Sleigh Bells Ring and the Granada Theater Crowd Listens.
If the future of music involves excessive guitar distortion, MTV Video Music Awards-like set design and lots and lots of jazzercise moves, then, yes, Dallas was quite privy to said future last night as Sleigh Bells, riding high off the publicity storm that has surrounded their second full-length effort, Reign of Terror, visited Dallas to headline an unsurprisingly sold-out Granada Theater.
For starters, it was quite loud. And it was quite bright, too, as the band employs enough strobes in their stage lighting to make the creators of Pokemon envious.
And yet it wasn't all boom and flash, although with a band such as Sleigh Bells that much kind of seems the point.
There was some real stage presence on display last night, which, while not necessarily lacking in the band's first visit to Dallas in the same venue last year, came off as a marked and notable improvement from this still-quite-young band.
Last time through, the band only had 35 minutes of material to offer up, courtesy of their 2010 debut, Treats. Last night's added pool of material to build a set from seemed to go a long way, as the band offered up a mostly high-energy performance with smartly placed moments of calm here and there courtesy of the bands few tender numbers.
Those moments came as welcome respites from the otherwise remarkably high-energy affair, which found frontwoman Alexis Krauss bouncing about the stage like a firecracker as her co-conspirator Derek Miller and his fellow touring guitarist Jason Boyer appeared content to resign themselves to the shadows looming behind her. Clearly over her bout with laryngitis that forced the band to cancel a string of recent dates, Krauss, clad in leather and animal prints, barely stopped moving throughout the hour-long offering, continuously jumping to and fro and, eventually, into the audience, which was all too happy to have her.
Still, even with the added material bolstering the band's performance, the end of the display seemed to come too soon. With such loud, distorted music being the band's claim to fame, there was no climax to build up towards. The end of the set just came with some waves and words of gratitude, and then it was over. No encore set, either. Just silence — or close to it.
Well, OK, there may have been music playing over the venue's PA system at that point, but with ears still ringing from the just-finished onslaught, it couldn't be heard.
It was a palpable contrast, to be sure.