A few years ago I came across the noisy debut album from this Brooklyn duo and thought it was pretty good. This past winter they returned with a solid sophomore record and I had a chance to get up close and personal with Alexis Krauss, Derek Miller and their touring guitarist Jason Boyer. Compared to the last show I went to, when I almost fell asleep, I was lucky to keep my feet on the ground this time. Standing in front of a few racks of Marshall Amps, the trio stormed the stage and I remembered what it was like to have my expectations met.
Slamming through most of the aggressive tracks on their two albums we were treated to some excellent renditions of “Leader of the Pack”, “Rill Rill”, “Kids”, “Demons”, “Infinity Guitars” and my current favorite “Comeback Kid”. Several years ago I had seen the band Paramore and commented that Haley Williams strutted on stage with a mix of punk rock and pop star. Last week Alexis was all about the punk and metal. Considering their last record was an homage to Def Leppard and other 80’s style metal there was no shortage of incredible riffs that Derek pumped out.
At one point Alexis jumped into the crowd and surfed for a few seconds before getting back to the stage to complete the set. She name checked Boston a few times, she kept the lame chit chat out and set to the task of making us all sweat for about 70 minutes. Thank goodness, there are times I just want the band to rock and not try to talk to us. I don’t get to small shows like this very often anymore, there are good reasons, and once in a while it is a lot of fun to be thrown in a crowd and get to the front. The encore was three songs and the best tune of the night had to be “Riot Rhythm” as the crowd swirled to the beat.
Don’t worry, Avid Reader; I did grab a set list as the roadie threw them in the crowd and it will join the other mementos that I have accumulated over time. You can check the set here and I know you’ll be jealous.
The night opener, a DJ calling himself Jel, could have been Deadmau5 without the mask or Girl Talk with less talent. He provided background music I could drink to. Then there was Class Actress which was a guy playing some keyboards/guitars and a girl singing. Wait isn’t that the headliner? True, but they had less soul and provided even more music I could drink to.
(Sleigh Bells will be appearing soon in Kansas City and Louisville — check their schedule.)