I really, really like going to concerts. Like. A lot. And for some reason, I never really attended them as much as I would have liked in the past. But after experiencing Pitchfork this summer in Chicago, I realized the error of my ways. And I have attended every concert I could afford/ was decent enough for me to drive down town for ever since. Sleigh Bells fit those credentials perfectly. I had seen them before this summer, but that concert I was about half a football field away from them and surrounded by some of the weakest fans I had ever seen. There was literally no contact, no moshing, not even a little shove to make me stop acting like an idiot (because I was basically having a seizure with the effort I was putting into my dancing). So I knew I needed the full Sleigh Bells experience.
When I arrived at Sunshine for the show, I was a little alarmed by how few people were there. I figured Sleigh Bells was a big enough band to draw a decent sized crowd. I mean, at Pitchfork I was half a football field away from the stage due to the mass amounts of people there. Well, it turned out that the opening band had canceled so the house DJ was to entertain us for the next hour. That did not sit too well with the crowd. As people slowly started to realize we would have to sit through a very uninspired DJ set with some uninteresting samples, booing erupted and chants of “SLEIGH BELLS” echoed throughout the still half empty venue. I personally felt bad for the poor guy and tried to stay as engaged as I could. I couldn’t help it though and towards the end of the hour I began to join in on some of the chants.
He finally got off stage to lots of cheering and clapping. As he started packing up and exiting, it became apparent that there had been a huge box like structure behind him the whole time. So when he finally got off stage, the curtain that was covering the box was removed and before us stood the biggest speaker stack I have ever seen. Eight feet tall and about fifteen feet across, the pure magnitude of what Sleigh Bells stood for finally hit me. The first time I had seen them, I was pretty far away and I really didn’t get the true Sleigh Bells experience. Now was that time. I pulled out my ear plugs in an eager anticipation for what was to come.
Before I get any farther, my attraction to Alexis Krauss needs to be brought up. She is the most attractive woman in the music business right now aside from Zoe Deschanel (and I’m not even sure if she counts) and the fact she got crazier than most guys while on stage is simply awesome. So the minute she arrived on stage, I was ready to lose it. Whoever the guy in the band is hit the opening chord and I immediately looked for somewhere to mosh because no one around me was even trying. At this point, I finally analyzed who was here: a lot of lesbians and hipsters. No offense to either group, but that’s not a moshing conglomerate. So I found the best I could and started my classic flailing of my body to the mashing guitar sounds reverbing throughout the theater. It was pretty cool I must say to finally be the leader of the mosh pit as I threw people around with ease I had never experienced before.
The music of course was amazing. I only really know the album “Treats” so whenever any other songs came on I just focused on moshing. But whenever I knew a song I tried to sing as loud as I could. “Rill Rill” was still my favorite but what made this show so much better than in Chicago was the proximity to Kraus. At one point, I even got to touch her finger as she did her classic stage dive. It was an thrilling moment, and probably the high light of the night. Over all though, it was a good show. I love being that close to a band and Sleigh Bells is definitely worth seeing again. On a side note, one of my friends actually was able to get a set list with, in Kraus’s handwriting, said first time in ABQ. Seeing that was a great way to end a great night.