Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller invite SPIN's cameras to New Jersey, where they paid tribute to MCA and chilled with a dog on the Red Hot Chili Peppers arena tour.

1.Pre-Show Primping

1/11

Just a few years into their career, Brooklyn haymakers Sleigh Bells have already released two hit albums of critically acclaimed noise-pop, the latest being February's Reign of Terror. They've toured the world and rocked massive festivals. And, as told in SPIN's March cover story, they've triumphed over personal tragedy. But, until May 4, they've never played a hometown arena show. Opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Newark, New Jersey's Prudential Center, Jersey girl Alexis Krauss, guitarist-producer Derek Miller, and touring guitarist Jason Boyer allowed SPIN backstage before and after their show. DAVID MARCHESE

"Before we started the tour with the Chili Peppers, I was very anxious," admitted frontwoman Alexis Krauss, seen here doing some dressing-room prepping. "I just didn't know what to expect. We hadn't done a big tour like this. I was just hoping it would be a positive experience. It's been exactly that. The Chili Peppers have been incredibly welcoming and gracious and we've gotten a lot stronger as a band."

2.Pre-Show Primping

2/11

Just a few years into their career, Brooklyn haymakers Sleigh Bells have already released two hit albums of critically acclaimed noise-pop, the latest being February's Reign of Terror. They've toured the world and rocked massive festivals. And, as told in SPIN's March cover story, they've triumphed over personal tragedy. But, until May 4, they've never played a hometown arena show. Opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Newark, New Jersey's Prudential Center, Jersey girl Alexis Krauss, guitarist-producer Derek Miller, and touring guitarist Jason Boyer allowed SPIN backstage before and after their show. DAVID MARCHESE

"Before we started the tour with the Chili Peppers, I was very anxious," admitted frontwoman Alexis Krauss, seen here doing some dressing-room prepping. "I just didn't know what to expect. We hadn't done a big tour like this. I was just hoping it would be a positive experience. It's been exactly that. The Chili Peppers have been incredibly welcoming and gracious and we've gotten a lot stronger as a band."

3.Game-Planning

3/11

Playing arenas for the first time has been a learning experience. "You think it's going to be this intimidating thing," said guitarist Derek Miller, seen here discussing the finer points of noise-pop with Krauss. "But you realize that playing a big room is almost less overwhelming than playing a club that's got a 200-person capacity. At arenas, the crowd just becomes an anonymous mass. The show becomes almost as much about the chemistry between the three of us on stage as it does about the space it's happening in."

4.The Set List

4/11

In addition to a reminder to let the crowd know they were watching a local girl, Krauss made a note on the set list to share some more somber feelings — the passing earlier in the day of Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch. "We just found out about it," said Krauss on that night. "Flea was telling us how he'd spoken to MCA just a few weeks ago. Rest in peace." As a tribute to their fallen comrade, the Chilis had Beastie Boys songs piped over the arena's PA before the Sleigh Bells took the stage.

5.About to Take the Stage

5/11

"[Touring guitarist] Jason [Boyer] and I talk a lot of shit to each other during the set," said Miller. "We're not up there acting like clowns, but I definitely play to him. Our stage production is so dark that it's hard to see the crowd anyway. Add in the fact that the closest people are 20 feet away and 70 percent of them are going to be indifferent to us no matter what we do, and it means the dynamics between the band onstage are even more important than normal."

6.Krauss's Armor

6/11

"I used to get really despondent if it felt like we hadn't won the crowd over within the first three songs," said Krauss, whose signature studded black-leather jacket is seen here. "But now I get mad instead. I start to think, 'Give me two more songs and I'll have you in the palm of my hand!' "

7.Making Some Noise

7/11

"We're making new fans," said Miller about the jaunt opening for the Chilis. "We get a few blank faces and some plugged ears, but big handfuls of people are going up to our merch table after the show and buying our record." Perhaps even more tellingly, "I haven't been bottled," says Miller. "So we must be doing okay."

8.That's Not Real Blood

8/11

The blood on Krauss' Keds is fake, but she had an unfortunately bloody mishap earlier on in the tour. "I was standing stage-right during the Chili Peppers' set and [drummer] Chad [Smith] broke his drum-stick," Krauss recalled. Normally, Smith throws his broken sticks into the crowd himself, but this time the Sleigh Bells singer seized the opportunity. "I grabbed the stick and chucked it into the crowd," she said. "Then I see that it hits this guy and he was bleeding! I felt horrible. If you're reading this, I'm sorry!"

9.Relaxing Before the Set

9/11

"The psychology of these kinds of shows is very different for us," said Krauss. "Our performance is usually 100 percent dependent on the crowd's energy, but because of how big these spaces are we're having to negate a factor that is usually the sole thing we're thinking about." As a result, Krauss often will "pick a group of people that I can see and who look like they're having a good time and play to them. It's all about being confident onstage."

10.Rizzla

10/11

Newark is only a short distance from New York City, which meant that Krauss' dog Rizzla was able to make the trip. "Hometown shows are always a bit different," said Krauss. "You get a little bit nervous playing for friends and family, but more than that it's making sure that everyone is taken care of and able to get in and get what they need." As you can see from her laminate, that wasn't a problem for Rizzla.

11.Reigning Terror

11/11

"I feel good about it," shared Krauss moments after the band finished its well-received set. "It's always a little hard to gauge how things went so soon afterward, but it seemed like people were receptive to us." Rather than reflecting on the performance, though, Krauss' head was already back in Brooklyn. "We've haven't been home in a month and a half," she said. "Sleeping in my own bed tonight is going to feel pretty incredible."