Review: Sleigh Bells / N3ptune

At our core, people want to feel music. If we hear, but don’t feel it, it’s just noise. If it moves us, it now has meaning and we want to listen to it again and again. Unfortunately, like most jokes and stories, it loses meaning the more we hear it. Some of us are music junkies – always searching for new music; chasing the dragon to feel what we once felt with a song.

Let’s say It doesn’t have to be all that serious all the time. Sometimes we just want to have fun. Sleigh Bells brought the fun this week to Columbus, Ohio’s Newport Music Hall.

The crowd was incredibly diverse all around. From overweight white guys in beards and bandanas to youthful teens who couldn’t help but dance along to the music in their hearts between performances. It may have leaned more toward an older crowd, but those are probably the people that needed to witness N3ptune the most.

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Denver’s newcomer N3ptune was a terrific pairing with Sleigh Bells who started the night off with an electric performance. Clearly, a talented individual has associated themselves with an equally talented guitarist. 

Despite the revealing attire and hair that whipped around like wild bolts of lighting, N3ptune’s voice immediately drew in the focus. There were some of us who were not sure what to make of this performance until we heard the electric guitar and vocals of this stage duo. Both were muscular and moving.

“I envy you ‘cause you only get to see Neptune for the first time once,” Sleigh Bells vocalist, Alexis Krauss told the audience. This performance had to be rescheduled from earlier this year but was worth the wait. This rock duo of Alexis Krauss and Derek E were joined on stage by a drummer and keyboardist to provide a wild and playful scene. Some shows require some patience to get past the lesser-known or slower songs but every song was loud and lovely. Each song was a new reminder of why you came to the show. “You know when you almost pass out, it’s a good show,” Krauss announced after dancing to “Crown on the Ground”.

Alexis danced around on stage between vocals the entire performance. Her counterpart Derek E. seemed content performing from the shadows interrupted with moments of crowd engagement and absolute blasts of explosiveness by everyone on stage.

The distinction between studio recordings and their live performance was only that you had no control over what song you were going to hear next and that you were among like-minded strangers enjoying the same performance bombarded with lights and sounds you could feel.

It is fleeting to try to relive how some music affected us the first time we felt it, but what better chance do we have than a live performance to feel it again for the first time?

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