Sleigh Bells @ Concorde 2 review

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Since hearing their album Treats for the first time back in 2010 rarely has a week passed that I haven’t had one of their ridiculously infectious rhythms stuck in my head. They first appearing on my radar on a night out when the insanely cool ‘Infinity Guitars’ blared out of the speakers and the crowd went mental. Loud thrash guitars, repetitive hooks, solid lyrics and an original sound, not to mention Alexis Krauss’ style and presence and Derek Edward Miller’s expertise on the guitar– I was hooked instantly.

Photo taken by Emma Knock

Finally, two years later, I made the train journey from London to Brighton to see them live at Concorde 2. The venue was packed, but people were mostly milling around the bar. After picking up a couple of drinks, me and my friend made our way into the main room and weaved our way as close to the front as we dare – things were going to get messy. Dozens of gleaming amps covered the entire wall behind the stage and 30 minutes later, Alexis, Derek and another guitarist took to the stage and instantly the crowd went from mellow to mental.

Photo taken by Emma Knock

The bass was heavy, the guitars were cutting and Alexis instantly commanded attention as she screamed out the beginning of ‘True Shred Guitar’. She jumped and thrashed around the stage in a pair of studded, denim hot pants and a pink cut-off top, her signature heavy fringe no doubt sticking to her forehead with sweat. She constantly made sure she was connecting with the audience, holding her hands out to them, getting into the crowd and even throwing a bottle of water over us (much to the delight of the front two rows). A particular high point was when a guy on his friend’s shoulders threw his camera at Alexis, which she managed to catch, she then proceeded to take a photo of him, before taking a picture of herself singing and throwing it back to him.

Photo taken by Emma Knock

Derek looked as awesome as always, hanging back in a faded denim jacket with a gorgeous guitar. That guy makes it look so easy. The second guitarist, Jason Boyer, also added a great dynamic to the band and he proved himself to be quite the jokester, trying to made Alexis trip up and winking at her.

They tore up a few classics from Treats, such as ‘Riot Rhythm’ and, of course, ‘Infinity Guitars,’ which had the first few front rows moshing and working up a sweat, whilst others danced with huge smiles on their faces or sang along furiously. ‘Demons’ was a particular highlight of mine, being one of my favourite tracks from Reign Of Terror and it was great to scream the chorus back at the band as they gave it their worth.

Photo taken by Emma Knock

Though they only played for about 50 minutes, which I had expected as they a ‘famed’ for their short sets, everyone left the venue on a tremendous high, no doubt counting down the hours, days and months until they would have the chance to see them again. They managed to give us in one hour what sadly many mainstream and commercial artists fail to do in two. A great set, an awesome band and a stage presence that must make other bands want to cry at their own inferiority.


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