Sleigh Bells | 10.28.12

sleighbells 75Small but mighty, the crowd was drawn to Alex Krauss like moths to a flame.

 

The Pageant, St. Louis

sleighbells

Halloween weekend in St. Louis is always full of surprises, and Sunday’s Sleigh Bells show at The Pageant had its share of tricks and treats. Costume-clad concert-goers were few and far between; however, one costume even got the attention of Sleigh Bells’ singer, Alexis Krauss. “Where’s my Ryan Gosling guy, the one from Drive? He’s goin’ crazy and I love it!” The same concert-goer, decked out in his silver jacket and driving gloves, acted as the in-crowd hypeman during openers AraabMuzik and could be seen as the responsible party for the most hilarious, ironic, soft, and somehow respectful mosh pit that broke out during Sleigh Bells’ set.

Equipped with two MPC beat machines (cool, computerized percussion touchpads), AraabMuzik filled The Pageant with sonic bass blasts interrupted by snare hits and dynamic lines of hip-hop, breakbeats, dubstep-influenced rap, and more. While watching AraabMuzik create such intricate beats was a spectacle to behold, the act got a bit stale and felt like it went on a bit longer than it really should have.

A tremor of anxiety filled The Pageant as soon as the opener left the stage; the small crowd of a couple hundred grew, though not by many, and was drawn closer to the stage. The Pageant turned down the house music and the lights went dim. A strange amalgamation of heavy metal, classic rock, and somewhat orchestral-sounding intro was piped in as Derek Miller, Alexis Krauss, and their touring guitarist Jason Boyer took the stage. The intro, beautiful with soaring guitar lines, was decimated as the trio tore in to “Demons.”

Taking their cues from Krauss, the audience never once stopped moving. Headbanging, thrashing, flailing, and wiggling were acts of therapy and catharsis as Sleigh Bells ripped eardrums to shreds. “Crown on the Ground” was a participatory song placed perfectly at the beginning to assure maximum energy throughout the over-an-hour-long set. As the group wrapped up a tune from Reign of Terror, “True Shred Guitar,” Krauss shed her leather jacket, which could only mean things were about to (somehow) get crazier. She asked the small crowd if they’d been to previous shows like the one in Columbia, Mo., a few months back, then asked if they were at 2010’s show at The Firebird. After two rounds of claps and screams in response, Krauss then dedicated “Comeback Kid” to the attendants of those past shows. The inevitable stage dive and crowd surfing by Krauss took place during “Rill Rill,” though, to be fair, it was incredibly short lived. Small but mighty, the crowd was drawn to Krauss like moths to a flame and aided in her short trip around the front of the pit.

Due to time constraints and a strict venue curfew, Sleigh Bells performed a non-traditional encore. Rather than play the game of waiting in the wings, they broke into “Never Say Die” and two songs from 2009’s Treats, the title track and “A/B Machines.” “A/B Machines” sent the crowd into a frenzy, but not to be outdone, Krauss kicked her own shoes off and jumped into the crowd. After apologizing for her “stinky-ass shoes,” she blew kisses to the audience and expressed her gratitude toward the intimate crowd as she left the stage. | Jenn Metzler

 

Setlist

Intro
“Demons”
“Crown on the Ground”
“True Shred Guitar”
“Riot Rhythm”
“End of the Line”
“Born to Lose”
“Comeback Kid”
“Straight A’s”
“You Lost Me”
“Leader of the Pack”
“Kids”
“Infinity Guitars”
“Rill Rill”

Encore

“Never Say Die”
“Treats”
“A/B Machines”

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