Sleigh Bells Detonate House of Blues in Atlantic City

Video I shot of “Rill Rill” – skip to 1:59. Where Did Alexis Go?
‘Twas the night of May 12th and all through the House of Blues, not a creature was stirring until their tickets were scanned. And Miss Sexy Armpit gambling at Showboat and I in the chilly venue without a coat waiting for Sleigh Bells to take the stage. 2 opening bands failed to impress me. The first berated us with chaotic screams and the other made me doze off, both of their names escape me. Fortunately, I wouldn’t have to wait much longer to hear the ringing of the Bells.

Finally at almost 11 O’Clock there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my seat to see the spectacle on stage. The colored lights cut through the fog and beamed on the breast of a retro raven haired siren. With her kinetic energy and ability to arouse, I knew in a minute it must be Alexis Krauss. When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a wall of Marshall amps and 2 blazing guitarists, Derek and Jason.


Every song dropped a barrage of beats provided by a DJ on the side of the stage. The songs pumped into me like bullets. Sleigh Bells blasted into tracks from both of their albums Treats, and Reign of Terror, including the head bopping “Kids,” their latest track, “Comeback Kid,” “Tell ‘Em,” “Treats” “Infinity Guitars,” “Rill Rill,” and “Riot Rhythm.”

The band amped the crowd up with these supercharged songs. During “Rill Rill,” after basically falling off the stage trying to get down from it, Krauss dove onto the raised hands of the audience as they floated her around for a bit. After their last song, Krauss got back on the mic and thanked everyone and also threw in a little tongue in cheek tidbit about herself for those of us keeping track, “This is the first first stage I ever fell off…” I say make the t-shirt! I WAS THERE WHEN ALEXIS KRAUSS FELL OFF THE F’N STAGE AT H.O.B ATLANTIC CITY!

Sleigh Bells LIVE sounds even better than on an iPod. It’s hard to capture their juxtaposition of madness and etherealness merely via earbuds. Sometimes bands’ live performances are disappointing when you go into a show expecting to hear the songs the way you know them from their studio album, but Sleigh Bells replicates their songs flawlessly. Krauss’ dancing, the barrage of lights, and all the guitar shredding only served to enhance the songs and create a totally exhilarating experience.

If you can only wrap you’re head around music from the contestants of American Idol, then Sleigh Bells may not be for you. The band skillfully mixes pure modern pop hooks with an enormous rock sound and an electro hip-hop cheerleader vibe. You get all that?

Do you remember hearing Guns ‘n’ Roses, The Beastie Boys and Nirvana for the first time? All very different bands, but they were huge game changers. They made you take notice, they made you want to listen to the same album over and over and over again. Sleigh Bells has become the most recent band to make me want to listen to their tracks on loop. Their musical approach is fresh and surprising. Their two albums are constructed with a zigzag of minimalism, melody, and riffs, all layered with lush harmonies throughout.

After their show at House of Blues in Atlantic City, seeing Sleigh Bells LIVE again is a must, but I’ll have to wait until to they come back to New Jersey! Chances are, they will be back again sometime soon since Krauss is a Jersey girl and a future Garden State Playmate, no doubt!

Before the traditional ending, let me say that House of Blues A.C is one of the coolest venues to see a show in Atlantic City. It’s right on the boardwalk and has a real rock and roll vibe where Sleigh Bells knocked me out with their brilliant high powered stage show. They are on tour now so I recommend checking them out next time they come to your area, and until then…to all a good night!