Sleigh Bells’ shows are nothing if not utterly fun. From start to finish, very time I’ve seen Alexis Krauss and Derek Edward Miller it was been a nonstop party. Even when stuck in the middle of the mosh pit with the towers of speakers blasting the band’s extremely loud noise pop to borderline uncomfortable levels, it never feels bad. It’s an experience that I always recommend and that was thankfully on full display at their recent Metro show.
Opening up the night was Torres, the musical pseudonym of Mackenzie Scott. Coming off a show at House of Vans the previous week where she performed with a full band, this duo setup with Erin Manning felt like a wholly different experience. The set list stayed to true to the previous performance, but there was an emphasis on Scott’s stunning guitar work, pushing the mesmerizing quality of her songs to the forefront. “Three Futures” in particular blasted out with an almost droning quality that only broke to let Scott’s ethereal voice delivering the majestic lyrics with all the beauty they deserve.
As Torres finished up her set, the crowd pushed forward and any little pocket of room was filled with a person. The familiar wall of amps were lit up and the stage in front of it was left as sparse as possible. It’s the same stage set up as the last few years, so every one is ready and expecting Sleigh Bell’s high energy performance to tear down the house. And as Alexis Krauss, Derek Edward Miller, and touring guitarist Jason Boyer emerged, it was clear this was exactly the performance were were getting.
Krauss’ stage presence is unstoppable as she dashes across the stage between Miller and Boyer. Every song is punctuated with her exuberant motions that are as expressive as the songs she’s belting out. When she wasn’t giving it her all on stage it was because she was doing it in the middle of the crowd, cutting through the rambunctious mosh pits in an instant.
With four album and and two EPs, Sleigh Bells has plenty of material to play and they did their best to touch upon as much of it as they could. Each album had some representation in their set, most sticking to singles like “Bitter Rivals” and “Rule Number One”. But when it came to Treats, Sleigh Bells paid special attention to breakthrough album. Every song that you would expect of that monumental record was presented with full enthusiasm as if it was rare opportunity to play them.
By the time the encore came, it was fairly obvious what songs would act as the send off to the night. “A/B Machines” sent the crowd over the edge anthemic continual chorus of “Got my A machines on the table, got my B machines in the drawer”. It was a marvelous high that was immediately bested by “Rill Rill”, likely one of the first songs that catapulted Sleigh Bells in the minds of the energetic crowd. The song’s school aged centered lyrics feed into that nostalgic time period so well that it’s impossible not to sing along with Krauss to the track’s and the show’s triumphalist end.
All photos by Julian Ramirez