Published May 04, 2010Returning just a few weeks after making their debut Toronto appearance, Brooklyn's Sleigh Bells were ready to show a sold-out crowd the type of environment they will soon be headlining. With a sparse set-up — guitarist Derek Miller, vocalist Alexis Krauss and their trusty iPod — Sleigh Bells may not have been making a first impression for most, but they proved they're arguably the best fluffer in the business.
While they may be relatively new, Krauss had the confidence and allure of a tested front-person, exuding the sass of Karen O but with a cool elegance. The onlookers flailed and pogoed to shit disturbers like "Crown on the Ground" and "Tell 'Em," with the blown-out low-end rumbling to the point of amp annihilation. It not just won over a mostly unfamiliar set of ears, but assured everyone Sleigh Bells' debut album will be everything the blogs say it will be.
There was definitely something different about Yeasayer since their last Toronto appearance, with the group this time coming equipped with four glowing screens, fancy translucent glass stands and gargantuan bass emanating from the throbbing soundsystem. Just two years ago, the Brooklyn trio were a quartet of longhairs pushing transcendental hippie jams. In a rammed club on Saturday night, however, they were now selling a markedly new experience.
Backed by multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Gallab and drummer Jason Trammell, the band's core of Anand Wilder (decked in a one-piece, camouflage jumpsuit), Chris Keating and Ira Wolf Tuton united as a collective to inject the songs of Odd Blood with even more life than a measly turntable or iPod. Unfortunately, the vocodered crawl of "The Children" makes even less sense live, but this introductory blotch paved the way for a night of unstoppable energy.
The hyperkinetic pulse of "Rome" caused jittering, a beefed-up "2080" caused a mass singalong (even in the indecipherable chanting bit no one knows the words to), "Madder Red" proved they could hit those three-part harmonies and "Love Me Girl" transformed the place into the rave it evokes. Surprisingly, Yesayer kept the party going after the electrifying optimism of "Ambling Alp," the greatest hit never to chart.
As Wilder brought the come down with Odd Blood closer "Grizelda," only to have the calm erased by the mighty tribal stomp of "Sunrise," Yeasayer left fans realizing that there are still two sides to the band that manage to live in peace and harmony — even with all of the fancy lighting.