Posted in music | pictures on April 7, 2011

photos by Winnie Cheung, words by Klaus Kinski

DOWNLOAD Eluvium - An Accidental Memory In The Case Of Death (MP3)
DOWNLOAD Matthew Cooper - Some Days Are Better Than Others (MP3)

Explosions In The Sky
Explosions in the Sky
Explosions in the Sky

If it wasn't for BV, I never would have had my first Explosions in the Sky/Eluvium experience on September 2, 2006 at Bowery Ballroom. At that time, a friend told me that the Temporary Residence produced show was absolutely unmissable, and that I should do whatever it took to get my ass into the grotesquely sold out show. Luckily I didn't have to do much because one day a window opened on TicketWeb and BV (the man, not the site) was kind enough to give me a heads up, and I was in. From September 2, 2006 onward, I was officially a batshit crazy fan of Explosions and Eluvium.

Flash-forward to now. I'm a little fatter, a little balder, but I am still that rabid EITS and Eluvium fan that was born on September 2, 2006. When it was announced back in January that EITS would be headlining Radio City Music Hall, I was totally cranked. Best... venue... ever. Then I saw that Eluvium was added as opener, performing solo piano material, and I was beside myself. THEN it was announced that LOW was also going to open the show as well. Trifecta! I am still amazed that people pissed and moaned at the near $60 ticket cost. Three epic bands in New York City's most beautiful venue at that cost is a pittance. I mean, if you saved a dollar a day from when the show was announced, you would have had plenty of dough for a ticket and even a few of RCMH's expensive beers.

From start to finish, the show was an absolute triumph. If you balked at the price and missed the show, I instruct you to immediately be overwhelmed and water-boarded with regret. Matthew Cooper aka Eluvium sidled up to a massive grand piano a hair past 8:00pm. Lit only by two bluish spot lights and accompanied by fog that basically transformed the light beams into textured blue cones, Cooper commanded the piano to a room that was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. And, man, was I proud of the audience for that level of quiet. He relied heavily on his piano-centric 2004 release An Accidental Memory in the Case of Death, which was fine with me as it is one of the most beautiful records in my collection. His set was brief, and said not a single word, and left the stage to rousing applause. It was the perfect start to this show.

Low was up next and brought things up to another sonic tier. Playing as a four piece they unleashed a flawless set that was rife with soaring harmonies, anthemic guitar and keyboard arrangements, and a super-bassy back beat that plodded along like the heartbeat of someone at rest. This was my first experience with Low in person and found it to be a perfect complement to Eluvium's quiet, contemplative piano and EITS's bombastic and uber-loud performance. I will definitely check them out again at Bowery Ballroom on April 27. Join me, won't you? I mean not literally. Go to the show, but not with me. Why would you? Whatever.

For me, Radio City Music Hall is the perfect room for Explosions. Most people prefer to see their favorite bands in intimate rooms. But for sheer sonic projection and immersion, RCMH is the perfect room to see and hear EITS. Radio City's massive scalloped, arched ceilings and the sheer cavernous nature of the room really allows the sounds propelling from the speakers to fill up the room and breathe. Actually, I'd give my right arm to see a band like Mogwai there. Their entire set was a work of perfection, but the highlight for me was the second song in, "Birth and Death of the Day". Epic. They did play a pretty lengthy set, but I was disappointed that there was no encore; a non-core if you will. But I guess it makes sense; an EITS performance works best as a 90-minute onslaught. For them to come out to do another song or two would underwhelm and seem weird.

In other Explosions in the Sky and Eluvium News

If you happen to be in Los Angeles on April 23rd, head on over to Hollywood Forever Cemetery (but not in a casket, because that means you're dead meat and will miss everything) for an EITS art and listening event. At the event you will see all tracks from their new record Take Care, Take Care, Take Care interpreted by some artists. That album is set to drop on April 18th in the US.

Matthew Cooper aka Eluvium released the soundtrack to a film called Some Days are Better Than Others as Matthew Cooper. About the film...

The film stars James Mercer (Broken Bells, The Shins) and Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Sleater-Kinney) as strangers whose lives occasionally intersect as they navigate their way through the struggles of personal attachment and disconnection.
Check out a track from this album way at the top of the post.

More pictures and the EITS setlist from Radio City, and tour dates, below...

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

[they wouldn't let us take pictures of Eluvium]

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky Concert at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY, USA
Setlist on April 6, 2011

