The beer was flowing like wine last night at Warehouse Live for the return of raging indie rockers Sleigh Bells. We could literally feel the electricity in the air as we watched the venue doors rattle and hum as we walked up. I noticed a lot girls with earplugs too. I knew Sleigh Bells was loud, but I didn’t really think they were that amplified. I was only assuming I wouldn’t be able to hear or talk to anyone for the next four hours, but that quickly became a reality. I then decided that I’d need something to share this evening with, it was at that moment I made the conscious decision to drink. We walked through the doors, and with Lone Stars in hand, braved the crowd of restless Sleigh Bells fans.
We were greeted to the likes of Elite Gymnastics first. They were an odd pair to say the least. The two band members played in the dark, while a large video screen guided the crowd through odd and unpleasant lyrics. One guy spoke every word as he starred oddly into the crowd, while the other guy jumped around beating a trash can lid. These guys thought they were the real-life Doug’s Garage Band. It was as if the crowd was being forced to sit through the worst karaoke session ever minus the old Chinese guy. The set gradually improved, and the last couple songs, or synth melodies as I would call them, could easily have been mistaken for b-sides of 808s & Heartbreak. It was obvious Kanye had nothing to do with these tracks though, and no one appeared too impressed.
Thankfully, next up was Javelin, another Brooklyn twosome. After watching the train-wreck prior I figured we’d just chill until Bells, but because of the quick crowd reaction I immediately rejoined the circus. Javelin was on a whole other level. I mean, these dudes came to throw down. Their beats were up-tempo and they just appeared to be having fun. People were dancing and singing along to the ballsy covers these guys were dishing out. First, they killed Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage”, and then they straight of slayed Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” with ease. This guy had a kazoo. A kazoo. He was rapping to a kazoo. Color me impressed, because I’ve never seen that. Javelin defiantly resparked the dying crowd, as they were the perfect appetizer for what was to come next.
The time had come. Sleigh Bells was up next, my beer had arrived and everyone was ready. Alexis Krauss jumped out from backstage and that quick, the show had started. The duo was now a trio for touring purposing, but no one seemed to notice. All eyes were on Krauss. She was wearing the craziest bedazzled shorts I had ever seen. It was like one of those weird infomercials we saw as kids. One guy leaned over to me and said “that’s a bad bitch right there” as he nodded blissfully. Apparently, that was the general consensus.
The set was filled with a balance of their newest record, Reign of Terror, as well as their master-piece of a freshman release, Treats. Krauss’ everlasting energy made the performance that much more of a spectacle. She jumped into the audience and hung on the rails as fans gladly held her up. She even went as far as finishing one song as she bodysurfed from one side of the crowd to another. What I witnessed could only be described as raw adrenaline. The only letdown of the night was annoying uppity pricks who had “seen them four or five times” and claimed that “they were louder last year”. You know what? I don’t care. I couldn’t make it out last year.
With only two albums under their sparkly belts Sleigh Bells aren’t to be taken lightly. Warehouse Live is a pretty big venue, and Krauss seemed to have the entire place in some sort of electronic trance from beginning to finish. For one reason or another I had never gotten a chance to see the heavy hipster duo, and prior to yesterday I actually hadn’t heard much of the new record. The couple songs they played on Saturday Night Live was the only new stuff I knew, but after seeing Sleigh Bells once… I’ll be sure to not miss them again.The couple songs they played on Saturday Night Live was the only new stuff I knew, but after seeing Sleigh Bells once.. I’ll be sure to not miss them again.
– Jessie Hobson