I didn’t quite ‘get’ True Shred Guitar until I heard it live. I get it now.
As always, Kids was awesome live. The bass during this particular performance was so low it sounded downright sinister, as if demons had possessed Terminal 5. This doesn’t come through on video (below), but the clip is still worth watching.
Speaking of demons… Demons is one of my favorite tracks on the new album. I suspected it would sound great live and go over well with the crowd, and I was correct on both accounts. Here’s hoping Bowery Presents (which streamed the show live) puts the video on YouTube.
As I also suspected, many of the other new songs couldn’t seem to get the crowd going. That’s not to say the new material is bad; it’s just not as visceral as the stuff from the first album. The New York Times write-up hits on this pretty well:
The paradox is that Sleigh Bells’ newer music has more on its mind than elemental impact. Under the salvos of programmed percussion, new songs like “End of the Line,” “Comeback Kid” and “Leader of the Pack” were anthems of mourning and consolation. At times distorted guitars made way for resonant ones for a few pensive moments. But that didn’t last very long; the stomp and screech came back immediately and often. After the live onslaught, Sleigh Bells fans are going to have to discover the new songs’ subtleties on their own.
Cheesy as it sounds, on the eve of their debut SNL performance, with the internet buzzing about the new album, it really felt like all the energy in New York City was concentrated in Terminal 5 for the evening. Or as Pitchfork would have it, the show felt “Now As Fuck”.
I leave you with Crown on the Ground because it makes fantastic exit music.