Postcard From 1952
The Birth and Death of the Day
Yasmin the Light
Last Known Surroundings
The Only Moment We Were Alone
Catastrophe and the Cure
Let Me Back In
Your Hand in Mine
Trembling Hands
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Explosions in the Sky - 2011 Tour Dates
04/08/2011 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE Octopus Project
04/09/2011 Columbus, OH Outland Live Octopus Project *Tickets are still available at retail outlets Used Kids and Magnolia Thunder
04/10/2011 Columbia, MO The Blue Note Octopus Project
04/30/2011 Los Angeles, CA, USA Hollywood Forever Cemetery
05/01/2011 Oakland, CA Fox Theatre
05/03/2011 Austin, TX The Backyard Arcade Fire
05/04/2011 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Pavillion Arcade Fire
05/15/2011 Edinburgh, GBR HMV Picture House Lichens
05/16/2011 Dublin, IRL Vicar St. Lichens
05/17/2011 Manchester, GBR Manchester Academy Lichens
05/19/2011 London, GBR Roundhouse Lichens
05/20/2011 Paris, FRA Bataclan Lichens
05/22/2011 Berlin, DEU Postbahnhof Lichens
05/23/2011 Koln, DEU Essigfabrik Lichens
05/24/2011 Brussels, BEL Ancienne Belgique Lichens
05/25/2011 Amsterdam, NLD Paradiso Lichens
05/27/2011 Barcelona, ESP Primavera Festival Belle & Sebastian, The National, Sufjan Stevens
05/29/2011 Bologna, ITA Rocker Festival
06/09/2011 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Arcade Fire, Buffalo Springfield, the Strokes, lots of others...
06/10/2011 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Arcade Fire, Buffalo Springfield, the Strokes, lots of others...
06/11/2011 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Arcade Fire, Buffalo Springfield, the Strokes, lots of others...
06/12/2011 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Arcade Fire, Buffalo Springfield, the Strokes, lots of others...
08/11/2011 Oslo, NOR Oya Festival Fleet Foxes, Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Warpaint
08/12/2011 Gothenburg, SWE Way Out West Festival Robyn, Fleet Foxes, Twin Shadow
08/13/2011 Gothenburg, SWE Way Out West Festival Robyn, Fleet Foxes, Twin Shadow
08/19/2011 Brecon Beacons, GBR Green Man Festival Fleet Foxes, The Low Anthem, Robyn Hitchcock

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Comments (58)

The show was incredible. Best show I've ever seen at Radio City, because the colossal music was complemented by the seated theater, unlike most shows where people just stand and dance in place.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 1:58 PM

this Kinski bitch copped all my points from the What's Up Wednesday thread.

Either I'm that right (which I doubt), or you're lazy Mr. Kinski. If that's your real name ... (roll)

LOL. great review, obviously agree with all except that I thought Eluvium was some boring ass shit. But, to each his pwn.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 1:59 PM

best show I ever saw at RCMH was Sade back in '86 or around, on the first US tour. 10th row center. UNBELIEVABLE. This was good too.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:01 PM

Great show.

While we (and everyone else) was sitting, the seats in our row were rocking back and forth pretty damn hard.

Posted by Mike | April 7, 2011 2:01 PM

You're totally right about the great bands, though I'm curious about where you were sitting. In the second mezzanine, the crowd was actually frustratingly chatty, equal parts first dates and jam band kids, neither of whom were willing to take their inane dialogue to the lobby. Damn shame, particulary during Eluvium.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:01 PM

"They" wouldn't let you take pictures of Eluvium? Who? His handlers? Or Radio City? and for god's sake, why?

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:08 PM

why is there a fat girl in Low?

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:09 PM

the Low fat girl is totally hot in a fat girl kind of way. not much summer up thee in Duluth i guess. lots of sit-on-yer-ass TV time with starchy foods.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:10 PM

Second mezz guy, sitting in the front was just as bad for annoying chatty types. But moreso the "it's wednesday. what show selling on stubhub can I take my stank ass ho gf to tonight" crowd.

Posted by Cuse | April 7, 2011 2:11 PM

no 'first breath after coma' ?

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:16 PM

Pretty sure Eluvium didn't want pics being taken because y'alls DSLRs are loud as fuck and it would have been fucking annyoing

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:22 PM

I saw people sleeping after Low played.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:25 PM

does anyone know what low's setlist?
loved seeing them live too!

Posted by darren von barren | April 7, 2011 2:25 PM

weed in Radio City?

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:29 PM

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:29 PM

was at the show......am I the first to say the emperor has no clothes?

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:32 PM

Also, the only thing that makes a concert go-er look like more of a clown than taking redundant pictures w/ a smart phone from 75+ feet away at a well-documented show, is doing so without turning off your flash, or your phone's fake camera sound effect. This is why we can't have nice things.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:33 PM

loud...........quiet.............loud .............quiet.....genius really

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:42 PM

bummed that I missed Eluvium. Been a fan for a while ,saw him perform at a church as part of the Wordless Music Series/ and wanted to see him perform in the hallowed halls of Radio City.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:46 PM

If I'm not mistaken i don't think they ever play encores.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:49 PM

EITS weren't loud enough for my taste

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:51 PM

2:33 you should've been (or maybe you were) at GY!BE @ T5 where it specifically said NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY all over the venue, and people were taking flash photos with their iPhones the entire night. my photos (w/o flash of course) for that show came out like crap that night BTW haha

Posted by chris g | April 7, 2011 2:55 PM

How can fans of Explosions in the Sky expect an encore. They never play encores. Never.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:55 PM

wish they hadn't played so much new stuff. Not really feeling the new album especially the Trembling Hands. quite unfortunate that they finished on that mess.

will look forward to future tours when they will play albums in their entire. a new album each night a la recent My Morning Jacket shows.

though no Terminal 5. actually saw EitS @ T5 a couple years back and it was terrible. worst venue for that band.

would love to see these guys rock the Hollywood Bowl in LA, or maybe Red Rocks? To jam band?

