Explosions in the Sky live in Central Park, June 30, 2009


Explo­sions in the Sky is an instru­men­tal post-rock quar­tet from Texas. Their char­ac­ter­is­tic for­mu­la of a chim­ing gui­tar pow­er trio on top of pul­sat­ing drums is a bit more palat­able than their extreme­ly loud, men­ac­ing Scot­tish peers Mog­wai (read The Dork Report review of their April show in New York). Per­son­al­ly, I hear a kind of homo­gene­ity to much of Explo­sions’ music that I don’t hear in oth­er post-rock out­fits like Mog­wai, Sig­ur Rós, and Tor­toise.

Explosions in the Sky live at Summerstage Central Park New YorkExplo­sions in the Sky

To over­sim­pli­fy their his­to­ry, the band is pri­mar­i­ly known for two fac­toids. In an unfor­tu­nate coin­ci­dence, their album Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live For­ev­er, released a few days before 9/11, fea­tured a cov­er illus­tra­tion of a plane and a cap­tion read­ing “This plane will crash tomor­row.” Long before I actu­al­ly heard any of their music, I do recall this sto­ry help­ing to feed the 24-hour-a-day broad­cast news hys­te­ria that fol­lowed. Bet­ter bol­ster­ing their repute, they com­posed the pop­u­lar score to Peter Berg’s 2004 film Fri­day Night Lights, and they’ve attract­ed a sig­nif­i­cant fan base — sell­ing out out­door Cen­tral Park Rum­sey Play­field even in the rain.

The band’s des­ig­nat­ed spokesman Munaf Rayani began the show by announc­ing it was their 10-year anniver­sary as a band. They played for about an hour and half with­out inter­rup­tion, blend­ing songs togeth­er into a con­tin­u­ous flow. From where I stood, the appre­cia­tive audi­ence rec­og­nized and cheered many tunes. But Rayani apol­o­gized at the end of the show for things hav­ing “going off the rails,” and they walked off with­out an encore despite there still being some time before the Cen­tral Park cur­few. For all I know, that may be their cus­tom, but it was real­ly sur­pris­ing, and audi­bly dis­ap­point­ed every­one around me. Awk­ward.

Offi­cial band site: www.explosionsinthesky.com

Buy the lat­est Explo­sions in the Sky album All of a Sud­den I Miss Every­one from Ama­zon and kick back a few pen­nies to The Dork Report.