My friend Jon gave me a ticket to see the band Explosions in the Sky last night. I like the band. They're an instrumental, quiet-to-loud-to-bombastic, indie quartet who, as they've matured, have even begun to take on qualities of the more emotive, multi-tonal, neo-classical composers of yesteryear (maybe Stravinsky or Shoenberg). The results are a big, almost cinematic sound that often sounds like a full-fledged symphony instead of a few guitars and a drum set.
Explosion in the Sky played an excellent show. They've nailed their live act down. It's exciting and flawless... But somehow, that wasn't enough. The loud-quiet-loud-quiet-real loud formula (or the reverse) paid diminished returns and by the fourth song, I had pretty much tuned out. And that makes sense, cuz they're the kind of band that I have trouble paying attention to for an entire album, let alone an entire live show. The utter lack of hooks or pop nuggets just tends to wear on me after a few songs. Thus it went at the sold out show last night.
But alas, tonite I've got a chance to get that mojo back.
Me and Mrs. Delano have tickets to go see young indie, up and comers, The Besnard Lakes. Their new album, The Dark Horse, is awash in Phil Spector-ish, Beach Boys meet Jesus and Mary Chain sweetness. Or as one review aptly put it, "The band reminds me a lot of Low, if, instead of stripping down their songs to bare-bone affairs, they turned it up to eleven and invited Roger Waters to the party."
That reviewer also posted an mp3 of one of the best songs, "And You Lied To Me."
Wow. What a show it was.
They were one of the best live bands I've seen in years. I really like the new album, but live, the guitars move out from the background. They're big, loud and, for lack of a better word, glorious. And the smoke machine was a perfect accompaniment to the shimmering walls of sound and pop nuggets exploding from the small stage.
Do what you must to see this band live.