Louis XIV , the Futureheads and Hot Hot Heat at Kool Haus, April 23. Tickets: $23.75. Attendance: 2,100. Rating: NNN Rating: NNNNN
Louis XIV named themselves after one of the most hedonistic rulers in French history not to be ironic but because they're clearly out to satisfy only themselves.
Sauntering onstage at a half-full Kool Haus in their tight three-piece suits, sporting mullets and caked eyeliner, these pervy San Diegans made it clear they're pure nonsense. Every song sounded like a regurgitated T. Rex cover of Hot Love.
The laughable performance, complete with fake cockney accents (they must be from the East London part of San Diego) had to be a joke. Putting a spotlight on the mediocre drummer seemed straight from a Spinal Tap-style mockumentary.
It was funny in a so-bad-it's-good kinda way, but only until I listened more closely to the lyrics. "Bang me like the girls in Hong Kong"? What tha fuck?! What I'd thought was tongue-in-cheek became just plain offensive. It's easy to see these lyrics as part of their oversexed schtick, but it wasn't funny watching singer Jason Hill luring girls backstage all night. Ick.
The evening was saved by fabulous Sunderland lads the Futureheads . Clearly influenced by the Jam and XTC, they delivered, energetic, clean and super-tight vocal harmonies while slicing and dicing their gritty rawk with precision.
Their half-hour set left the stage burning for headliners Hot Hot Heat , who plunged into No, Not Now from their debut, Make Up The Breakdown, which the NC17 crowd went absolutely bonkers for. Nasal singer Steve Bays , sporting a fine Richard Simmons do, has the showmanship to carry any band to stardom, but the crowd was less responsive to the tunes off their newest album, Elevator, a disappointing follow-up with a more toned-down and overproduced sound. The differences between these songs made the set unbalanced and choppy.