Sunday, April 17, 2011

explosions in the sky

I can't believe I am just getting to this post now! The week before Kurt and I went to Alabama, we saw a great show at Radio City Music Hall. Kurt, Erik, and I bought tickets to see Explosions in the Sky, one of Kurt's favorite bands, months ago as soon as they went on sale. We joked that we got these tickets long before we even considered booking flights.

None of us had ever been to Radio City before and it was such an experience. We don't typically frequent such lavish venues :)

Yes, I was creepy and snuck a picture in the women's restroom. Actually, it was only in the lounge before you get to the actual bathrooms. It was so cool! The space was round with faceted mirrors on all the walls. I can imagine glamorous women lounging on the stools, fixing their makeup back in the 50s. The decor was definitely from a different era.

The stage is breathtaking. The space is enormous and the acoustical panels on the ceiling are beautiful while being incredibly functional. We didn't catch much of the opening bands (Low and Eluvium) but heard they were very good.

It's hard to describe the music of Explosions in the Sky. I think you are best off listening to a song or two on your own. In a very generalized sense their genre is instrumental rock. No singing at all. They barely even speak while on stage. There was a short introduction and a thanks for coming at the end. Kurt was reading a review from the show that noted only one of the band members has a proper microphone on stage. It's sole purpose was for those very abbreviated salutations.

The show was excellent. The music is very powerful and Radio City ended up being the perfect venue. The acoustics were incredible. At times I was afraid it was too good. I was convinced I was going to leave a little more deaf than when I came in. 

It was totally worth it though. The music is all encompassing. It think it is best experienced loudly. The songs seem to blend together without a break. The band members are so engrossed in what they are doing. It was amazing to watch. A highlight of the show was when one guitarist sets down his instrument and joins the drummer for a very intense duet. 

It was a great show. Kurt has been talking about it ever since. I asked him to do a guest post since I wouldn't be able to do Explosions in the Sky justice. He declined but I hope he will add some commentary below :)

Kurt and I have a little bit of Explosions in the Sky history. Back when we first started dating, they were slated to play in Central Park at Summer Stage. Tickets were expensive, so we talked about going to sit in the park and listen since the sound would definitely carry. It rained pretty heavily that day, so we wavered on going at all but decided it would be worth it in the end. First of all, the park is beautiful after a storm. The colors are rich and everything is slightly foggy, almost dreamlike. We found ourselves a bench outside the bandshell and just chatted while waiting for the show. I will save you the sappy details but it was one of my fondest memories of the early days :) Now we've got 2 great shows under our belts!



  2. I like the genre name of 'post-rock'.

    Explosions in the Sky are amazing at layering music and sound. They're really simple, and yet very complex. They peel and layer in amazing ways. At times it's full-throttle and you feel like your hair is blowing in the wind and other moments they're almost (at times entirely) silent, which channels another type of amazing power that few bands know how to do.

    Their show is spectacular. So simple, guys on a stage playing guitars and drums while never singing or talking. There are minimal light affects. And yet the experience of the show is emotional for the spectator.

    I can't get over how awesome it was that they come on stage, say "it's an honor to be at Radio City...we're Explosions in the Sky and we come from Texas." (with a Texas flag draped over an amp on stage) Before going into an hour and a half of non-stop music. Then at the end simply saying "thanks, you'll be hearing from us again." Damn. Simplicity.


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