Last night I had the last-minute opportunity to see Explosions in the Sky perform at the Picture House in Edinburgh with Laura L. and Armina D.
When I last saw Explosions (at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco back in 2008) an obscure musician named Rob Lowe (not that Rob Lowe) opened for the band under the name Lichens. To my surprise he opened last night with his ethereal digital loops and some entrancing visuals, setting the mood for EITS.
Yes, he looks that strange in reality, though less blue. After his set (which was really a long session of uninterrupted ambiance), Explosions took the stage and did what they always do. Opening with ‘First Breath After the Coma’ from 2003’s The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (as they have every time I’ve seen them), they continued to bring the transcendent post-rock—and I say this at risk of sounding cliché—transporting all in attendance to another place.
Barring the incredible music they create, just watching the band perform is mesmerising. Guitarist Munaf Rayani (whose amplifier always features the Texas state flag for Laura M.) is in a constant cyclical rocking, while bassist/guitarist Michael James (second from the left), while moving like Flea much of the time, exudes an intensity and passion that could bring you to tears. And last night he was sporting a We Were Promised Jetpacks ‘IT’S THUNDER AND IT’S LIGHTNING’ t-shirt.
I’d like to say more, but I must be leaving for Gateshead via Dundee and Glasgow (it sounds very roundabout, but it makes sense, I promise) to catch the Sufjan Stevens concert tonight! Expect a post for that show tomorrow.