Sleigh Bells – The Academy

After a sell out gig in Whelan’s last February Sleigh bells made a welcome return to Dublin Monday night with a one off gig in The Academy. Buoyed by the success of recent album Reign of Terror fans have been eagerly awaiting their return. Support on the night was provided by Dublin quartet Le Galaxie. There is a real buzz about these guys recently and it was easy to see why. What the crowd were lacking the band made up for on stage, with the singer and the bass player jumping around for pretty much the entire set. With their synth heavy sounds and rocking energy they were the perfect support for a band like Sleigh Bells. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t given them a listen before then, but I went out and bought their album after the countless recommendations I had received and the set I witnessed. So far I’ve been listening to it non stop, they left a big impression with the short set they were dealt.

After a lengthy wait Sleigh Bells burst onto the stage with a bang. And I literally mean a bang, my hearing hasn’t been the same since the gig. And talking to others who attended the gig it appears I am not the only one. Quite an impressive feat for a singer and two guitarists. The stage was bare save for the three musicians and a stack of Marshall’s looming in the background. I thought the fact that it was on a Monday night and that it hadn’t sold out would mean a tamer gig than I had experienced in Whelan’s. I was quickly proven wrong. The entire set was an assault on the ears and the crowd held nothing back. They powered through hits like ‘Born To Lose’ and ‘Riot Rhythm’ before singer Alexis Krauss was left by herself for ‘Kids’. Krauss is quite a front woman, she lit up the stage despite being by herself on a bare stage. She could easily perform the entire set by herself and no one would notice the difference.

Recent hit ‘Comeback Kid’ was a big hit with the crowd, no doubt helped by the repeated airplay it’s been receiving lately. They finished the set with a personal favourite ‘Infinity guitars’ before retiring back stage for a quick break. Krauss came back on stage by herself for ‘Rill Rill’ before she was joined by the other members for ‘Demons’. The night was finished up with arguably their biggest hit ‘Crown on the Ground’ before a hasty exit that left the crowd wanting more. Loud, entertaining and memorable, everything you want from a gig. It was the gig that finally convinced me to buy some ear plugs so that I will actually have the ability to hear when I reach old age. Kudos Sleigh bells!

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