Rock and roll sleaze lit up Radio Radio last Friday night when a massive audience packed the venue for Detroit rockers Electric Six. Admittedly though, opening act, and Indianapolis' own, Andy D blew them out of the water and the fact that Electric Six singer Dick Valentine joined them for a song has nothing to do with it.
The brilliance of the Electric Six/Andy D show is how the entire night was terrifically cohesive, perfect for a Friday night. Singer Valentine rocked an over-the-top, David Johansen-like voice as he introduced each song ("This next song is off one of the albums"). The sight was tight, packed with crowd favorites ("Danger! High Voltage!" still packs a disco floor punch even ten years later) awesome glam riffs, hot synths and even a call for everyone to sit down on the floor to conserve energy, which they did.
Tracks "After Hours" and "Down at McDonnellzzz" were perfect showcases for Valentine's madcap energy and vocal ticks, a guy who can make some downright goofy lyrics sound life-changing and nearly profound, and always seductive (check 'we're from the 80's and we're here to help' from 'Jam It In The Hole'). "Rip It" gave the band its chance to get their heavy metal on, launching into a metal riff groove that can make any headbanger a convert to their mad vision of guitar licks and disco heat (even if it ends with the refrain "be Nova Scotian"). "Steal Your Bones" especially showcased a kick ass metal vibe, albeit a ballad-y one, but, man, was it spectacular.
Electric Six have always had a knack for excellent sing-along choruses, from the bad-ass "Hello! I See You" to their signature hit "Gay Bar" and they've sealed a reputation as a band with a treasure trove of solid songs that get everybody shaking live, and this audience was no different. At one point a guy was dancing around wielding a smoke alarm, a fitting symbol that, at least Friday night, we were all at the hottest dance party in Indy and any moment it could get too hot.
The duo of Andy D (Andy Duncan and Anna Vision, nee Victoria Johnson) have been making waves for the last four or five years with hip-hop/electronic infused songs that walk the line between novelty and artsy-trash brilliance, laced with lyrics so bawdy they'd make 2 Live Crew proud. And they did waste a second of their opening set. Everyone was extra happy to see them too since they'd been in a car accident the night before. They too even joined Electric Six for a song.
Duncan stands as a more than terrific performer, contorting his face like a cartoon character, sweating it out to top-notch tracks like "Hey Tina," "Angels on The Dance Floor" and my favorite, "My Halo is a Disco Ball," all of them punctuated with Vision's hot vocals. Their set more than warranted the cries for one more song from the audience and Andy D delivered. All opening acts should be so incredible.