Tag Archives: Explosions in the Sky


Explosions in the Sky Electrify Terminal 5

September 23rd, 2016

Explosions in the Sky – Terminal 5 – September 22, 2016

Explosions in the Sky – Terminal 5 – September 22, 2016
Texas band Explosions in the Sky are masters of for providing the soundtrack for pivotal moments in film and television. They are most commonly associated with Friday Night Lights, both the film and the television series, but their music also has graced documentaries, video game promos and a slew of major motion pictures. With their seventh studio album, The Wilderness, a departure from scoring TV and film has afforded the music to sit on its own without football victories or dramatic human narratives to cast scenes. The songs remain empty vessels for listeners to create memories rather than fabricated ones from celluloid. For this instrumental band, the live orchestrations truly take flight in any venue, but it was especially vibrant last night at a sold-out Terminal 5.

What could be described as one of their mellower songs, the title track from their latest opened the evening against an intro of melodic keys. The stage setup was sandwiched between floodlights toward the back and strobe lights in the front, which swayed throughout the performance. Blue streams of lights bathed the quintet as the percolating sound of effects of “The Ecstatics” demonstrated an almost waterfall-like feeling, and laser-like red beams replicated acid rain for “Greet Death.” The performance teetered between harmony and chaos, where lighting was the sixth man of the band. Pulsating floor lights exclaimed the crescendo that welcomed “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept,” and fittingly a prism wall of light highlighted “Colors in Space.” The group saved the best for last offering crowd favorite “Your Hand in Mine” followed by the noisy “Disintegration Anxiety,” before ending with “The Only Moment We Were Alone,” as the shredding of guitars came to an abrupt halt timed perfectly to a cloak of darkness. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Brian C. Reilly | www.briancreilly.com


A Saturday Night of Cool Space Rock at The Bowery Ballroom

December 26th, 2014

David Bello (vocals), Josh Cyr (bass), Derrick Shanholtzer-Dvorak (guitar and vocals), Greg Horbal (guitar and vocals), Steven Buttery (drums), Chris Teti (guitar and trumpet), Katie Shanholtzer-Dvorak (keys and vocals), Chris Zizzamia (poetry and spoken word) and Tyler Bussey (guitar and vocals) have been making music together as the atmospheric-emo collective the World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die (above, doing “Heartbeat in the Brain” for Audiotree Live) since forming in northeast Connecticut five years ago. Their sound is somewhere in the Venn diagram overlap of Explosions in the Sky and Sunny Day Real Estate. They put out a number of singles, splits and EPs before their debut LP, Whenever, If Ever (stream it below), came out last year. And according to PopMatters, the album is filled with “songs you shout along to in crowded basements, at all-ages venues…. This is the best possible first LP to follow all those one-offs and shorts EPs. While not long, it spreads out along record sides, stretching its legs. This group has always had the power to make something very new, and hopefully, in their evolution into bigger and brighter places, the World Is a Beautiful Place… only expand more and more.” Catch their last live performance of the year tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom. Columbus, Ohio, four-piece Saintseneca and Pittsburgh quartet Brightside open the show.


Join In on the Fun When Four Tet Plays Terminal 5 on Saturday

February 20th, 2014

Kieran Hebden’s initial foray into the music business was as part of the post-rock UK trio Fridge. But when the other two members headed off to college, Hebden forged new ground mixing hip-hop and electronica as the experimental-electronic musician Four Tet. He began looping and splicing samples on his computer and went on to release his debut full-length, Dialogue, in 1999. In a glowing review, NME called it “uneven, but in the best possible way.” Hebden has remained busy ever since, remixing other artists—Thom Yorke, Super Furry Animals, Explosions in the Sky—and touring alongside big-name acts like Radiohead, all the while still finding time to make new music. Four Tet (above, performing “Love Cry”) put out his seventh LP, the critically acclaimed Beautiful Rewind, last October. Rolling Stone mentions that it “remains otherworldly in its mix of finesse and raucous musical adventure.” Join the dance party when Four Tet plays Terminal 5 on Saturday.


Lanterns on the Lake Play Two New York City Shows This Week

February 4th, 2014

Lanterns on the Lake—Hazel Wilde (vocals and guitar), Paul Gregory (guitar and vocals), Oliver Ketteringham (drums and piano), Sarah Kemp (violin and accordion) and Andrew Scrogham (bass)—formed in Newcastle upon Tyne, England in 2007. But they didn’t release their first full-length, Gracious Tide, Take Me Home (stream it below), until four years later. AllMusic said it “plays to the band’s beautifully swooning strengths, and in doing so, produces one of the most majestic debuts from a British act this year.” The English five-piece (above, performing “Ships in the Rain” for BeatCast) delivered their second LP, Until the Colours Run (stream it below), late last year, although it arrived in
the U.S. less than a month ago. This time AllMusic opined, “The wonderful cinematic soundscapes on second album Until the Colours Run are less focused on the hometown musings that dominated their first effort; here they delve deeper into darker, introspective moods that unfurl into surging guitars and rolling drums reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky.” Lanterns on the Lake are currently winding down their North American tour, which brings them to New York City for a pair of shows, on Thursday at Mercury Lounge and then on Friday at Baby’s All Right.


Explosions in the Sky – The Wellmont Theatre – October 3, 2011

October 4th, 2011

Photos courtesy of Brian C. Reilly | www.briancreilly.com


Lush Soundscapes in a Plush Room

April 7th, 2011

Explosions in the Sky – Radio City Music Hall – April 6, 2011

From moody and meditative to lush and orchestral, Explosions in the Sky aptly convey emotions without saying a word. The Austin, Texas, band sold out Radio City Music Hall last night, no mean feat for an instrumental-rock group, even one with a new album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, out in a few weeks. Wordless music often leads to chatty audiences, but the seated crowd was attentive and responsive, growing loudest for bits of unrestrained guitar fury.

The cinematic music—slow-burning songs that swell into grand crescendos before gently concluding—sounded pristine and at home inside the famed venue. Each of the band’s tunes covers a fair amount of terrain, ultimately coming off as the soundtrack to whatever you’re thinking or feeling while you hear them (especially if you close your eyes). They played for about 75 minutes, essentially straight through, pausing very briefly, if at all, between songs.

This was Explosions in the Sky’s biggest show to date, in stature and in size, and it seemed totally appropriate of its sumptuous surroundings. Although the band appeared small on the massive Radio City stage, their giant, swirling soundscapes easily filled the room. And despite several songs hovering around the 10-minute mark, the music never lingered and there were no indulgent solos. It’s a simple equation: No frontman. No vocals. No problem. —R. Zizmor


An Instrumental Soundtrack to a Movie That Doesn’t Exist

July 1st, 2009

Explosions in the Sky – SummerStage – June 30, 2009

Explosions in the SkyHow do four unassuming guys from Austin, Texas, sell out the Central Park SummerStage? By letting the music speak for itself. This was the perfect venue for Explosions in the Sky’s 10th anniversary—open to the sky, the epic instrumentation echoing the dramatic landscape of towering buildings surrounding the park as the sun went down and the light faded.

This is not a conventional group. They have a deliberate anti-star image. Without a real frontman, you’re left to approach the band as a whole entity. No one is introducing the songs, no one is getting the crowd going. There’s no typical stage show, aside from watching guitarist Munaf Rayani sway, back to the crowd, in his own world. Yet last night the entire audience spontaneously reacted to every rise and fall in rhythm with cheers, even clapping along to the song “Catastrophe and the Cure” as they realized it was all coming to an end.

Since the beginning of their career, Explosions in the Sky have defied the conventions of song structure in a surprisingly accessible way, as the turnout of 5,000 fans attested. The music is all about the timing, allowing for space, letting everything breathe, forgetting about the prescribed standards of pop-music length. As the music is instrumental, it’s not about the individual songs—this is meant to be experienced as an entire movement, not unlike a symphony: all at once, uninterrupted, alternating between delicate melodies and erupting passages. It’s a soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist.

Contrary to another live-rock custom, they don’t play an encore at the slightest provocation. Last night was no exception. When they ended the set with “The Only Moment We’re Alone,” they gave it everything, throwing themselves into the massive soaring guitars. There’s nothing left but the ringing in your ears. —Jason Dean