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 2:58 PM

who needs to take pics at a concert when BV exists?

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 3:01 PM

"How can fans of Explosions in the Sky expect an encore. They never play encores. Never."

Yeah, when I was writing that part I knew it'd get some comments. Going into the show I wondered if they'd do like a second set, or perhaps an encore given the magnitude of the venue. I wasn't exactly 'expecting' one; in the back of my mind I was just wondering if they'd break the cycle or something.

Posted by Klaus Kinski | April 7, 2011 3:04 PM

Fantastic show. Radio City was built for EITS. I had no idea that they were playing as a 5-piece now. They sound even huger then before!! LOW however has got to be one of the most boring bands I've ever seen in my!

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 3:11 PM

>why is there a fat girl in Low?

please go get crippled you sick fuck.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 3:17 PM

@2:58 We must have been in different universes because I was at that T5 show too and it was awesome! not as good a this one though.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 3:20 PM

EITS were superb! I hoped that playing such a special venue would inspire them to play a slightly longer set, no such luck. Would have loved a couple more songs.

I also wondered what it would be like to see Mogwai play there as well. One can only dream!

Excellent sets from Low and Eluvium, by the way. I was seating in the first mezzanine and people were well behaved during Eluvium's set. Shame the place was basically empty when he played.

Posted by Denise | April 7, 2011 3:22 PM

this bores me........

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 3:28 PM

3:17 - crippled, wrongly accused of a crime, thrown in prison, and repeatedly raped for a few years is more like it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 3:28 PM

Wonder how Sparhawk is doing with his weed addiction.

Low setlist anyone?

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 3:35 PM

I'm going to stab myself with this pencil I have in my hands.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 3:46 PM

GYBE > Sigur Ros > Boris / sunn o)))) / Mono > EITS > Mogwai > LCD

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 4:07 PM

the show was loud and awesome

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 5:03 PM

Mogwai > EITS

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 5:06 PM

i saw low 6 years ago and that chick was not fat. what happened?

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 5:27 PM

AMAZING night. missed Eluvium. Low and EITS in the same show! Low setlist:
Try To Sleep
You See Everything
Silver Rider
Witches
Especially Me
Nightingale
Nothing But Heart

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 5:44 PM

the "chick" in low is mimi parker. drummer, vocalist and co-founder along with alan, her husband.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 5:54 PM

5:44 - Did you miss sleeping when you got home? No? Then you didn't miss Elsnoozium.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 6:04 PM

EITS, Low and Eluvium all had wonderful performances at RCMH. The sound is always amazing there only wish the people in the audience would shut up for Eluvium and Low.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 6:08 PM

Their music is commonly described as "slowcore," a rock subgenre characterised by slow tempos and minimalist arrangements. Though Low's members disapprove of the term slowcore, the band is among the earliest to adopt and popularize the style, making them considerable contributors to the slowcore movement.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 6:08 PM

awesome. triumphant. operatic. a delight.

Posted by Anonymous | April 7, 2011 7:35 PM

As much as I enjoyed the show I have to say I prefer a standing venue. It felt lazy and i was too comfortable sitting down and all to the point where all I could just do was stare. It was upsetting that the last song was trembling hands cause the only thing trembling was my mind at what a bore that song is, and as a FINISHER? Memorial would have been a much better candidate.

T5 show back in 08 probably had the best setlist and it sucked it was at that awful venue. They should use churches more often cause GY!BE was godlike.

Posted by ButtPlugs | April 7, 2011 9:40 PM

What year did being quiet at shows end?

2007?
Anyone?

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2011 12:38 AM

^ At seated shows no less.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2011 12:46 AM

"Their music is commonly described as "slowcore," a rock subgenre characterised by slow tempos and minimalist arrangements. Though Low's members disapprove of the term slowcore, the band is among the earliest to adopt and popularize the style, making them considerable contributors to the slowcore movement."

Funny how most bands that popularize a style/genre are said to reject that same label. Identity crisis anybody?

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2011 12:49 AM

Wasn't it Low that actually coined "slowcore" as a joke, and then it just caught on?

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2011 1:11 AM

Or was it Labradford who were called slow core?

E.I.T.S. seems like a polished version on Set Fire to Flames or GSYBE.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2011 2:08 AM

I seem to be the only one who LOVED Low's set....don't know why people can call that boring.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2011 11:48 AM

Anyone know the name of Eluvium's last piano song played at the show? I have it stuck in my head!

Posted by Mike | April 8, 2011 1:34 PM

Frohawk's metabolism is slow-core.

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2011 3:37 PM

"What year did being quiet at shows end? 2007? Anyone?"

1957

about 30 years before you were born

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2011 3:48 PM

"Anyone know the name of Eluvium's last piano song played at the show? I have it stuck in my head!"

Lick My Love Pump

Posted by Anonymous | April 8, 2011 3:51 PM

Best show ever the new song they played called let me back in is outrageous. I need me that.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2011 10:07 AM

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