October 13, 2010
An army of sweaty hipsters turned out for Brooklyn pop metal duo Sleigh Bells at the Clubhouse last night.
They didn't have to wait long for a full-on onslaught of cute, noisy, pop. It didn't last long, either. The whole thing was over in about 30 minutes.
Things started with Guitarist Derek Miller shredding while circling the stage before vocalist and certified stunna Alexis Krauss joined him on stage to get the boisterous crowd hyped up with "Tell 'Em." Alexis tossed her hair everywhere before she even started singing. The duo hovered over the crowd as fans threw their arms at the stage, romping around right from the get-go.
People really flipped their shit, moshing even, while the rest of the audience sang along with "Infinity Guitars" and shouted every "oh oh oh" in the song. "A/B Machines" set more of a club tone and had everyone jumping. Those gentle vibes those hipster kids initially gave off before the set sure were deceiving. By the fourth song, "Kids," people were crowdsurfing.
Flashing lights timed perfectly to Derek's every strum of the guitar perfected "Riot Rhythm," during which Alexis put her softspoken voice to good use. It was a little out of key, but she rocked the hell out of the song nevertheless.
The set suddenly became undanceable when they started playing "Treats." Alexis let out her highest pitched scream, which the crowd echoed three times. She sang "Holly" with her whole body, and likewise, Derek played his guitar the same way. Alexis then playfully sang a few breathy melodic riffs which she challenged the crowd to sing back to her.
Sleigh Bells took it down a notch with "Rill Rill," which sent the crowd into a hypnotic swaying motion. Alexis kept up the intimate tone of the song by touching the hands of everyone in the front row. After all, this song is the closest thing to a love song Sleigh Bells might ever release. Oh, to watch a performer make love to a crowd.
They cranked the volume right back up with their loud crowd pleaser "Crown on the Ground." Moshing, headbanging and crowdsurfing (and a lot of dropping the people that were crowd surfing) ensued. Alexis threw herself at the audience to take part in some crowdsurfing herself before she danced her face off until the end of the song.
Despite playing with a back track, Derek and Alexis really know how to play to a crowd. The set was only about a half-hour long,coincidently the recommended time for a workout, which is exactly what the show felt like.
Personal bias: My summer internship supervisors got me into Sleigh Bells after we did a promotional campaign for them. I was diggin' them from my very first listen.
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The crowd: College-aged hipsters and a few people in their mid to late twenties. Oh, and mad white kids.
Overheard: "There's a difference between sweat and four-day-old B.O. I feel guilty wearing clean clothes."
Random notebook dump: Kudos to Sleigh Bells for showing their down-to-earth side by kickin' it on the floor with concertgoers for pictures and casual meet-and-greets after the show.
Crown on the Ground