Live review: Sleigh Bells, Pictureplane @ the Larimer LoungeBy Marc Hobelman and Joe McCabe | October 25th, 2010 | 1 Comment »
Sleigh Bells is early into their first tour as headliners and they are selling out respectable clubs like the Larimer Lounge left and right. They almost usurped Yeasayer when they opened for them here a few months ago. While a small handful bloggers are starting to show signs of uncertainty when it comes to the studio product, there is no question that Sleigh Bells puts on a hell of a live show.
Guitarist Derek Miller and singer Alexis Krauss quite literally blasted the audience with their pop/dance/noise on Saturday. The catchy hooks and melodies work in both major and minor keys, while Krauss layers girlish whispers or Karen O-style screeches over them. The poppy ingredients of the songs bow to the distorted, maxed out volume of Miller’s power chords and the hip-hop drum loops. With nothing but strobing, colored lights illuminating the stage nearly every other second, the kinetic nature of the music was thick. The songs were short, and they played everything they’ve recorded to date– a dozen songs — which put Saturday’s show at a brisk 35 minutes. They even squeezed in my favorite (their only) B-side, “Holly,” right before the encore.
With a solid opening set and masterful after-DJ set by local legend Pictureplane, Sleigh Bells did not need to stretch it out to make their mark. It’s probably better that they slam their audiences with columns of Marshall stacks (that filled the entire back of the Larimer Lounge stage) and get out before the crowd has time to relax. Their advantage is consistency and they don’t leave room for range or risks. I may not listen to their music while I’m trying to do anything productive — unless I’m administering ‘enhanced’ interrogation techniques — and I may not recommend this album as thought-provoking or prolific. But I will see them play every time I am physically able to attend.
Marc Hobelman lives in Denver and is a new contributor to Reverb.
Joe McCabe is a Denver photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb. Check out his website.