It’s about the journey: Explosions in the Sky at the Moore

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Explosions in the Sky at the Moore Theatre. Photo by Jason Tang

There’s something special about Explosions in the Sky. It’s something I can’t quite put my finger on and it’s definitely something that has to be experienced for yourself, so written words might not do the band justice.

On the surface, and in my opinion often times on record, EITS comes across as simply post-rock  instrumental soundtrack music. This was my frame of mind when I entered the Moore Theatre Tuesday night but within the first few moments of opening song “First Breath From a Coma” my mindset completely changed.

I found myself transfixed on the various melodies and sonic textures coming from the stage. A few minutes later I was closing my eyes and letting those textures wash over me and it felt like I was sharing an intimate moment with the band in a beautifully wide open and free musical playground. It’s quite remarkable really, having the ability to deliver such an effect without the use of words.

Each song had an almost cinematic-like soundscape which often translated into borderline epic moments. This was not something I expected. The band’s uplifting, moving songs were filled with grace and power. The clacking of drumsticks would transitions into a backdrop for a series of plucky guitar notes, a bass line and a wave of cymbal crashes, transforming a song into something that’s bigger than the band itself. It became about the music, not the musicians who were on stage.

Some of the songs petered out at the end while others featured endings that built into undeniably powerful climaxes. Both were highly satisfying especially if you take into account the road taken to get there. With Explosions in the Sky it is about the experience of a song’s journey instead of the payoff destination of a hook or chorus. Of course there is a payoff when the destination is arrived with EITS’ material (see the aforementioned epic climaxes) but listening to the entire scope of a song is what made EITS resonate so well with the crowd at the Moore and it’s what makes a band with such a devout fanbase keep coming back for more.

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 13 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and former editor of the defunct music site Ear Candy.