Review: Harrah’s unveils Louis XIV for show at Vex |

Review: Harrah’s unveils Louis XIV for show at Vex

When Vex’s stage lights came on after midnight Friday, they revealed garage-rock royalty.

The second band in Vex’s series of concerts by up-and-coming bands, which remain a loosely guarded secret until after midnight on Fridays, was Louis XIV. The San Diego-based quartet is fresh off releasing its third album, “Slick Dogs and Ponies,” at the end of last month.

(My closest brush with Louis XIV before Friday: The band’s opener at the 2006 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., Juliette and the Licks ” actress Juliette Lewis’ band ” got in a snowball fight with the rowdy crowd, and Louis XIV left the stage after a short set.)

Louis XIV is probably too well-dressed to call garage rock ” and the band decked itself out in suits and featured not one but two violins ” but its blend of straight-ahead glam sleaze and elements of punk probably rocks a little too hard to classify as new wave. While the live experience doesn’t allow as much access for the uninitiated to immerse themselves in Louis XIV’s mock-sleaze lyrics ” and while it lacks the what-have-I-gotten-myself-into thrill of the first mystery band, Ghostland Observatory of Austin, Texas ” there was plenty of appeal in the straight-ahead approach.

The audience was larger than the first show according to a couple of unofficial counts, maybe result in part of Reno rock station KRZQ’s complicity in helping rally the band’s fans before the show. Harrah’s Lake Tahoe has enlisted the help of another rock station, KWOD 106.5, to get the word out for the next mystery band show, at midnight March 14, which Harrah’s promises will be even bigger.

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