Test Your Reflex, Night Kills The Day
Orlando, FL • April 6, 2007
It matters not that they seem to play The Social every six months or so, Orlando will always come out, drink up and have a great time to the sounds of Detroit’s Electric Six. Something about the garage rock/disco/new wave stew that Dick Valentine and his merry band create ensures a blurry, but entertaining night of debauchery.
Performing for an early crowded house, NYC’s Night Kills The Day may have not been the most obvious choise for an opener, but their Interpol on acid vibes got under the skins of many happy fans down front. They may not have known the words to the songs off the band’s debut release (to be released the following Tuesday), but they were charmed nonetheless, as much by the hook heavy tunes like “Rainbows In NYC,” as by the intense charisma of frontman Luke Brian. Not only do the men of NKTD know how to put on a memorable 30 minute set, but their professional air and quiet confidence hints at a determination that will refuse to be derailed. After the show the band told me that a tour with Skinny Puppy may be up next for them.
From the dark gloom and glam of Manhatten to the sunny indie pop of Southern California, Test Your Reflex took the vibe in a totally different direction. Sounding like a band that wanted to sound like U2 but came off sounding more like 30 Seconds To Mars, these guys got heart but not a whole lot in the way of great songs. The songs aren’t bad, just not fully formed. Drummer Sal Cortez is the driving force of the live show, whose big smiles are as prominent as his big beats.
When Electric Six steps out and sets down a half-dozen Heinekens on the amps, the party had officially begun. With little elbow room, it seems as though all of Orlando has squeezed onto the sunken floor in front of the small stage.
As his bandmates stood coolly in the background, frontman Dick Valentine repeatedly grabbed the microphone stand, shaking it above his head like a caveman trying to impress his mate, and by the sounds of the continuous screams, impressed they were. The audience went nuts for virutally every song, “Danger! High Voltage” and “Gay Bar” being, of course, the pair of tunes that really got the asses shaking. When the former started up I nearly got trampled by a petite little blond in a sundress and sandals who was balancing a martini and a cigarette on her frantic quest back to her friend in the front row.
When “Gay Bar” kicked in every dude in the place got naked and jumped onto the stage to dance behind the band…. ‘kay, that didn’t really happen, but if it had, I wouldn’t have been completely surprised. Electric Six brings out the animal in the fan.
To see more photos of this show, and others, go to www.jencray.com.