Friday, July 03, 2009

Explosions In The Sky Live: Thursday, July 2nd 2009

This being the 10 year anniversary of Explosions In The Sky, the precocious Texans celebrated with a tour. Before the Chicago show, I checked out the merch table and found a curious item. The out-of-print CD of The Rescue, an installment in the Travels In Constants series from Temporary Residence Records lied there on the table labeled "Limit One". Needless to say, I plunked down my $15 and was instantly in a good mood. The Congress Theatre was packed but I found a seat in the very back of the balcony. I caught the last three songs of the set by Jason Lytle and was a little bored.

Then, Explosions took to the stage and were captivating. Their music is very easy to get lost in. Their beautiful cacophony was just loud enough to drown out the yammering harpies standing against the wall behind me. It is very impressive the way they keep their set moving amidst tuning changes, with only Michael James switching instruments from bass to guitar and back again. No matter the instrument, James provides the thunder along with Chris Hrasky's drums. Munaf Rayani and Mark Smith's guitar weave a textured tapestry over everything. They provide the beauty to James and Hrasky's beast. Their set was a fine mix encompassing at least two tracks from each of their full length albums. Converted fans as a result of the band's work on the soundtrack to Friday Night Lights only had the extended version of "Your Hand In Mine," that appears on 2004's The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place. The performance was powerful and flawless and benefitted from the fact that they weren't supporting any one album but celebrating their entire career. And we were right there with them.

The Setlist

  1. Memorial
  2. The Birth And Death Of The Day
  3. A Song For Our Fathers
  4. Your Hand In Mine
  5. Snow And Lights
  6. Greet Death
  7. A Poor Man's Memory
  8. Catastrophe And The Cure
  9. The Only Moment We Were Alone

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