Sleigh Bells at the Bluebird Theater, 10-23-13 (photos, review)By Laina Roberts | October 24th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
The Bluebird Theater went nuts on Wednesday as soon as Sleigh Bells‘ marching band-esque drum track hit the wall of speakers at the back of the stage. Guitarist/co-mastermind Derek Miller bolted onto the stage alongside Sleigh Bells’ touring bass player and new drummer. After a quick sound check nod, Alexis Krauss danced herself to center stage, sparkly leopard print boxing robe draped around her.
The Brooklyn crew kicked off with the heavy hitting “Minnie” and Krauss immediately jumped into her signature sultry screaming vocals and crowd-pumping dance moves. This set into motion a night that had the group on stage bring a presence that was equal parts intense and captivating.
“It’s so great to be back in Denver you guys,” Krauss said after Sleigh Bells’ head-banging “Comeback Kid.” “I see so many familiar faces from Larimer Lounge, thanks for being here, this one’s for you!” she shrieked as “Crown on the Ground” blasted through the speakers. Krauss, being the stage goddess that she is, gave the front row the microphone and inched closer to the pit in front of her.
As Sleigh Bells launched into the title track of the latest album “Bitter Rivals”, it was obvious that the act’s songs resonate with every single bone in your body during a live set, something that can’t be recreated in the studio. This “Bitter Rivals” tour is Sleigh Bells’ first with a live drummer, and it’s an addition that added a sense of authenticity to the live composition along with a visual element.
Like a love-child of Joan Jett’s crude guitar riffs and Wu-Tang’s rhythmic yet intense melodies, the set truly felt like a hard-rock show from decades past, but with a new generation’s electronic beats and Krauss’ hip-hop/scream-o vocals. After a frenzied 11-song set, Krauss gestured the band’s last song “Infinity Guitars” and left everyone begging for more. The break was short lived, as the musicians hardly took a sip of water before they were back onstage for a three-song encore. Kicking off the encore with the slower “Young Legends” was an interesting choice, but no one seemed to mind as the band rounded out the set with “Sing Like a Wire” and “AB.”
“That was the most epic show we’ve ever played. Thank you, Denver — we love you so much. We’ll see you next time,” an exhausted Krauss announced after the encore. Whether or not she cycles that line in every show, it didn’t matter, because Sleigh Bells had the entire crowd — including one bold older man — moshing and dancing the whole time.
Crown on the Ground
True Shred Guitar
Born To Lose
You Don’t Get
Sing Like a Wire
Karson Brown is a Denver photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb.