- 14 Feb 20
The Texan post-rockers bring their 20th anniversary tour to Dublin last night.
Big is always beautiful when Explosions In The Sky are in the house. On their 20th anniversary, the Austin, Texas post-rockers delivered a blazing set at Vicar Street that lit up the venue like a succession of solar flares.
Rocket-fuelled riffs shot for the stratosphere, where they entwined with maximalist melodies. The only appropriate response was to sit there, gawp and allow yourself be quietly dazzled by the understated light show.
It was a heartfelt and spectacular performance. Early in their career Explosions in the Sky were lumped in with kindred moochers Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor. But their incendiary instrumentals came from a cosmos of their own imagining. That continues to prove the case two decades later.
This was in the finest sense a chug-fest with a vengeance. After a polite opening address from guitarist Mark Smith, the band plunged into the epic ‘Catastrophe and the Cure’. The magic ingredient was the interplay of clods of pure noise and delicate guitar lines.
On and on it went, veering between Philip Glass minimalism and Metallica if Metallica were a quintet of mildly morose Gen X-ers from Austin. The formula was repeated on ‘The Birth and Death of the Day’ and ‘Disintegration Anxiety’, where motifs expanded outwards, growing larger and more elaborate in the process. It was peerless.
Thrilling, mind blowing, synapse-frying. You quickly ran out of adjectives. Explosions In The Sky don’t play Ireland very often but they and the appreciative audience made the most of this occasion. It was, in the happiest possible way, a boom with a view.