Sleigh Bells, Diplo packed the house at their Firestone performance
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2012 18:02
Beats pulsed from inside downtown's popular venue Club Firestone as a mass of fans stood outside in the rain, waiting to see homegrown acts Sleigh Bells and Diplo on Friday night.
Ticketholders were slowly ushered into the club well after 11 p.m., despite the show's 10 p.m. door time. The line for will call stretched the length of Orange Avenue and many strained to listen to the throbbing guitar riffs of opening act Liturgy from outside.
Despite its organized chaos, Firestone offers great acoustics and a classy, spacious feel when it isn't stuffed with raging concertgoers. Shortly after the end of Liturgy's set, the stage began to swell with amps and equipment, signaling Sleigh Bells' arrival.
Noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells is comprised of vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist Derek E. Miller of Poison the Well. Growing rapidly in popularity since the band's formation in 2008, Sleigh Bells has performed at festivals such as Coachella, Pitchfork and Austin's South by Southwest music festival. The jarring, catchy riffs Sleigh Bells is best known for caught on quickly, and the band has experienced a surge of steady fans after their debut album Treats was released in May 2011. Miller, originally from Miami, proposed an exclusive Florida tour to house-pop DJ and former UCF student Diplo amidst a night of drinking in Brooklyn, and thus the Paradise Lost tour was born.
Orlando's show certainly embodied the enthusiasm of the collaborative tour as Miller and Krauss took to the stage with a familiar, down-to-earth vibe, amping the crowd up with hits like "Rill Rill" and "Crown on the Ground". Krauss' dainty vocals cut through the heavy, invasive electro beats with seamless ease. Krauss' dominating stage presence is reminiscent of Yeah Yeah Yeah's vocalist Karen O, with sensual dance moves and an endless charisma that the audience imitated.
"I should hear you clapping already, come on, clap to the beat!" Krauss directed the crowd as Miller hammered out the beginning chords to their hit single "Infinity Guitars" toward the end of the band's set, and fans began to buzz with excitement.
"I like the bombastic noise Sleigh Bells came to the stage with, and [Krauss] really pumped the crowd up," English major David Minor said. Krauss took center stage on a platform that stretched out into the crowd as she intimately shared the microphone with passionate fans.
As Sleigh Bells ended their set with older, familiar tunes, the crowd swayed in unified excitement and vigor, and Diplo had his work cut out for him. While a small portion of the crowd filtered out, many stayed for Diplo's set, armed with LED gadgets, glowsticks and fancy footwork.
Despite the cohesive, ambient vibe that the album Florida employs, Diplo's arsenal of popular house, pop and hip-hop music clips brought a different vibe and created a crowd unified in one goal: to dance.
"Zero inhibitions, I loved every second of it," Rollins international business major Luke Turner said, raving about Diplo's performance as he stepped outside, drenched in sweat from dancing. "Diplo plays genres that everyone enjoys and everyone wants to hear. He brought the energy. It was more fun than I could've imagined."
Diplo's set consisted of clips featuring everything from The Police's cult classic "Roxanne" to Basement Jaxx to Lil Wayne, and held on until well past 2 a.m., but that didn't stop the crowd from dancing until the last note dropped off.
Sleigh Bells and Diplo concluded the tour with a show in Miami on Valentine's Day. Other stops along the way included Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. Sleigh Bells' much-anticipated second album, Reign of Terror, is set for release next week on Feb. 21, available for download on iTunes.