Concert Reviews

Sleigh Bells - Granada Theater - 4/17/12

Sleigh Bells, Javelin, Elite Gymnastics Granada Theater Tuesday, April 17

Brooklyn's Sleigh Bells made a Tuesday night feel like a Friday, like you've seen Run-DMC, Katy Perry and Atari Teenage Riot all at once. At 15 minutes to 10 p.m., vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist Derek Miller came out with an additional guitarist, 12 Marshall stacks, and a strobe-filled light show. Starting with "Demons," the sold-out venue erupted into sways and headbangs. Krauss, decked out in a black leather jacket and camouflage shirt, howled over the live guitars and layers of backing tracks.

Three more songs would follow, but the crowd already seemed drained. Serenading with the jangly "End of the Line" was a good choice in terms of pacing. Two songs later, as "Comeback Kid" pulled into high gear, the cheers were back.

Given that the band's entire catalog clocks in at under 70 minutes, it wasn't surprising they left the stage after only 45 minutes. Coming back for a three-song encore, the total run time was barely an hour. Yet people were satisfied, as Cyndi Lauper's "All Through the Night" pumped out of the venue's P.A.

Earlier, Elite Gymnastics opened with 25 minutes of a visual art project mixed with tribal drums and spoken word vocals. The duo seemed to take enjoyment with throwing around a conga drum and an electric guitar, much to the amusement of those watching. Later, the pair of cousins who are Javelin gave 30 minutes of poppy rave-ups. A drum machine played live along with a bass guitar, but the true ace up the sleeve was the addition of a kazoo. Yes, a kazoo.

Personal bias: Sleigh Bells are not really my bag, musically, but I enjoyed myself. I figure there are acts who should be enjoyed with a ton of people around you instead of when you're at home alone.

Random quote: "This track was inspired by middle school dances," said Javelin's singer/bassist.

By the way: A couple of Pop Tarts packets wound up on stage during Sleigh Bells' set.

Sleigh Bells' set list: "Demons" "Crown on the Ground" "True Shred Guitar" "Kids" "End of the Line" "Born to Lose" "Comeback Kid" "Straight A's" "Leader of the Pack" "Tell 'Em" "Treats" "Infinity Guitars" "Rill Rill"

Encore "Never Say Die" "Riot Rhythm" "A/B Machines"

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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs