Concert review: Electric Six, Constellations and the Breaks light up Halloween at the Firebird, Sunday, October 31

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There is only one explanation as to why a handful of scantily clad, sweaty Abraham Lincolns were dancing at the Firebird: Electric Six was playing a Halloween show. Packed with fans in costumes, the Firebird was filled floor to ceiling with electrifying music and intense dance moves…and that was just the warm up for the Detroit-based band, currently touring behind the album Zodiac.

The night started off with a St. Louis group, the Breaks, whose Indie rock croons and staccato beats got the crowd singing along. From a Smurf on keys to a dinosaur doctor on guitar, the band was just as fun to hear as they were to watch rock out in Halloween garb. The memorable moments of its performance included powerful drumming, sweet vocals and enough guitar licks to get to the center of a rock tootsie pop.

After the crowd’s neck muscles had warmed up from swaying, the high, intense dance workout picked up once Atlanta natives, the Constellations took the stage. The band’s sound is a musical crock pot incorporating blues, pop, electro, rap, hip hop and funk (basically everything but the kitchen sink). With a broad-shouldered bassist dressed in Cruella de Vil drag, the rest of the musicians made the Dalmatians look edgier than ever as they owned the room. High energy was in no way hidden from the crowd as the keyboardists’ spastic switch from keys to cowbell to high hats coincided with the groove. The layered sparks of soul in the Constellations’ music were the perfect way to jump start the performance to follow.

Beads of sweat were already forming on most of the audience members when Electric Six finally took the stage. Calm and collected but zany nonetheless, Dick Valentine ignited the venue with his smooth vocals and coy dance moves. Classic songs, “Gay Bar” and “Gay Bar Part 2,” turned the Firebird into a steady wave of dancing, sweating and shouting bodies. From there, the level of fun could be measured in the melting face paint smearing from two of the band members’ faces (The Colonel and Smorgasbord).

Electric Six’s live performance echoed the sound of Zodiac, clearly not disappointing the smiling fans from the front of the row to the back wall. The shredding of the guitars and heavy thumping from the bass and the drum set electrified the performance. In the end, the live show was just as bold as Valentine’s red, silk button-down and gyrating dancing.

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