Last week I went with my sister to see a band I’d wanted to see for quite some time, Explosions in the Sky. I’ve been a fan ever since I heard their third album The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place, which just blew my mind. It really was one of the best things I’ve ever heard. So when tickets became available in November last year I just had to go and see them. I’ve been fortunate to see great performances from artists such as Depeche Mode, Coldplay, U2 and Duran Duran, and this was right up there. Like with Arcade Fire, I just had to write about the experience and share my photos.
Explosions.. have done plenty of London gigs before, but this is the first time they’ve performed in the Royal Albert Hall. I usually see my gigs in Wembley, the O2 or Brixton Academy so it was nice to see somewhere a bit different, especially as the acoustics are so good. On first were We Were Promised Jetpacks, a promising Scottish indie rock band with a great sound. Quite a few seats were empty when they first started performing but they soon grabbed the crowd’s attention. I hope they go onto bigger things.
Though their sound is instrumental and melodic, they really did manage to generate a wonderful atmosphere. They didn’t say much between songs, but the way they moved and played conveyed how they manage to capture the emotion and sensitivity within each song. Though they’re described as post-rock they themselves see themselves as an instrumental rock band who can use riffs and choruses like pop songs.
But what added to the music was the light show. It wasn’t too distracting and fitted the theme, with a nice range of black and white, blue, red and green. When I saw Godpseed You Black Emperor, who have parallels with their musical style, the atmosphere was more low-key and intimate. Here it felt like Explosions… could rock like other bands. Fittingly, they ended with their best known song, Your Hand in Mine, which really did bring the place down.