Explosions in the Sky @ SOMA

Post-rock legends perform electrifying show in San Diego

Explosions in the Sky, the legendary post-rock quartet from Austin, Texas, got their start in 1999, which means they’ve reached their 25th year as a band. That sort of longevity is a testament to the incredibly high quality of their music: eight LPs (including last year’s End) as well as several soundtrack albums. But as inspiring and titanic as their recorded music has been, they’ve always somehow managed to level up even higher in their live performances. Seeing them perform this past weekend at SOMA in San Diego, it was no wonder they’re still flying so high.

Dubbed “The End Tour,” they launched into their set with “Ten Billion People” off that most recent album, evoking a stratospheric vibe that would persist throughout the rest of the performance. Every Explosions song is its own epic journey – a marathon, not a sprint – ebbing and flowing between bleary, soul-searching lead guitars and powerful, stargazing crescendos that hit cosmic heights. Their setlist was perfectly balanced with material through all of their eras, including a track apiece off debut album How Strange, Innocence and follow-up Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever.

Backlit by moody yellow and white hues, the group members’ silhouettes swayed and shape-shifted in the glowing lights, shredding through one towering anthem after another. The set ended on an emphatic one-two punch of tracks off their iconic 2003 epic The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place, with closer “The Only Moment We’re Alone” sending the sold-out crowd into an emotional rollercoaster. 25 years in, and Explosions in the Sky are still at the top of their game.

You can check out the highlights below.

All Photos by Michael Christy