A strange thing happened as Explosions in the Sky took the stage: Guitarist Munaf Rayani began to sing. Like, an actual lyric. Alas, it was just part of the band's brief sound check; once Explosions began its actual set, it became all about the instrumentals.

The Texas quartet specializes in wordless progressive-rock odysseys (as heard on one of the best shows currently airing on network TV, NBC's "Friday Night Lights"). They're cinematic, with symphonic epics powered by the dreamy, chiming guitars of Ruyani and Mark Smith, who play twin leads. Their lines here tended to surge and swell before, well ... exploding. The effect was gorgeous and gripping, but the music also became somewhat repetitive, one song spilling into the next, which sounded like the second one before it, etc. After a while, I couldn't keep all the crescendos straight.

-- J. Freedom du Lac

By Jen Chaney |  August 5, 2007; 3:40 PM ET  | Category:  Sunday's Festival
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That tends to happen, but they're a wonderful band with huge talent.
An instrumental band playing against the time slot of Spoon. There may be hope for the world. Spoon is good, though.

Thanks for the reports.

Posted by: Rockville | August 5, 2007 03:57 PM

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