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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Concert Review: araabMUZIK & Sleigh Bells, The Granada Theater, Lawrence KS

Last night the powerhouse tour featuring araabMUZIK and Sleigh Bells blasted the roof right off of the Granada Theater.  First up was AraabMuzik, aka Abraham Orellana. AraabMUZIK is the premier beat maker in Hip Hop right now and may well be the best ever. Seeing his mastery of the MPC 2500 live is an un paralleled experience.  One is immediately struck by the intence focus he maintains to deliver his performance. So much so, that he relys on a sidekick MC to extol the crowd and provide personal interaction with it. To say he is a man possessed of virtuoso manual dexterity would be a gross understatement. The music arabMUZIK produces through the physical manipulation of the MPC pads is breathtaking. If you ever have a chance to see this artist live take it.
Headlining the show was Sleigh Bells, the duo of Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller. Now expanded to a trio with the addition of a second guitarist for live shows, Sleigh Bells is one of the most original bands ever to grace rock n roll. Defying genres, they mix pop vocals, hardcore guitars and hip hop beats into a compelling lo-fi musical mix. Live, they make the energy of a full on punk concert pale in comparison. Krauss takes complete command of the stage with her physical presence, while bombastic guitars explode all around her. Since first hearing the demo of Ring Ring (what became Rill Rill on their debut Treats) this is a band that I have wanted to see live. They did not disappoint, running through a set that included all of their many now instantly recognizable songs. They took the crowd by the throat and never let go.  The pairing of araabMUZIK and Sleigh Bells together on tour was surprising when first announced, but seeing how well the two acts complimented each other, it is now obvious why this choice was made. This is a tour that is a must see if you get the chance.