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Exclusive Video Of Sleigh

Bells' Return To Phoenix

"Crown On The Ground" Sleigh Bells LIVE AT CRESCENT BALLROOM.

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Brooklyn-Based “Noise Pop” Duo Made Their First Appearance in The Phoenix Metro Since 2011 And Sold Out The Crescent Ballroom For A Raucous And Celebratory Show

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By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

April 12, 2014 — Sleigh Bells have not visited with us Phoenicians in more than three years and when a band does not come around for so long it can be pretty easy to forget what has been missing. But following last nights body rockin, earth shattering, mind blowing, sold out set at The Crescent Ballroom I don’t think anyone will forget Sleigh Bells again.

They’re called “noise pop,” but I don’t know what that is supposed to mean, a lot of it sounded like metal to me. It’s loud, it’s raucous and it’s a whole bunch of fun. Perhaps lead singer Alexis Krauss is considered to cute to be metal, or maybe the songs are too positive for the often foreboding genre. But to me when things are that loud and the guitars are that powerful it’s called metal.

Besides being ridiculously loud the band also employs extremely bright lights and fog machines to make their already eardrum shattering set a full on assault on every human sense.They are one of those bands that come on strong and stay that way the entire set. Just fast and loud song after fast and loud song with blaring guitar solos emanating from the row of Marshall stacks on stage.

The evening at Crescent began with a performance by their Bitter Rivals tour opening act Ejecta. The one woman show played a valiant set to an already packed house. She played her guitar riffs over digitally provided beats and put on one of the best one person shows possible given the circumstances. The crowd responded to her effort as well and cheered throughout her set, and she even had quite an impressive line of admirers waiting to obtain an autograph after the set.

Ejecta did her thing, but opening for one of the hottest bands in the world at a sold out Wednesday night show cannot be the easiest thing in the world to do. Though the crowd was certainly impressed all thoughts and intentions were with the headliner, and with good reason. A show as loud and abrasive as Sleigh Bells takes some mental preparation.

The band is just loud, they don’t start quiet, they come on as loud as possible and stay that way the whole time. With all the light, color, and sound I have to imagine that their set is somewhat equivalent to an airplane crash, but in a good way. The song titles were irrelevant — mostly because I didn’t know them — because who could hear lyrics over the barrage of sensations anyway?

Krauss was on stage commanding the attention of the audience, the musicians were making beautiful music and the crowd, some danced until they were sweaty, others got sweaty standing still and looking cool, regardless Krauss and her cohorts heated it up in the Crescent. The set was sort of like being born, jarring, sudden, abrasive, but ultimately very beautiful.

The most well received songs of the evening came from Sleigh Bells debut L.P. Treats. Not that anyone was unimpressed with the stuff from 2012’s Reign of Terror, or 2013’s Bitter Rivals, it’s just that those Treats songs like “Infinity Guitars,” and “Crown On The Ground,” are catchy and hit the write notes.

No song got full crowd participation because Sleigh Bells is a hip band, and the hippest of the hip are too hip for dancing. Which to me is hilarious because if anyone in the room had reason to feel cool - besides the amazing band - it would be Stateside Presents honcho Jeremiah Gratza who spent the entirety of the set in the all ages section losing his fucking mind.

By the way if you ever wondered what Gratza’s favorite Sleigh Bells song is, it’s “A/B Machines” or at least that what his reaction to it being the closing song of the night would indicate.

Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at jmoses@moderntimesmagazine.com.
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