April 21st, 2010 By Local Cut | Music | Posted In: Columns, Live Cuts

Live Review: Sleigh Bells & Yeasayer, Monday, April 19 @ Wonder Ballroom

Sleigh BellsSleigh Bells have a reputation for powerful, energetic live shows, and while singer Alexis Krauss' manic stage presence and the group's catchy, low-end dance beats explain that reputation, their Monday show at the Wonder Ballroom didn't live up to it.

Krauss draws her energy from some mysterious, indefatigable source. Whether jumping, thrusting, blindly dancing or just breaking out into impenetrable shrikes, she commands the stage with a sense of ease. This is set off by guitarist Derek Miller's more reserved move: mysteriously hooded and backlit, his swayed back and forth for most of the performance, interrupted by a few high energy movements across the stage.

Despite their efforts, the band's energy stopped at the lip of the stage, unable to draw more than the attentive head bump shuffle from most the crowd. As the show continued, Krauss began to play more and more to the small, hyper-energetic mosh pit at her feet, occasionally reaching down to palm the heads of excited, bearded buts and generally rocking out.

The band through their somewhat mysterious catalogue (their first album doesn't drop until May 9), hitting amiable highs on “A/B Machines” and “Infinity Guitar” and ending with a well received, high energy rendition of “Crown on the Ground.” Krauss also asked a girl out to prom for a high school student (Dave?) in the audience, which drew heavy “awww's” from the audience,

Yeasayer's initial reception was almost the same, despite the much larger crowd. The band set up the stage with a collection of four large panels that changed color to the beat, and its synths were perched on stands of the same material, so that a many-hued light show ran in the back as the band played. Yeasayer was in good form (though by the end of the show some of its soaring harmonies drifted off-key), but Chris Keating's initial vocorder antics didn't fare well, and the low energy jams lent themselves more to swaying than anything else.

By the end of the show this was all forgotten. Starting with “2080” about halfway though the set, the band began to pick up energy, and when it launched into “Tightrope” & “Ambling Alp” the crowd enthusiastically sang along to the point where I could hear my ears clipping from the sound.

This live review is by WW intern Ben Bateman. LocalCut won't let us create a new user now, but we thought you should know!

Links:
Sleigh BellSpace
YeasayerSpace

Photo by Rob Loud (from a different show)
 
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