Monday, August 09, 2010

LIVE REVIEW: Sleigh Bells

The last time I was at a show this loud, I was nine. I had gone with my dad to see Weird Al Yankovic at Hershey Park (the sweetest place on Earth) and left sobbing halfway through the second song; I could feel my eardrums about to explode. Plus, I was a wimp. At any rate, my response to Sleigh Bells's ludicrous, cramped, free show in the attic of a pub in London Saturday night was slightly more positive; it was pure euphoria.

Loudness suits Sleigh Bells very well. As the band themselves have remarked, their music is a mess; a wreck of sounds and genres that by the laws of musical logic, simply shouldn't work. But it does, especially in a live setting; Derek Miller's rough-edged guitar sounds best when cranked all the way up. The violent snare and bass fury of 'Infinite Guitars' filled every corner of the 100-some capacity room, infectious; everyone dancing, grinding, pushing, shoving, seething in the tiny space.

Singer Alexis Krauss went above and beyond her reputation as a great frontwoman; constantly moving, playing off of Derek's swoops and spins around the stage. In the crowd, her face in yours, a great example of a singer who understands a concert isn't supposed to be watched like a movie; it is something to be shared. Best of all, somehow you could still hear her voice. Never piercing, never overdone.

Their set was short, to the point. No encore. Everyone left soaked in their own sweat, positively beaming. Or they just stayed around to keep dancing, keep drinking, keep the fun going.

Note: Not sure how to fit it in the article, I still want to acknowledge opening act Teeth, who brought all the energy of their successors. Singer Veronica So's vocals were unfortunately lost in the mix, but the excitement was there; the band all goofy smiles, having the time of their lives, a pleasure to watch.

Sleigh Bells on MySpace
TEETH on MySpace

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