Vegas Seven

Neon Reverb

  • Neon Reverb

    Crystal Antlers

    By Jarret Keene

    Despite absolutely perfect weather, only about 40 paying customers hit the Bunkhouse for Neon Reverb on Friday night. Anyhow, I listened uncomfortably amid the small pockets of bodies as Long Beach, Calif.’s Crystal Antlers mocked Boulder City’s Dude City, a young, punked-out roots-rock combo that, despite a horrible soundboard, played with rare, literate, drunken passion. Then, I was bored silly by the Antlers’ noisy, too-stripped-down set. They performed as a trio, apparently having lost a keyboardist in the journey from SXSW to Vegas.

  • Neon Reverb

    White Orange

    By Jarret Keene

    Neon Reverb kicked off with a barely attended, cross-genre bill involving local blues-punkers The Ku and Ore., psyche-metal quartet White Orange. The latter possessed refrigerator-size amplifiers that were even louder than they looked. My earplugs screamed out for earplugs, and my head honestly hasn’t rang like that since a now-legendary My Bloody Valentine/Dinosaur Jr. show back in ’91. White Orange opened with the stomping, scalp-shredding “Middle of the Riddle,” off the band’s self-titled full-length from last summer.

  • Neon Reverb

    VHS or Beta

    The 7:30 p.m. start to their set in the hard-to-find downtown lot made VHS or Beta’s stellar show the most criminally under-attended of any band I saw that weekend. While the early start might have made sense had the venue not changed from the alley behind Beauty Bar (blame new zoning regulations), it did no favors to the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Louisville, Ky., dance-pop outfit. Nonetheless, VHS or Beta put on one of the better sets in Neon Reverb history. “Burn It All Down” might be five years old but it’s so likeable, it could still be a dance anthem.

  • Neon Reverb

    Hammered Satin

    By Jarret Keene

    Bowie-grade glam rock is overdue for resurgence, if crotch-blowing sets by L.A.’s Hammered Satin (pictured) and Prima Donna are any sign. Hammered Satin is a quintet of young dudes with the best bangs in the room, which, given their hot female groupies, says something. Riff-crazy, drum kit-smashing “Interstellar Lady” and the stomping groove and falsetto chorus of “Glitter Goddess” are as wild as anything the late, great Mick Ronson could’ve imagined. Up next, Prima Donna, with a more garage-rockin’ style, plus sax and keys.

  • Neon Reverb

    Black Beans and Hippie Liver

    By Jarret Keene

    A musical Frankenstein stitched together with chunks of Cream, Santana and Frank Zappa, Vegas jam trio Black Beans and Hippie Liver lit up the outdoor stage next to Gypsy Den, proving not all wank-heavy bands have to sound like wet, boring noodles. They comprise a tight ensemble, locking into grooves that, while certainly psychedelic enough for the patchouli-scented hordes, are aggressive enough for rockers like me.

  • Neon Reverb

    Shine a Light

    By Jarret Keene

    News pseudo-flash: Neon Reverb no longer monopolizes the local market on live indie-rock and alt-music events as it did for most of the last two years. Today the four-man bunch—a professor, a musician, a conceptualizer and a radio DJ—finds itself primarily squaring off against the Cosmopolitan’s Book & Stage, a hot new indie-rock epicenter boasting lots of money for the hip bands and a killer sound system. This year’s big question is, how will the biannual alt-music fest adapt to the competition?

  • Neon Reverb

    Super Eight

    By Jarret Keene

    Everything you need to know about the eight must-see bands of Neon Reverb.

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