Electronic sensation Sleigh Bells performed at the Fox in
Pomona Wednesday. Sleigh Bells, a Brooklyn-based duo consisting of
former pop princess Alexis Krauss and guitarist/producer Derek Edward Miller,
has an emerging sound that incorporates electronic, hip-hop, rock, punk and
hard core. The Wednesday night show in Pomona brought a diverse crowd, ranging
from devout Sleigh Bell fans to trendy L.A. teenagers who ventured to the Inland Empire to follow the newly successful band. This spring 2012 tour showcases Sleigh
Bells’ second album Reign of Terror, released earlier this year.
Elite Gymnastics, an electronic band out of Minneapolis, were the first openers. Although this tour with Sleigh
Bells is Elite Gymnastics’ first official tour, the male duo had a strong
energy on stage and jammed together to heavy beats that rang from the speakers.
Promptly after Elite Gymnastics finished their set, Javelin, an
experimental electronic group from Brooklyn, showcased their unidentified mash-ups of oldies, top 40 hip-hop hits, rock and eclectic combinations of international
Although Elite Gymnastics and Javelin both brought
excitement and spontaneity to the Fox’s stage, when Sleigh Bells emerged from
backstage their unbelievably high energy and volume heightened the audiences’
senses and got the show started. Sleigh Bells kicked their set off with a
song from their new album Reign of Terror titled “Demons,” which has a classic-rock
sound through which Krauss’s high-pitched voice penetrated.
The set continued with the radio hit “Crown on the
Ground” from their first album Treats. Throughout Sleigh Bells’ set their creative
sound combined utter chaos and calm tranquility that was supplemented with
flashing multi-colored lights and smoke, creating an eccentric and aesthetically
pleasing performance. The set was diverse and well arranged, transitioning
between hard-core noisy sounds to more melodic and soft songs like “Rill Rill,”
which concluded the show.
Although Sleigh Bells is a duo, the show was predominately
a solo performance—Krauss ruled the stage throughout the entire set, and although
she did interact with Miller and the second guitarist on stage, the
audience’s eyes never left Krauss. With the vivid purple and blue lights
circulating the stage, Krauss appeared as a silhouette on stage and fluidly moved
her body to the often harsh beats. Krauss wore a provocative outfit and had definite
sex appeal on stage, but she also appeared as a powerful and independent
figure with her dominating voice and uninhibited movements.
The Fox venue was fairly big for the medium-sized crowed,
but that did not keep Krauss from connecting to her audience through the
entirety of their set. She was not only getting the crowd going by instructing
them to “pump it” to the beat, but she also climbed off stage into the crowd during
various songs so that she could sing and interact with her fans. At the end of the
set during “Rill Rill,” Krauss not only
climbed in a pit of adoring fans, but also crowd-surfed among them. The intense
interaction that Krauss demonstrated with her fans heightened the connection between
the band and the audience, and made for a more intimate, fun performance.
Sleigh Bells is continuing their tour until mid-May and
is hitting big cities such as San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Dallas, Boston
and Washington, D.C. For more information about Sleigh Bells and their 2012 tour visit
the Sleigh Bells’ Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/sleighbells.