A sold out crowd (read: “all ages show”) jammed the rafters at Warehouse Live last night for CSS and Sleigh Bells. The São Paulo-based CSS delivered 90+ minutes of happy and rambunctious electropop (a.k.a., “video game music“) to an audience whose enthusiasm never waned. Appreciative hands, heads, and cell phones bobbed frenetically with a few brave souls hoisting themselves onto the ocean of extended arms for a ride across the room. Finding myself so taken in by this infectious glee, I climbed atop a speaker cabinet and swan-dived into the mosh pit before me. But then, like Moses, the sea parted and I hit concrete.
ok, not really.
The duo Sleigh Bells, smaller and so much louder, proved considerably less enjoyable. These Brooklyn hipsters impaled our brain with ear-shattering noise — NOISE: as in the sub-genre of pop with the same name and the acoustical phenomenon wherein excess vibrational energy mangles sensitive stereocilia inside the ear canal . For a duo with a drum machine, the volume level was overcompensation. They were the musical equivalent of a short guy with a penis car — the short guy, a guitarist pacing around like Angus Scott in a hoodie, and the penis, a girl gesticulating hip-hop in a Bulls jersey (with the U of Bulls changed to an E, of course).
The third member of their group, an MPC-5000 beat box, executed without a glitch. A real pro, that one.
Sleigh Bells, when they weren’t trying to kill us with 130db of NOISE (I like writing this in all-caps), tried to induce mass epilepsy with 10,000 watt strobes. This set lasted a brief 35 minutes, thankfully, because, and here I quote them (this is also circulating all over Twitter now too):
“this is embarrassing. We would love to play more for you guys, but we don’t have anymore songs.” – Sleigh bells
Here’s a sample: