Photo by Kenta KUMEI
Ecstatic Aural Escapades
By Sunday night I was beginning to wonder if I’d overdone the post-rock at this year’s festival, not only in regard to my patience, but also as to whether or not I’d have enough adjectives left to do Explosions In The Sky any justice. Luckily, their’s was a performace entirely different to what had come before: where Sigur Ros had appealed to my melancholia, Explosions In The Sky pulled at my imagination; where Deafheaven assaulted, the Texas quintet caressed.
Engulfed in billows of smoke throughout the show and minimally lit by strips of lights both behind and in front of them, Explosions In The Sky let the music alone weave tales with multi-faceted guitar layers and undulating lyrical movements, immersing the crowd in waves of sonic narrative. Where one song ended and another began didn’t seem to matter as the opening 4 tracks segued into each other, moving from bubbly electronics to distorted tremolo shimmering over a discordant thrashing.
Stand out songs were “Your Hand In Mine” and “Disintegration Anxiety”, brought out towards the end of the set to pull us on more soaring sonic adventures to another place. The crowd responded reverently, raising their hands to bask in the light of guitar picking, rocking to the heartbeat of the drums, cheering euphorically when the sound washed over them in roaring crescendos. It was a quiet adventure, a raucous tale, a bubbly lullaby, it was many things in between, and ultimately, it was an experience not to be forgotten.