Union Transfer. Monday Night. End of summer closing in. Who is on the slate? Why, it’s Sleigh Bells, a duo from Brooklyn that play a style of music that is hard to describe. It’s been called noise pop, whatever that means, but it’s essentially got nice guitar hooks, a huge driving beat, lots of bass, and a female lead singer going essentially with R&B style vocals. All that with a punk attitude. Whatever it is, it works.
But before I get to Sleigh Bells, let me tell you about the opening act. Miya Folick brought a well-rehearsed, professional band with a cool light show to the UT, and they were quite good. I didn’t love every song, and in fact there were some that were forgettable. But she was the best opening act that I have seen in a while, and some of the songs were really good. I’m going to check her out later and will report back, but for now you’ll have to satisfy yourself with this picture of her from the other night:
OK, now back to the main event. Sleigh Bells is Alexis Krauss and Derek Edward Miller. Alexis sings, Derek plays guitar. There was another guitarist at the show, but I don’t know who he is. No bassist. No drummer. So it was this threesome up there.
But damn! What a lot of noise!! They had a huge stack of Marshalls on stage, each stack capped with strobe lights facing the crowd. And while there was no percussion or bass being played live, there was a ton of it being projected out into the crowd. I mean teeth rattling bass, the kind of bass that will require the UT to go back and pound in the nails holding the building up.
And those strobes! I was on the floor with my buddy, and we were maybe 8 people back from the stage. It was not a mosh show, so it was cool to be there. But let me tell you, the strobes were used a ton and the background lighting that was also used made for a trippy show not experienced by me since high school. It worked on the crowd, many of whom were young (alas, I believe I won the AARP award for oldest dude at the club that night), and all of whom were grooving on the music.
The music was great, but it’s an acquired taste. Obviously, a lot of people have acquired it since the show was sold out on a Monday night, but I’ll admit that it’s not for everyone. But for me? Hey, Sleigh Bells tore through a ferocious set without much of a breather, and left the crowd pumped up. And Alexis has some great stage presence, and even crowd surfed for a bit.
It was a great way to start the week. I’ll be back soon with another review of a show on Tuesday night. Here are some cool pictures of Sleigh Bells:
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.