When I saw that Explosions in the Sky were going to play the Bomb Factory, I had some reservations. Yes, they are more than popular to fill a space this large and their live show is one of the more intense shows you might come across. But like Beach House before them, would their show translate in such a big space? I first saw Explosions in the Sky at Meacham Auditorium at the University of Oklahoma Memorial Union to less than 400 students. I don't remember that show particularly well as it was poorly lit and very loud. Skip ahead several years and I saw them again at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas to a much larger crowd. While this show was much larger, the space itself made the show unique and it was a lot better than my previous experience. Did their show at the Bomb Factory fair as well as the Winspear show? A resounding yes.
Explosions did select an interesting opener for this leg of their tour, Preoccupations (formerly Viet Cong). The Canadian foursome were a wonderfully random blend of post-punk and noise rock. They had their moments where the crowd were nodding in unison with their melodies but by time they finished, I think they had lost the crowd completely. It's not their fault, I just don't think the crowd was ready for them. I also think they would have been better suited on Elm Street at Club Dada or Trees.
As the house lights were still on, you could tell right away that Explosions aren't like many of the other headlining acts that play the Bomb Factory. For starters, they turn their own instruments. Smiling and waving at fans, they were very humble and excited to play in their home state. And while their overall production is minimal (LED lighting and smoke), the mood is always controlled by the energy flowing within the music. So when they are playing opening chords or strumming in the middle of a song, the lighting remain fairly dim. But when the sound is building and ultimately erupts, the lighting only intensifies the music's impact. The majority of the setlist came from their latest effort, The Wilderness, but it was older cuts such as "The Birth and Death of the Day" and "Your Hand in Mine" that received the loudest ovations. For most shows, encores are a staple and are expected. Explosions didn't provide an encore because they didn't need one. They ended their set with the fantastic "The Only Moment We Were Alone", their equivalent to Muse's "Knights of Cydonia" or KISS's "Rock and Roll All Nite". It's the show closer. Period. The boys from Austin did not disappoint and I cannot wait to see them again.
Photos of the show are below:
Explosions in the Sky
Explosions in the Sky / Preoccupations @ Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 1:00:00 PM Rating: