45 Minutes of Chaos: Sleigh Bells @ Ogden Theatre

Earlier this morning Sleigh Bells updated their Facebook status with ‘dear denver, thank you for showing us so much love over the course of this record! we will be back in 2012!!‘  This ‘love’ has been shown quite a few times in the past 14 months, starting with their opening slot for Yeasayer at the Bluebird.   Even back then the duo were upstaging the headliners on the strength of a few tracks floating around the Internet.  With no official material released, they proved to be one the most exciting live acts around.  Just over a year later and rolling through town for the third time with Treats, Sleigh Bells once again had a thing or two to teach Yeasayer about how to obliterate the stage at the Ogden.  Picking up where their fellow Brooklynites had failed earlier in the week, Derek and Alexis‘ explosive assault smacked the facepaint off the underage kids in the front row while threatening to bring down the balcony with reverberating bass.   They might have been on a larger stage, they might have had an elaborate light and laser show and they beat their record set time (35 mins)  by 10 minutes, but other than that Sleigh Bells didn’t change their plan of attack…come in hot, turn it up to 12, pummel the crowd with strobe, bass and Alexis‘ sexy screams, suggestive shrieks and spastic struts.  The band was introduced by a metal riff in the darkness.  Sabbath‘s Iron Man did little to prepare us for the sensory overload that we were about to experience.  Opening with Crown on the Ground was a clear statement of how far they’ve come in such a short time. Then, before we knew it, Alexis was bidding us a good night before throwing her mic to the ground like a piece of trash that has been used and abused and was no longer of any use to her.  45 minutes had gone by in a flash of the strobelight and we couldn’t help but empathize with that microphone.  We also felt like we had been abused, but the Stockholm syndrome had already taken hold.  It was immediately obvious that we would have to wait until 2012 to be reunited with Derek and Alexis, as the stacks of Marshall amps powered off, the lights came on and our captors had fled the scene.  There would be no encore…they left us wanting more.

Billed a co-headlining show, there was no doubt who the real headliners were.  Neon Indian‘s ‘time-machine to the 80’s‘ was entertaining as always but I have to say they did have a harder time filling the ‘big’ stage.  I much preferred their Larimer Lounge set a couple years back.

Bosco Delrey provided an interesting one-man opener.  Imagine if Jay Reatard and Elvis had a kid and although he can never live up to his parents, he tries real hard.

After seeing Sleigh Bells five times since I first heard them last year, I just didn’t have it in me to write a full review of this show.  But I will say they never disappoint.  As openers at Bluebird, headliners at Larimer Lounge, on large festivals stages at SXSW and Pitchfork, they always bring their A-game.  I highly recommend the Sleigh Bells experience.