Sleigh Bells, Big Day Out (20 January 2013)

sleigh bells

Sleigh Bells’ stage was sparsely attended, due to coinciding with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bloody Beetroots and Animal Collective. Their stage, with darkness swathed in atmospheric smoke pierced with spot- and strobe lights, created an enclosed atmosphere that intensified the proximity; it was like being a nightclub (with enough space to dance!). It didn’t hurt that the music was powerfully loud (it was audible at the main stages, apparently).

Singer Alexis Krauss admittedly early on in the set that she had a frog in her throat. She did sound a little strained, having some difficulty hitting the high notes – but on the whole it wasn’t a big problem. The music was energetic and enormous, and a voice pushed to breaking point suited it perfectly (though “Rill Rill” was omitted from the setlist and “End of the Line” didn’t quite work).

The set was stuffed full of great songs. My highlight was a slinky downbeat take on “Born to Lose” that eventually erupted into a molten cacophony. “Comeback Kid,” “Tell ‘Em” and “Infinity Guitars” were also great, and had me dancing around like a madman (to the point where a stranger leant over to me to share one word – “Roxbury.”)

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