Explosions In The Sky – The Powerstation: May 19, 2024 (Concert Review)

Explosions In The Sky returned to Auckland after a lengthy hiatus to perform their unique brand of Texas-borne post/prog rock on heels of their latest album, titled simply, End.

Yes, it’s been a long time between drinks…the band was last here way back in 2011 when they played at the much-missed Kings Arms.  They’ve since released two more albums along with a handful of soundtrack work.

Young Moon

Young MoonNelson’s Young Moon opened the night. The trio is led by Trevor Montgomery. I don’t know who the other two are but I do known that Young Moon has just released a third album titled Triggered By Sunsets and I gathered that there is some connection between Young Moon and tonight’s headliners.

Anyway, they did a fine job setting the tone for the evening.

Explosions In The Sky

The band is currently, and always has been comprised of three guitarists…Michael James, Mark Smith and Munaf Rayani…along with drummer Chris Hrasky. While the three guitarists also contribute various keyboard, bass and percussions bits on the records, they are assisted on the road by Jay Demko who provides those services on stage.

Explosions In The SkyThe five musicians take the stage at about 9:30pm rather unassumingly and begin the musical journey with First Breath After Coma from their 2003 album, The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place.

Oh, did I mention that the band is all-instrumental? There’s not a vocalsmic to be seen, save for one lone one on the far right of the stage that remains unused for the entirety of the 72 minute set.

It can be difficult to determine what song is which and when one ends and the other begins, and I’m sure that is the plan. Each tune segues seamlessly into the next , so we get no stage banter, no interminable breaks for tuning, just one, long piece of music performed by what looks like five very intense musicians…although touring member Jay does crack a smile once in a while as he moves from bass to guitar to banging on a drum or cymbal.

The crowd, who are mostly 30-50-ish in age, are enraptured, letting the music wash over them.

The show is probably almost an hour long before they come out of their spell and applaud for songs like Your Hand In Mine and The Fight.

Explosions In The Sky

They perform 9 songs over the course of 72 minutes with final tune, The Only Moment We’re Alone, coming to a very abrupt end, shaking us out of the divine dream-like state many of us feel under.

Finally, the mic is put to use. “Thank you guys very, very, very much for your time, take care of yourself and goodnight”.

A band of few words but so much music.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Chris Warne:

Explosions In The Sky:

Young Moon:

Explosions In The Sky Setlist:

  1. First Breath After Coma
  2. The Birth And Death Of The Day
  3. Loved Ones
  4. Greet Death
  5. It’s Never Going To Stop
  6. With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept
  7. Your Hand In Mine
  8. The Fight
  9. The Only Moment We Were Alone