What do you get when you mix heavy metal, hip-hop, punk, pop, and electronica? The incredible juxtaposition that composes Sleigh Bells, of course. Since releasing their debut album, Treats, in 2010, Sleigh Bells has continually captivated concertgoers with their crunchy guitar leads and sugary vocals. But those of us who were fortunate enough to be at The Georgia Theater on November 5 know that it’s the band’s contagious energy and passion that keep listeners begging for more.
As the lights began to dim, a drum-line-style beat blasted an apparent call to arms that was fit for the flag-like backdrop, striped red and white. Each member of the band slowly answered this call as they took their place on stage. There was no mistaking lead guitarist Derek Miller as he stormed onstage. Wearing a camouflage shirt with pants to match, Miller strapped on the tiger-print guitar that adorns the cover of the group’s most recent album, Bitter Rivals. With one quick stroke of his strings, Miller sent a piercing chord through the theater. The crowd’s anticipation was at a peak as we roared in unison with Miller’s guitar. Just as the crunchy chord began to fade, lead singer Alexis Krauss took her place center stage. Wearing a leopard-print fighter’s robe, she hopped around beneath the strobe lights, throwing punches at the air like the heavyweight champ. All at once, Miller thrashed at his guitar, and the show opened with “Minnie,” a drum-driven track from Bitter Rivals that could stand alone as a testament to the band’s uncanny ability to combine heavy guitar riffs with dreamy hooks.
Miller and Krauss’s chemistry was immediately evident as they danced and head banged their way through “Tiger Kit” and “Comeback Kid,” a fan-favorite that had the floor shaking as the audience jumped with the band. When the distorted guitar and melodious synthesizers faded, Krauss asked us all to sing and dance with her for their next song, the unmistakable “Crown on the Ground.” The crowd erupted as the punchy melody blasted through the theater before seamlessly fading into the title track of their new album, “Bitter Rivals.” The experimental pop group’s intensity combined with catchy tracks like this one made it impossible not to move with each song. When Krauss danced, so did the audience; jumping and bobbing around with the singer’s velvety vocals.
The energy never waned as the band mixed seven songs from their new album with older hits like “Riot Rhythm.” Miller’s hardcore background was evident as his screeching solos mingled gracefully with Krauss’s intoxicating melodies. Before announcing their last song, Krauss displayed the sincerity that defines Sleigh Bells when she expressed her love for Athens, The Georgia Theater, and the crowd that couldn’t help but dance with her.
As “Infinity Guitars” (a song that embodies its title) came to a close, there was no doubt that an encore was imminent. The entire audience showered the empty stage with praise until Derek Miller, Alexis Krauss and the rest of Sleigh Bells returned. The encore opened with “Young Legends,” a song that highlights the band’s ability to create a catchy, melody-driven track without sacrificing the meaningful lyrics and noise-heavy style that catapulted the band into the public eye back in 2009. Sleigh Bells concluded the night with “A/B Machines,” but not before pulling fifteen members of the audience onto the stage with them. While Krauss belted out the song’s lone lines, “Got my A machines on the table, got my B machines in the drawer,” she embraced the dancing audience members onstage, turning the night into exactly what it was: one giant dance party.
Hailing from 'The Good Life City' of Albany, Georgia, Colby Pines is the middle child of five boys. While his family is primarily comprised of men, the Pines family did have a female dog once... unfortunately she died... God bless his poor mother. When Mr. Pines was in third grade the doctors discovered that he had an extra bone in his knee. The bone did not possess any magical powers or help Colby run faster/jump higher, so the doctors surgically removed the bone and refused to let Colby keep it as a souvenir. Colby recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in having cool friends and wearing great sweaters. Colby studied abroad at Oxford University's Trinity College where he was able to visit three of the four coasts, but was not able to bring back a baby with a British accent. Colby enjoys going to the movies, scotch, traveling, playing folk music with his band, BirdHead, eating good and bad food, writing, dabbling, playing Fantasy Football with his Pigskinz and Sundee Beerz League, reading a great book, and all sorts of music. While Colby has a bit of a bipolar taste in music, some of his favorite bands include: Band of Horses, Death Cab for Cutie, 2pac, Washed Out, Johnny Cash, Childish Gambino, Local Natives, The Beatles, Danny Brown, and Beach House. Colby is currently single and quite possibly ready to mingle. Colby has broken five bones, saved two children from drowning, been to Canada twice, and almost fallen into The Grand Canyon once. While he tends to miss things like Breaking Bad, eighth grade, Hey Arnold!, and Surge soda, Colby's excited for the future where he hopes to continue writing and doing the things that he loves.