With only one show left in their “Paradise Lost” Tour, Brooklyn’s Sleigh Bells stomped through Ft. Lauderdale’s Revolution Saturday night with a fully-stocked bill that included Liturgy and Jacuzzi Boys. In support of their forthcoming sophomore release, Reign of Terror, the raucous duo attracted a vibrant, equally raucous crowd, who heated up the venue despite the chilly outside air.
Prior to the headlining set, however, the seemingly metal-hungry fans had to “endure” Liturgy, an act that worked on paper yet tripped miserably in action. Sleigh Bells’ fellow Brooklynites failed to conjure up any sort of energy from the crowd, who stared confused and rather lifeless at the noise-metal being sold to them. The crowd wasn’t absorbed, or even intrigued, they were just there. It also didn’t help that the trio hit the stage to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, an appropriate ode no doubt (even incited a short-run of dancing) yet one that set a somber, melancholic tone thereafter – especially when the black-metal surfaced.
Shortly after, Miami’s own Jacuzzi Boys – who filled in for Diplo last minute – hit the stage and reminded the audience why they dropped 30 bucks at Ticketmaster with their surf rock tunes that take us coast to coast, ultra silky reverb, and their trademark garage-rock attitude. Similar to Liturgy, the band offered a nod to Houston (frontman Gabriel Alcala screamed, “This goes back to the legendary Whitney fucking Houston!”), but any moody vibes washed away with the beach-y anthems.
After tuning the same four guitars, testing the same mic, and moving a cable around the stage, a mere 30 minutes later Sleigh Bells ignited the audience. With a wall of Marshall amps lining the stage — only to be separated by an illuminating American flag — Sleigh Bells brought the noise the moment Alexis Krauss hit the stage, wielding her studded leather jacket, her fishnet stockings, those pearl white Keds (!) , and, yes, that Fuck you attitude the crowd ate up.
Despite the forthcoming new LP, which they highlighted to mixed reactions, the duo gave plenty credence to their 2010 debut, knocking out favorites like “Treats”, “Infinity Guitars”, “Tell ‘Em”, and “A/B Machines” – all of which threw the crowd into an expected frenzy. That’s not to say the new material was weak, it just hasn’t had time to soak in. That being said, anyone expecting quick fire anthems like those off Treats might want to quell the expectations some. These new tracks bleed longer and its Krauss’ only partner-in-crime, guitarist Derek Miller, that really shines. Still, given that no one has heard Reign of Terror yet, with the exception of its two singles (“Comeback Kid”, “Born to Lose”), the crowd reacted with fine enthusiastic candor.
“I like what I see Fort Lauderdale,” Krauss screamed, lurking to and from the edge of the stage, a platform she eventually jumped off of during the encore of “Rill Rill” and “Crown on the Ground”. Naturally, everyone held her up high; not too shabby of a spot this early in their reign.
Photography by Lauren Guagno.