Explosions In The Sky, Zammuto Warehouse Live June 17, 2012
Our neighbors from just a few hours away, Explosions In The Sky, dropped in Sunday night to keep the Texas pride going and share more of their elaborate musical talents with not a single lyric spoken.
Many may know, Explosions in the Sky is the band who wrote the soundtrack for the film Friday Night Lights. Although the band had access to rare equipment for the makings of the soundtrack, they kept to their own style.
And just as expected, Explosions kept their own ways for Sunday's show.
Once Explosions hit the stage, the emotional journey that their music sweeps you into was in full swing. May I say it was one heck of a ride.
However, before the crowd got picked up on this emotional ride, Houston got to take a gander at a "fresh-meat band," Zammuto.
When I arrived at Warehouse after rushing off from my Father's Day family dinner, I was just in time to check out the last three songs by Vermont's Zammuto. Their sound was quite interesting if you ask me, playing off an intriguing rock and techno feel. Not to mention the bass player was wearing an AC/DC shirt (Angus Young is my man), and some funny-ass YouTube videos played on the screen behind the band, threaded together to go in sync with Zammuto's performance.
Zammuto's first record came out just three months ago, and they seemed to impress the crowd with their interesting show of videos and music.
But as soon as Zammuto thanked Explosions for having them alongside for the tour, it was clear as to why Warehouse Live's entrance was flooded with people. At that time, I quickly made sure I had some Texas beer in hand (Shiner, if you were really wondering) and made my way to the stage.
Explosions took to the stage at exactly 10:05 p.m., and the crowd's eyes were set. Mine were trying to find a better space to watch due to a guy with the largest afro I had ever seen. Luckily, this guy next to me, a sight more than six feet tall, said we could switch spots. It was just in time!
Guitarist Munaf Rayani walked up to the mike and said, "Houston, Texas, how are you?" to a cheerful response. He then added what I thought sounded like, "Tonight we're gonna play our set screwed and chopped. How's that sound?" (The first word is unintelligible and the second sounds more like "stocked" on my iPhone video, but "screwed and chopped" is much cooler.)
The cheering continued. Rayani wished everyone a Happy Father's Day and announced that Explosions lives right down the road. (Three hours down the road.)
Straight to the music they went.
Now I'd like to think Explosions kicked off with song, "Postcard From 1952" from their latest album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, because I expressed how much I loved the song and its music video with Rayani the other day. So I'll just think that way unless I hear otherwise.
Within the first few minutes of the song, the crowd was swaying, bobbing their heads almost as if the music had put us all in a state of trance. And of course no vocals were needed from Explosions to rouse the crowd .
As recorded, "Postcard From 1952" is around a seven-minute song. The live performance extended that by a few minutes. I was amazed that Explosions never lost their connection with the crowd.
If a song is going for ten minutes and the connection is never broken, I think you're solid in my book. The band continued on jamming away in such a soulful manner, bobbing their heads to the beat and tossing their hair around. Their passion poured out into the crowd.
The typical way one would play a guitar is just not enough for the band. They were strummed and plucked, but also held high above their heads and beaten like a drum on the strings, creating a thrusted, symphonic "ultra guitar" sound.
At one point Rayani set down his guitar only to whip out some drumsticks of his own and join drummer Chris Hrasky, as if the beat wasn't extravagant already.
I found myself amazed the whole show. All in all, it was such an emotional journey. Everything was harmonized and flowed so well. Song after song, another story was told.
To be honest, I was doing really well with the set list and then Explosions had me stumped. I didn't know when one story ended and another began. Everything flowed so well. I think my brain just wanted to go along for the ride and stop asking, "Wait, what song is this?"
After all, music is about painting a picture, sharing a message or story. Those damn canvases and notebooks seemed never-ending for Explosions, until they actually had to leave the stage. But I have a feeling they had, and have, plenty more to share.
Personal Bias: I didn't want to leave! And you caught me I am a bit of a music dweeb and intrigued by guitar work. If only I could pick one back up. (I can dream, right?)
The Crowd: Houston gone ATX for a night, and plenty of couples groping each other through the emotional journey.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Y'all rock!" and for the people who must have been the dates or tagalongs for the night, I heard plenty of "Wait, why aren't they singing?"
Tip from Tay: I found myself closing my eyes at times. Laugh all you want. But with a band that is completely devoid of vocals I found it easier to understand and enjoy the music. Chill; my eyes were closed for maybe seconds at a time. Try it.
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Random Notebook Dump: Yeah, maybe I should have held off on the beer. Beyond dehydrated from a friend's wedding the night before. Oops.
Other Random Notebook Dump: Damn, last time I was at Warehouse I was in high school and I saw Bloc Party. Good to be back, Warehouse.