noon was one of their favorite places to play. A quick query of Wikipedia proves the first point false, as they are from Detroit; while the band’s yearly migration back to Wisconsin’s capital proves the second true.
Eventually, the set drew to a close and the band claimed to be playing their final song. The crowd grew antsy because the classics “Synthesizer” and “Dance Commander” had yet to be played. Although the band left the stage, an encore was all but guaranteed. After the prerequisite set-encore break and cheering, the band mounted the stage again. First playing new song “Cheryl vs. Darryl” to build the crowd back up, they then launched into a particularly riotous rendition of “Dance Commander”. As commanded, all in attendance obeyed and brought the night to a close in a flurry of dance.
While I (and I assume others) were disappointed that we did not hear Electric Six’s dance classic “Synthesizer”, I left the High Noon Saloon satisfied. The band put on a great show that I won’t soon forget. Maybe next year they will play my song.