Explosions In The Sky: Colston Hall, Bristol – Live Review


Explosions In The Sky

Colston Hall, Bristol

23rd April 2016

Texas Quartet Explosions In The Sky have spent the last 16 years releasing some of the best instrumental post-rock, and with the release of their seventh studio album, ‘The Wilderness’, they have managed to invigorate their sound with fresh perspective that breathes life into their established dynamic of soaring crescendos and subtle melodic tension.

The theme of reinvention, losing oneself to find oneself, is deeply imbued into the new song which dominate the set tonight. Opener, ‘Infinite Orbit’ with it’s driving beats and languid piano in which the band create those looping guitar riffs that emotionally wind you round their little finger. The power coming off the stage is astounding and audience are mesmerised. We’re hooked like the first time.

Explosions are one of those bands that transport you to a different dimension. The entire 75 minute set feels like a dream, they scoop you up into their arms and take you on journeys you didn’t know existed. Each song is a destination on a journey to an unknown but familiar locale.

Standout tracks like new song, ‘Logic Of A Dream’ and ‘Greet Death’ from the album “Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever” cause shivers up the spine as their intensity grows and dissipates to open up those very subtle moments in which everything drops back to the minimal. This is music that’s speaks to the heart directly. The audience have come to trust them and the new songs confirm that their trust is safe and as solid as a rock. They close with ‘Memorial’ off the album, ‘The Earth Is Not A Cold Dark Place’ in which I lose myself several times to the music which is more powerful than words, more meaningful that symbols. Explosions In The Sky have always been the masters of direct emotion, but maybe now more than ever.


Check out their website http://www.explosionsinthesky.com/

Like their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ExplosionsInTheSkyMusic

Follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/EITS

All words by Philip Allen. More writing by Philip on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Philip tweets as @ltranger.

All photography by Michael Brumby.


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  1. The band were clearly on good form, and The Wilderness is great, but the sound at Colston Hall was terrible. We were stood in the middle of the floor. The PA stacks seemed to be pointing at the walls, sound bouncing around the venue, muddy, lacking any centre. On several occasions, one or more of the guitars were inaudible. I habitually wear earplugs at gigs nowadays, but I didn’t need them for this. A real shame.

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