Mackenzie Scott of the Nashville band TORRES started off her set by burning sage. The crowd had only just begun to fill in, but the front row got a good whiff of the woodsy aroma, watching with intrigue as Mackenzie gently waved it over them and smiled.
“I brought rose quartz with me on stage because I was nervous,” she would later remark. The Georgia native, raised in a conservative Christian household, gave off an LA persona, and I half expected her to sip green juice in between songs.
However, her performance was a far cry from anything frothy or shallow. Instead, her lyrics were filled with grit and angst, weaving dark tales with undeniable rock edge.
Starting with a heartbreaking song called “Honey,” Torres played an intoxicating and earnest set of old and new songs. “Sprinter” off their 2015 album offered a slow build, while newer tracks like “Three Futures” breathed a more methodical and confident life into the set.
After warming up the venue, Torres exited to applause and the crowd waited for Sleigh Bells.
“Respect” by Aretha Franklin played before the members of Sleigh Bells walked on stage, a sweet tribute to the singer, who passed away on the day of their show. The energy they entered with, however, was far from gentle.
They may as well have lit the stage on fire. Their energy was uncontainable, their passion undeniable. Member Derek Miller paced the stage like a caged animal, and the interactions between him and Alexis Krauss were half the fun. It was clear that they love playing together.
Krauss brought an exciting vocal performance to popular hits like “Riot Rhythm” and “Infinity Guitars.” Her bubblegum punk vocals sliced through the noisy guitar, a signature component of Sleigh Bells’ iconic sound. New songs like “Blue Trash Mattress Fire” from their 2017 release Kid Kruschev were just as satisfying to hear.
Playing a perfect, impeccable blend of old and new, Sleigh Bells put on an incredible show to devoted fans and a truly captivated audience. There’s no way anyone went home disappointed.