The kings of post-rock rained down Franklin Music Hall last night. For those who are not familiar with them, Explosions In The Sky are one of the pioneers of the hardcore-adjacent instrumental rock movement in the early 2000s. Their music typically was guitar-forward, vocal-free music, and wavered between flowing movements and bombastic interludes. EITS gained early recognition from the film and television series Friday Night Lights, and their cinematic sound has frequently found their songs in films and trailers.

Coming up quickly on 25 years as a band, EiTS has slowly evolved with each album, culminating with their latest release END. Their first non-soundtrack album in 7 years, END is still classic Explosions, but weaves elements from recent albums throughout, making it seem like it might be the end of this phase in their music.

Explosions In The Sky | photo by Joe del Tufo for WXPN

Pulling across from their eight studio albums, the connection of songs created a natural flow through their 90-minute set last night. Mark Smith, Manuf Rayani, and Michael James brought their wall of guitar and drums were as sublime as ever leading the charge. They started strong with the 10-minute “First Breath After Coma,” from their breakthrough album The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place. The songs follow the general pattern of the aptly-named band, and the stage lighting of lightning crashing into the fog that surrounded them was a nice touch.

The three new tracks from END got a strong response, most notably “The Fight,” which is sure to become a raging classic in their canon. But it is “Your Hand In Mine” that will always be the first song that opened the eyes of fans of the band. It has aged well, and their performance last night was a slightly looser version than the studio track. They closed the show without an encore, but with another beast of a track from The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place: “The Only Moment We Were Alone.”

Opening the show was draag me, a creatively twisted EDM mashup from the Philly-based Spirit of the Beehive. Check out photos from both sets and EiTS’ setlist below.

Explosions in The Sky
Franklin Music Hall
  • First Breath After Coma
  • Catastrophe and the Cure
  • Loved Ones
  • Greet Death
  • The Birth and Death of the Day
  • It’s Never Going to Stop
  • Your Hand in Mine
  • The Fight
  • The Only Moment We Were Alone