Electro-noise duo Sleigh Bells finished its run of three sold-out tour stops in San Francisco on Wednesday night with a lively set at Rickshaw Stop.
That night started with Bosco Delrey, a one-man band that utilizes a guitar, synthesizer, and an MPC to create a bass-heavy mashup of genres. Diplo hit it right with his recent description: “… A sort of garbage can Elvis from New Jersey … teaspoon craziness, a pinch of rockabilly, and full cup of soul dressed in a leather jacket. “
Up next was a band I had heard a little about, but I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to witness. Neon Indian took the stage and had one of the best performances I’ve ever seen, both musically and visually. Their sound is a hazy swirl of Daft Punk, My Bloody Valentine, and a vintage video game console. The band’s watercolor electronic indie pop blurs disco, electro, dream and synth pop effortlessly.
Alan Palomo, the band’s front man made use of one of the most obscure instruments I’ve ever seen. A girl behind me called it the “magic wand” — an instrument that played beautiful synth tones while Alan moved his hands above and around it.
Finally, around eleven, it was the time for the headlining duo — Derek Miller on the guitar and the mesmerizing Alexis Kraus on vocals — to take the stage for their final San Francisco performance of the week. Kraus’s stage presence shows sings of M.I.A with a voice more similar to Best Coast. It was all energy, all the time as as her ultra-girly voice sat like frosting atop the heavy electro, drum and bass, and hip hop mix that played behind her. Elegant and dirty at the same time, just like the Bells jersey she wears on stage (The back of the jersey read “Slay” and the front read “Bells” instead of Chicago’s “Bulls”).
The energy the duo’s beats brought to the small venue translated perfectly, making it a special experience for the few hundred fans that were able to snag tickets to the show. After recent high-profile gigs, including a set at Coachella, it was great to see Sleigh Bells comfortable in its club roots.