One of the more energetic tours in America right now is that of Electric Six and Aberdeen City. The former, from Detroit, is headlining in support of their new album, Switzerland, and the latter, from Boston, is behind their re-released debut, The Freezing Atlantic. This particular show was Aberdeen City’s hometown stop in Cambridge, MA at the Middle East, the place E6 frontman, Dick Valentine, claims “treats us nicer than any other venue, even the stadium.” The show was a success for both bands, as each rocked through the low ceiling, each finishing their sets with adrenaline-soaked fervor.
As Aberdeen City keeps getting bigger, their live set keeps getting better. Relative old pros at their “new” material, they have an addictive setlist that often features drummer Rob McCaffrey raising both arms before smashing down, and guitarist Chris McLaughlin holding his guitar as high as humanly possible then singing straight into it. Songs like “Sixty Lives” and “Pretty Pet” have an intermingling of serious and fun in the form of a danceable beat and vigorous, churning guitars. The best spectacle was during the final song, “Mercy”, when the entire band was drumming on something in some percussive orgy the likes of which I’ve never seen before. The performance was definitely as good as the music.
Electric Six, of whom Aberdeen City have been “fans for years”, came out in various arrays of suits and tshirts to a crowd ready to bust a move. Valentine’s vocals immediately commanded the audience into a frenzy. “Danger! High Voltage” was a massive catalyst and a ton of people sang along. “I Buy the Drugs”, their new single, was spastic and elastic, and “Gay Bar” was definitely long and strong. They stopped a couple of songs in the middle and blasted back into them, which got everyone’s chemicals flowing. “Germans In Mexico” was also quirky but powerful. They came out for an encore of three songs, and the crowd surfed out on their own sweat.
The tour goes through early November all over the country, hitting up Detroit, then finishing up Canada. As long as they have enough energy supplement powders, it should be more of the same each night, as both bands provide an entertaining experience. Truly a great match of live acts.