Los Angeles was in for one hell of a night at the El Rey this past Tuesday. Getting the crowd stirring was Flint, Michigan native, Tunde Olaniran. This man simply exudes power and resistance towards any hate and / or discrimination. His energy on stage demanded immediate attention of the sold-out crowd. With a heavy background of many cultures, he insists in fusing them together and expressing his beliefs through brilliantly colorful costume and extravagant choreography. One moment you’re locking eyes with him, the next you are struck by either one of his two backing dancers. Again we are blessed with another inspiring musician who chooses to provide a safe space for listeners. I was very happy to catch this Tune Olaniran’s performance.
Our favorite noise-pop babes were up next. Sleigh Bells are back with new music and we couldn’t be happier. Opening the set with an explosion of energy, guitarist, Derek Miller, and vocalist/badass, Alexis Krauss got the night off and running.
I’ve admired Sleigh Bells’ music for quite some time and once they opened the show with a new track off their recently released fourth studio album Jessica Rabbit, all those feelings were reconfirmed. The new record proves consistent with the band’s crashing, and sometimes overpowering sounds. Sleigh Bells have created such a fun and unique musical formula. Their bold sounds are unforgetable and continuously explode with the amplification of Krauss’ killer vocals and the duo’s use of strobe lights. Their stage will always stay lined from side to side with stacked amps. I mean, if you haven’t listened to these two, you’re missing out. And if you haven’t seen them live … I don’t even know what to say. It was apparent I was not the only attendee losing their shit out of indescribable excitement.
Words & Photography: Danielle Gornbein