Paradise Lost: Diplo and Sleigh Bells Live in Gainesville

Sleigh Bells Live in Gainesville, Fla.
Sleigh Bells Live in Gainesville, Fla.

Sleigh Bells preforming in Gainesville, Fla. on 2/4/12. Credit: J. Pierce.

Paradise Lost – the only thing I lost was my mind, and paradise is what I found. Sleigh Bells and Diplo brought the noise to The Forum last Friday, kicking off their exclusive Florida tour right here in Gainesville, Fla.!

The demographic of the crowd was oddly interesting, a synergy of indie and electro hipsters alike brought together by what seemed a strange pairing of Sleigh Bells and Diplo. When I first heard about this tour launching off back in December, I had nothing but excitement to see two of my favorite acts from different genres collide, bringing my days of jamming out to indie/electronic rock back to mix with the current hard-style, moombah-hitting, electro-thrashing sounds of Diplo. All I could think about was Doc Brown and his deloreon gunning it to 88.

I had a chance to catch Sleigh Bells last summer at Bonnaroo, yet for some reason I was a little let down by their performance. I don’t know if it was the sounds of them being outside in The Other Tent or the shrooms, but I was expecting more.

However, all hope in Sleigh Bells was regained Friday night, as Derek and Alexis threw the fuck down and made shit go bonkers! Alexis was going crazy – animalistic rather, giving high-fives to her fans and making them feel close to her. She was almost was as crazy as Alice from Crystal Castles, but thankfully she kept her composure and didn’t knock anything down on stage. As my friend Molly Lewis put it, “her voice sounds like a mixture between Alice and Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, if their voice were to have a lovechild,’ and I totally agree.


Sleigh Bells’ set list:

  • True shred guitar
  • Born to lose
  • Riot rhythm
  • A/B Machines
  • Kids
  • End of the Line
  • Comeback Kid
  • Tell ‘Em
  • Leader of the Pack
  • Straight A’s
  • Treats
  • Infinity Guitars
  • Rill Rill
  • Crown on the Ground

As Sleigh Bells finished up their set and packed up, hipsters reached for their pockets and started fishing for their cigarettes for some chill time. The front saw a wave of electro hipsters and bros, and before you could look up, the mad man behind Mad Decent, home to Rusko, Dillon Francis and others was on stage, Wesley Pentz, or you may call him Diplo.

Now, for those who have not yet seen Diplo – you should be ashamed of yourself. Granted he hasn’t had the greatest shows (him being too fucked up on his birthday the last time he was here), but Friday night was the night to see this Florida-born DJ. I mean c’mon, he took his shirt off mid-set (see what I did there… c’mon).

But enough about his chest. His set was even more chiseled. From old school rap to filthy dub, from banger electro to moombah, he had it all covered, especially his original mix of “Original Don” mixed into the Flosstradamus remix. If only our own Kat Bein was there, shit would have got real. The crowd didn’t stop for a second, only to cheer on Diplo whenever he mentioned Gainesville.

Now to wrap the show up, Diplo did something that I’ll remember for a long time. As some of you may know, Etta James passed away 2 weeks prior to this show. And to remember her and what she has done for this generation, he mixed down from the overly played, butchered “Levels” to her original “Something’s Got a Hold Of Me” track, and a few others after that. Unfortunately, the dreaded 1:45 a.m. lights turned on, and Diplo shortly finished his set.

All and all, this tour is fucking jamming, and all you kids in Miami need to get on this shit come the 14th. You won’t be sorry unless you miss it.


To you Miami boys here’s some advice: Find a girl, buy her some roses, take her out to dinner, find some party supplies, and fucking take this girl out for a Valentine’s Day she won’t forget! Trust me, that dry spell won’t be there anymore ;]

Oh and a big thanks to Glory Days Presents, Diplo, Sleigh Bells and all the hard workers over at The Forum to make this night flawless and memorable. And to check out more vids from this and other shows, check us out on youtube.

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