Last Wednesday, Sleigh Bells and Doldrums performed in front of a modest Jacksonville crowd at Freebird Live. Sleigh Bells, who returned to Jacksonville for their second time, brought with them a new tour for their latest album Bitter Rivals, which was released October 8, and a new supporting act; one that I was even more thrilled to see after discovering his music a few months ago. Despite the relatively small venue and crowd compared to the rest of the tour, which makes stops in cities such as Chicago, LA and even NYC, the energy inside Freebird Live was so immense that it was enough to impress Airick Woodhead, better known as the experimental electronic artist Doldrums.
“This was a smaller, but more rambunctious audience and it was actually really good because the bigger [venues] can be a little more sterile,” said Woodhead. “This [show] was like more live and pungent.”
Doldrums went on at around roughly 9:30, and were most likely an unknown act for most in attendance. Regardless of his renown in Duval, the crowd was quickly swaying back and forth as Woodhead began his entrancing set. The Canadian from Toronto played a mixture of both new and old songs that he said took influence from Blau and Russian Donk. Doldrums could not have performed a better set, and the Canadian duo received righteous applause from everyone in the crowd after the set was concluded.
“We listen to music for up to 10 hours in the car [while touring], so there’s a lot of stuff we bounce around [musically].” – Doldrums
Sleigh Bells began their set shortly after, and the crowd let out a howl of cheers when the band took the stage. Both guitarists were sporting the signature pink and tiger-stripped guitars from the Bitter Rivals‘ album cover, definitely a nice touch. Frontwoman and lead vocalist Alexis Krauss, guitarist Derek E. Miller, and touring member guitarist Jason Boyer were quick to begin the heavy delivery of Sleigh Bells’ simple hooks and jarring guitar riffs. The lights perfectly matched the punchy sound with a bright flash of light crashing into the crowd with every beat of the drums. The atmosphere was so intense during the show with the pit really getting into the music that I wouldn’t have been surprised in the least if a mosh pit started, though one never did. Sleigh Bells played songs from both their previous albums, such as Treats, and of course their latest studio-album Bitter Rivals.
Sleigh Bells’ distinct noise-pop, Doldrums enthralling set, and the vivid light show made the entire experience one of the best shows I’ve recently been to in Jacksonville. The crowd was responsive, and both of the bands seemed really appreciative of the support. Sleigh Bells even commented on how they love coming here due to the energy we bring to shows.
View Void’s coverage of the show below and listen to some of each group’s music while you’re here.
Coverage of the show also by Christian Johnson.