Saturday, June 16
For those of you at the Rathskeller on Saturday night, I was one of the handful of guys walking around wearing a pink sticker of male genitalia with my name written on it. To the blonde in front of me in line for the bathroom who asked about it, I say again, “Don’t ask.” But I wasn’t there to make a show, I was there to see a show.
And the Elect brought a show … and a new live DVD of last year’s concert at the Rathskeller.
I was told the Elect walked in the footsteps of the Grateful Dead and the Band with the lyrical prowess of Bob Dylan. I wasn’t expecting the seamless fusion of reaching into the past and pulling out a bit of modern originality. Michael Weir, the Elect’s frontman, had a hard voice that stemmed from a face crunched together, while his body dug deep into his gut to earn every syllable, harkening back to Greg Allman.
The band imitated perfection, casually displaying their musical maturity. From vocals to 15-minute solos to a flawless version of the Band’s “The Weight,” the Elect was absorbing, even electrifying at times and forced even the most reserved to at least bob their heads and tap their toes.
The climax, at least for me, came during Sam Taylor’s jaw-dropping bass solo. Weir, smiling and dancing behind him with one hand holding a cigarette and a plastic cup, mimicked the crowd’s reaction at every turn of the chord. Then came the quick “battle” between Pete Lenges’ lead guitar and Taylor’s bass. Then that seamless transition back for another five minutes of bass before continuing the song again.
I am convinced there is nothing that this talented group of guys can’t do. I’m also convinced that if a girl in a bright orange boa wearing a sash that says “BRIDE” walks in wanting your seats, your chances of a free beer skyrocket. Unfortunately, her yelping cronies force you to wear a racy nametag in order to complete the transaction. Either way, the Elect delivered a flawless show with flawless music and a flawless fan base. Keep your eyes open for these guys.