2007-03-25explosions in the sky @ le national friday night, rox and i went to a show, the first since november, so we were both a little starved to see some live acts.
the first opener was eluvium, a one-guy band. during the set, my view was obscured, so i had no idea what he was doing; i think he was playing keyboards. anyway, he ended up making some stunningly beautiful music. most of his songs were the same few notes played over and over again; but at each repetition, there is a subtle change; the songs builds and builds and builds until... release. i spent most of time with my eyes closed, my head rested on my arms, letting the music sink in.
after eluvium's achingly beautiful music, i wondered how the next openers, the paper chase, could even match that. i got my answer as soon as their bass player hit the first note, a very loud sound that took me by total surprise. the paper chase killed. there were amazing live, infinitely better than their sound on disc. i only really recognised one song, "what i'd be without me", from the album "god bless your black heart".
they gave a very energetic performance. the singer was hyperactive, jumping everywhere all over the place; i couldn't get a still photo of him. he stared and pointed intensely at audience members; he mimed out certain lyrics, stabbing his heart, slitting his throat; he wiped his face with a hankerchief (how quaint). the singing sounded tortured, and he looked like he felt it. the music was loud; strong drumming, discordant wailing guitars, mixed in with some gentle notes from a keyboard. it sounded like a lovely musical box, breaking apart as it tumbles down a long flight of stairs; in a good way, of course. i was just a little disappointed that they did not play my favourite song "said the spider to the fly"; it would have been awesome to see performed live.
a fact unknown to me: it was the paper chase's first time in canada. well, i hope they will come again. they put on such a great show, i was really impressed.
finally, explosions in the sky came on stage. before starting, they said some words, and in french. he must have practiced, because he said quite a few sentences, and it was pretty good too. it's so nice when non-franco bands come to montreal, and try to say things in french.
well, i am not good with words, and so it would be pointless for me to try to comment on their performance, since i cannot find a way to fully describe how truly awesome it was. one has to really experience an explosions in the sky show to know what it is like. those guys give everything, and really exhaust themselves. i left the show feeling all giddy inside.
in short, this was one of the best shows i've been too, where i enjoyed the opening acts as much as the main performance. and there was a bit of everything to. eluvium was music to cuddle to. the paper chase was perfect for moments when you want to slit your wrist with a jagged piece of glass. and explosions in the sky is just music to feel content about; that's all.
-- eluvium "copia". i had heard "prelude for time feelers" and it is stunning.
-- explosions in the sky "all of a sudden i miss everyone". yes, i bought this again, just because it is the limited edition, with the extra disc of remixes.
-- the paper chase "young bodies heal quickly, you know" and "hide the kitchen knives" and "now you are one of us". i went to the show just wanting to get the most recent album. but i was so impressed by their live performance that i got a couple of their older material too.
hearing damage: i expected my ears to get blasted during explosions, but i was pre-deafened by the paperchase's very loud set. it did not help that i had a slight headache during the show.