Live: Electric Six, Trapped at Bowery Ballroom and Loving It


Electric Six/Living Things
Bowery Ballroom
Tuesday May 5

Love these guys. Love and indifference are your only real options. “We’re back at the Bowery Ballroom after attempting to go to a larger venue,” announces thunderous frontman Dick Valentine. “It didn’t work out. Now we’ll stay here for the rest of our lives.” Their remarkable production values are unaffected: Valentine began the show wearing a customized cape (“FLASHY”) for “Flashy Man,” removing it at song’s end to reveal a second customized cape (“SHOWTIME”) for “It’s Showtime.” His showmanship is such that his wearing 16 such capes was actually feasible. He was not.

Modest venue aside, these dudes will clearly outlive the hedonistic disco-rock quasi-heavyweights “Gay Bar” appeared to be spoofing back in 2003, and they’re still a fuckin’ hoot live, the nonchalantly salacious bassist (this band’s personnel history is confusing, but I think his name is Smorgasbord!) grinding lasciviously away as “Gay Bar” and “Gay Bar Part Two” are separated in the setlist by “Nuclear War.” Key jams: “Improper Dancing” and “Dance Epidemic.” Both videos appear to be unofficial, but given their actual videos, you never know.

Living Things are vaguely radical (new album: Habeus Corpus; track #2: “Mercedes Marxist”) cock-rock dudes, basically Buckcherry + Howard Zinn. The Drama Queens of Leon. Jason Gross loves ’em and that will suffice for now. After all, “Mercedes Marxist’ is actually pretty righteous, as is the one where Mr. Saucy Frontman just reels off all the nefarious governmental acronyms he can think of — “The CIA! The FBI! The NSA! The HMOs!” — and caps it off by announcing, “All we need is love.” And some sassy backup singers.