They came hard, they came loud, but they came up short.
Sleigh Bells hit the stage at Slowdown on Tuesday at 10:15 p.m., and they were gone an hour later.
Backed by four stacks of Marshall speakers and a ton of lights, Alexis Krauss took the stage in a “BELLS” hat and studded denim with her bandmate Derek E. Miller rocking a yellow, tiger-striped guitar like the one on the cover of the noise rock band’s latest album, “Bitter Rivals.”
After some “Inception”-style horn blasts, they tore into a version of “Minnie” that was so loud that I could feel it buzz in my chest.
Krauss flitted around the stage and belted out lyrics such as “you’re gone away/but you’ll come back someday,” “how sorry life is like a Hollywood sequel” and “set, set that crown on the ground” while striking a few diva/signer poses. Sleigh Bells’ songs are just the sort of thing to get people moving, but Krauss’ indefatigable attitude pushed the dance party vibe even harder.
Though people jammed out with their hands in the air — a sweaty, frantic dance party that reminded me of old shows by The Faint — Krauss was having more fun than anyone.
For his part, Miller never stopped moving while he busted through the head-bobbing punky riffs the band is known for. Krauss and Miller were joined by a drummer and second guitarist who tore into the songs just as frantically.
Between songs, Krauss talked a lot about how great it was to be back in Omaha even identifying a fan who she did shots with last time. (And then she asked shots to be brought to the stage.)
“Thank you so much,” Krauss said later. “You guys are a … pleasure or perform to. We love you.”
After 12 songs and a short break, they came back for a short and loud encore of the strummy, acoustic “Young Legends,” the punchy “Sing Like a Wire” and a gut-rumbling “A/B Machines” that had the audience jumping up and down together like a singular unit.
“Holy (crap),” Krauss said. “You guys have been so fun. We seriously love you. Thank you so much for coming back.”
It was a rocking show and the sort of show that people will remember for its electric feel and the songs commanding you to move. But it was simply too short.
Could they have played more than an hour? You bet they could. Where were “Rill Rill,” “Tell ‘Em,” “End of the Line,” “24″ and “True Shred Guitar?” I would have loved to hear all those those songs, which could have easily fit into the set to pad it out 16 minutes.
That’s not a lot to ask, and it would have made the show feel much more complete, especially considering the $20 ticket price.
Can’t see the photo gallery? Check out all the photos on my Flickr page.
Crown on the Ground
Born to Lose
You Don’t Get Me Twice
Sing Like a Wire