Brooklyn duo Sleigh Bells played their first headlining show at the El Rey Theatre back in 2010 and now, seven years later, they returned for yet another night of blustering abandon. Touring in support of their fourth album “Jessica Rabbit,” released last November, they filled the El Rey on Tuesday. The combination of fiery-riff guitarist Derek Miller and previously-pop singer Alexis Krauss makes for an interesting blend of explosive noise-punk and cacophony-driven synth-pop.
They opened their set with “Dark Paths” and “Tell Em,” swathed in dark blue lights. Throughout the night, Miller almost never came out of shadow except for a moment when caught in a frenetic strobe. Krauss kept the crowd totally enthralled with her energy and powerful voice — amazingly louder than the distorted guitars. She bounced back and forth across the stage, often reaching out or hopping down to the front row, immediately hidden by a sea of unhinged arms.
They pushed through a bludgeoning set, rife with shining pop vocals, compressed riffs and above all else, volume. They performed some faves “Riot Rhythm” from 2010’s “Treats” and “Comeback Kid” from 2012’s “Reign of Terror.” Toward the end of their set, opener Tunde Olaniran joined Sleigh Bells to perform “Loyal For” from the new album. They closed the night with “A/B Machines” from “Treats” and the audience hobbled away sweaty from one esoteric banger after another, gasping for air after nearly drowning in Sleigh Bells’ double-edged delirium.
Sleigh Bells were supported by genre-crossing pop artist Tunde Olaniran. Along with two back-up dancers and dressed in an African robe, Olaniran brought a sense of acceptance and joy to the room with his pop and rap prowess as he championed diversity with uniquely blurred musical lines.