By Jack Calamyne
I would like it noted for the record that the fault for my being late to the Sleigh Bells concert at The Intersection in Grand Rapids,MI lies squarely on the WMI Editor who coxed me over to Speakez on Monroe to watch him record a podcast with Lucas Wilson. Then, they had shots at the break…and I had to try some of Speakez’s cool specialty drinks…and I had to have a couple more pops while trying to keep my mouth shut during the rest of the recording. Anyway, I missed the warm band, Class Actress. But, some guy in the men’s room said they were pretty good and my buddy Yin really likes their albumRapprocher; so, take that for what it’s worth.
It should, also, be noted that the fact this review has taken so long is not because I’m lazy (as one unnamed WMI contributor has asserted.) It’s because I spilled a drink on my laptop, which required me to soak it in rice for a couple days. And really, if our cheap-ass WMI editor actually PAID me for writing these gems, I might be able to afford to get it professionally fixed. But, he doesn’t. So, I can’t. Instead, I write for the music… and the booze…and the attention. It sometimes takes a little while. Get off my ass about it. Anyway: Sleigh Bells.
It’s true that The Intersection is one of my favorite venues and it was definitely buzzing on this hot Tuesday night in downtown Grand Rapids. The duo, Sleigh Bells, generates unique brand of techno-thrash that seems to appeal to a nice cross-section of the indie-alternative rock kids and, their cousins, the techno kids. This crowd was into it and the band seemed almost… surprised. Lead singer Alexis Krauss, a front-woman with magnetic stage presence, paused between head-bangs a couple time to recognize the energy and say thank you. She even tossed in a stage dive during the encore while singing “Rill Rill.”
Sleigh Bells’ show is, powerful, relentless, smoke-filled, and features repeated use of the strobe light (it should probably come with a stripper pole and an epilepsy warning.) The stage band consists of Alexis Krauss (lead singer), Derek Miller (guitar), and another guitarist. The rhythm section is a recorded track. While it might easy for aging hipsters (like me) to get all indignant about the lack of pocket; let’s face it, this band is a techno blend and computerized rhythms are what that genre is about. If you’re not down with that, you probably don’t like this band. If you don’t like this band, don’t go see this show.
However, if you’re a fan of this band or someone that tends to lean towards the techno side of the musical spectrum, you should definitely check out Sleigh Bells new release Reign Of Terror and see them live next time they come through town. You wont’ be disappointed.