To wind down their last tour, Sleigh Bells was joined by Class Actress and Jel of whom accompanied them for some of their tour dates. Jel put on a pretty entertaining set, despite being a one-man production that involved a lot of beat-making and button-mashing. With a Novation Launchpad or some other sort of sequencer in-hand, Jel set the crowd alight for a great opener.
A lot of electronics was perfect to get the crowd pumped for Sleigh Bells. Sadly, the same could not be said for Class Actress. This new indie-pop three-piece with an old-school feel was left desolate with their drab stage presence. Most of those in the crowd seemed to dig them, but they just seemed to be an impediment for the main event. The electronics were cheesy and not layered well. They looked and sounded like they were from the 80s—just not my cup of tea. On-top of it all, the lead singer was wearing about four layers of clothing that she had to reduce to one by the middle of their set. Her stage presence was seductive and distracting, yet the highschoolers seemed to be into it. Overall, it was the low point of the night. When the appetizers were done, dinner was served.
Lead guitarist, Derek Miller, and touring guitarist, Jason Boyer, walked out and were greeted with a thunderous applause and the show hadn’t even begun yet! To start it off, “Demons” was the first track. It was a strong choice for an opener (too say the least). Alexis Krauss made her way out adorned with a black leather jacket with holes, studs, and spikes all over it, really bringing the “punk” to electronica. With the crowd’s undivided attention from the beginning, Krauss had total control while out, and it appeared she was into the show as much as the fans—something that can’t be said about all artists.
They played the majority of both records, which made for an eclectic and well-rounded mix that was a healthy balance. It was surprising to hear the songs off of Reign Of Terror sound so well live because it really seemed like the album didn’t do as well as Treats. It is hard though when your debut record becomes an instant hit. However, they all sounded fantastic, and the mix of heavy electronics and distortional guitars made for a intense show.
The light show was something like I’d never seen at any other show other than Skrillex. It was sea of light, and lined-up perfectly with all the music. The better live tracks included: “Crown On The Ground,” “Riot Rhythm” and “A/B Machines.” There sadly will, however, always remain a bias towards the tracks off of the electro-based, Treats, more than the guitar-heavy, Reign Of Terror. Given the more rich and developed sound in that particular field, it was all abut Treats for me at the concert, and wow was I given them!
Sleigh Bells put on one of the biggest shows I’ve ever heard or seen. They should definitely be on your concert bucket list. It was definitely a treat! And yes, that pun is very much intended.
Photos by Jordan Welsh