Hailing all the way from Austin, Texas is four-man atmospheric instrumental rock band Explosions In The Sky, who played to an almost sold-out crowd at Hard Rock Coliseum on Friday evening.
With a reputation for intense live performances, it’s no surprise that their second show here was highly anticipated here in Singapore, a good four years since their first Singapore show at Camp Symmetry in 2013.
Playing right before Explosions In The Sky was Unknown Mortal Orchestra, an unassuming yet intriguing experimental pop band who has won several awards in origin country New Zealand.
Armed with a new full-length album The Wilderness, Explosions In The Sky greeted the crowd with a simple “We didn’t expect this many people to come” before getting down to business for the next 90 minutes with no further words.
It takes a truly genius band to carry you through different worlds without speaking a single word. That is what Explosions In The Sky have unapologetically mastered the art of.
The delivery of their live music makes you feel as if you are walking into an overwhelming vast horizon, but occasionally stopping to take a breather and recognising the little details of your environment. The stunning effect of listening to the live combination signature crescendo build ups and the almost silent electronic whispers is a wild adventure in itself.
Watching Explosions In The Sky live is a concert experience more individual than collective. You are not there to scream along to angsty rock lyrics with the crowd, but rather, it is about standing there soaking in the atmospheric and dynamic mood of their music.
Explosions In The Sky truly prove that instrumental music transcends language barriers and communicates directly with the audience’s feelings and emotions. The significance of lyrics in contemporary music faded away as the mostly 20-something crowd found themselves dancing to the music unrestrained, but still with their eyes closed.
The only time when their seamless, continuous set was interrupted was when the crowd cheered at the teasingly familiar beginning tunes of Explosions In The Sky‘s famous tracks, including “Your Hand In Mine” and “The Only Moment We Were Alone”.
The band was so caught up in the spirit of the atmosphere, people barely noticed that the band took a short break from the stage before their encore set. The conclusion of their performance left the crowd evidently in a daze.
Explosions In The Sky‘s art of storytelling without a single word disproves the lack of appeal in wordless rock music.
Only a band like Explosions In The Sky could make you feel like you just finished a day-long adventure in the woods, one filled with both recklessness and rest.