The lights dim as five shadowy figures take their places around the stage at Club 9One9 and stand motionless, waiting. Blue light begins to grow as a turquoise-cloaked sixth figure walks slowly out to join the others, facing away from the audience as the music starts to swell. They are Electric Six.
Dick Valentine (AKA Tyler Spencer) has one of the strangest stage personalities I’ve ever seen. Despite being the front man of a band with such hits as “Danger: High Voltage!” and “Gay Bar”, his dress sense is relatively tame and his sense of humour drier than a Mormon household during the Prohibition.
“This is my drummer,” Valentine deadpanned during a lull in the action, “he is the one on the drums.”
He went on to tell the minute-long origin story of the “Flamenco Song” (A song that had very little to do with anything flamenco-related). Curious front man aside, Electric Six’s music was as edgy and exuberant as their name suggests. Crazy solos, catchy hooks, weird song material (They actually have a song called “Naked Pictures of Your Mother”, with a very straightforward chorus) and solid riffs formed the core of their set. They played sixteen songs in total, including the encore. I only know this because they counted each one aloud. The whole show. Needless to say, it was a strange night.
Vancouver-based Bend Sinister had the pleasure of opening for Electric Six, and Lead singer/keyboardist Dan Moxon brought a heady mix of theatrical chords, soulful vocals and feel-good vibes. Soaring, Queen-esque guitar riffs, a seemingly boundless energy (due, no doubt to the bottle of Fireball polished off between the band during their short time on stage), a stupid-good Supertramp cover, and a particularly well executed keyboard solo played with a tambourine contributed to an unforgettable set. If these guys are in your neck of the woods, check them out. Bend Sinister has an amazing live show, and scores a whopping five out of five tambourines on my scale of tambourine keyboard solos.