Explosions in the Sky: In Full Blast
Explosions in the Sky, a post-rock band from Texas, live up to their name as they hold their very first concert in Manila. In full blast, the band gave the crowd a chromatic and cinematic evening with their music resounding across the compact venue which was Samsung Hall, located at the topmost floor of the newly constructed SM Aura in Taguig.
Francis Lorenzo a.k.a. The Ringmaster was the opening act for the evening. He played songs from his recently released debut album titled “Delusion of Reference”, which is characterized by soft, subdued melodies and short yet poignant lyrics.
Right after, the members of the main act, Explosions in the Sky, proceeded to the stage to set up their own instruments. The band is comprised of Michael James, Munaf Rayani and Mark Smith on electric guitars, Chris Hrasky on drums, and touring member Carlos Torres on bass.
Unlike the usual international acts, the band didn’t pull any funny stunts nor were they obsessed with keeping the crowd on high. All throughout the evening, they didn’t talk much. In fact, it was only Munaf who addressed the crowd. “Hello?” he spoke the greeting as if it were a question. The crowd, comprised of hundreds, was more than thrilled to respond with much appreciation with their hoots and applause. He continued in a flat tone, “Magandang gabi. Salamat sa o… oras niyo.” Stammering a bit in between and with a slight smile on his face, he said, “Kami po ang Explosions in the Sky.”
Just like that, they played one song after another without as much as a pause in between. It was as though each of their song was a piece of a puzzle that progressed to form a complete image. Their first songs included “First Breath After Coma”, “Catastrophe and the Cure”, “Postcard from 1952” and “Greet Death”.
What was it like listening to their music live? It was enthralling, intoxicating and mindblowing. Imagine those fireworks at exactly 12 midnight at the strike of the New Year – the grand display of colors, shapes and hues that flash at the moment of another year, and you stand right there holding on to that hope of a new beginning that another year might give you. Picture it and how at that very instant, little fragments of your memories flood your mind – the miniscule regrets, the chromatic joy and just everything that had happened. Hearing their music that night was very similar to that feeling. Every delicately interwoven note that comprises every piece of their music eats at you in a visceral level.
The concert lasted for about an hour and a half, with a total of nine songs. They also played “Yasmin the Light”, “Your Hand in Mine”, “The Birth and the Death of the Day” and “Let Me Back In”. The loudest cheers were heard when “The Only Moment We Were Alone” was playing, which turned out to be last song for the night. When the song ended and the band left, not one member of the crowd left just yet. Even with the lights were fully turned on and some other music was blasting through the speakers, everyone was screaming for an encore. It was after around two minutes when Munaf returned to the stage and said in a calm voice, “Thank you very, very much for coming and watching. What a pleasure for us to come all the way to Manila. But that’s all we have. The idea is to give you everything in one shot, and then we meet again another night. Thank you. Have a good night and goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.”
Written by Sandra Mae Laureano
Explosions in the Sky Live in Manila Setlist
1. First Breath After Coma
2. Catastrophe and the Cure
3. Postcard from 1952
4. Greet Death
5. Yasmin the Light
6. Your Hand in Mine
7. The Birth and Death of the Day
8. Let Me Back In
9. The Only Moment We Were Alone
* Special thanks to kindassault