Sleigh Bells at the Wonder Ballroom

Written by on November 20, 2016

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Noise pop group Sleigh Bells brought their wall of sound to the Wonder Ballroom Friday night. Lead vocalist Alexis Kraus was fighting illness and told the crowd “I’m on steroids for you guys” She insisted that “I really don’t say this to every city, I am very excited to be in Portland, which I am on steroids tonight. You are why we do this.”

If she hadn’t said anything no one would be the wiser. Her stage presence was electric. Running through the crowd and long hair whipping while bursting out her vocals. The two backing guitarist matched her energy, tearing through guitar chords while perched on top side speakers or grinding to the music on stage. A wall of Marshall amps towered behind the three musicians. Despite wearing earplugs (pro-tip by prolific concert goers who tend to be near the front of the stage and close to speakers) Sleigh Bells sound was clearly turned up to 11.

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If not for Kraus’ pop-y vocals Sleigh Bells could pass as a hard rock bordering on metal band. The fact that their drum beats are digital instead of by a live drummer pulls them away from metal and into the hard rock territory. Headbanging to layered synth melodies over the drum tracks is a first for me.

The sweating dancing pumped crowded demanded an encore. Kraus did not disappoint. See the video above for the last part of her crowd surfing before performing 2 last songs.

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Sleigh Bells just wrapped up their tour but check their Facebook page for links to the new album (released 11/18/16) and upcoming shows: https://www.facebook.com/sleighbells

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Kraus hugging and high fiving the fans

 

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