EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY + HOLY FUCK @ THE GREEK THEATRE
Photos by Stephanie Port Words by Zach Bilson
Explosions in the Sky may always be thought of first and foremost as a “cinematic” band – their first break into the mainstream was through the soundtrack to fabled football drama Friday Night Lights, and since then their pastoral post-rock has graced countless films and TV shows. But as a live unit, EITS are visceral, cathartic, capital-r Rock, and Monday night’s Greek Theatre set – one of their biggest headline shows to date – cemented that fact for an awestruck, tearful audience. The band plays in venues that fully engage your visual as well as auditory senses. From last year at The Ace to last night at The Greek, it’s always a beautiful journey.
Guitarist Munaf Rayani’s signature guitar-swing kept up through opener “The Birth And Death Of The Day,” while Michael James and Chris Hrasky hammered away at their axes like stubborn nails. Perhaps most physical was touring bassist Chris Torres, whose thick curls flailed as he headbanged through most of the set. His rig has expanded to fit in keyboards and an Ableton Live session, mostly for the electronic textures of last year’s The Wilderness – while many of EITS’ fans may hold tight to memories of their early days, thunderous roars greeted new tracks like “Disintegration Anxiety” and the thick, droning chords of “Logic of a Dream.”
There were no discernable gaps, each song fading smoothly into the next like waves far out in a deep ocean. It felt spiritual in a communal way – not weightless enough to be transcendental, but rather like a deeply healing sermon from a seasoned, passionate clergy. Just ask the woman who stumbled out of the Greek weeping, babbling “Oh my god, oh my god…” – Explosions In The Sky can save you.
Toronto quartet Holy Fuck tapped into a joyous side of freeform electronica, drawing from techno, ambient, and EITS’ vein of brawny indie rock. Armed with an ace rhythm section and two tables’ worth of flashing synths and samplers, the group pushed together driving grooves and oddball noises that warranted more than a few audience members shouting out their name – albeit in its originally intended fashion.