I first heard Explosions in the Sky at a comedy show at the Fringe many years ago. A comedian played the track First Breathe After The Coma while telling stories over it. Coincidently EITS are playing The Gov and the Fringe is on. While the name of the comedian has long been forgotten, I have never forgotten the band Explosions in the Sky.
The Texan instrumental band walked on stage and thanked the nearly full crowd for coming and then launched into The Birth and Death of the Day and 90 minutes later after The Only Moment We Were Alone walked off stage after thanking us again for coming. In between we were given a cinematic dreamscape of sound. It was beautiful, haunting, atmospheric music, sometimes a brutal wall of sound and occasionally an ear piercing sonic barrage of noise.
They band blended songs off their new album Wilderness with older tracks, into each other. No breaks, no song titles, no respite, only “coming up for air” in the gentle musical dabbling between songs. In fact if you didn’t know the music, it would have sounded just like one long 90 minute song. The band were often shrouded in fog and the light show simple but extremely effective. In fact, in these days of excessive use of lights and effects, simplicity is a good thing and we get time to focus on the band.
With four manic guitarists often playing off each other you, had the feeling it could get out of control at any time but I am sure it was the drummer who kept them under control, bringing them back to earth every now and then.
I will admit I didn’t know what to expect from this gig. I have listened to their albums and enjoy them immensely but was totally unprepared for the aural and visual assault that was presented to me. While it may only still be February, I may have seen my concert of the year already.
Words & Photo Geoff Jenke