Explosions In The Sky at the Mondavi Center: photos

Texas band Explosions In The Sky visited the Mondavi Center at UC Davis Sunday night and provided a pure guitar wall of sound bliss.

Munaf Rayani of Explosions In The Sky

Their show is the first of a set of four concerts in Davis in April produced by the Bay Area’s Another Planet Entertainment (books shows for the Outside Lands Festival (2012 lineup to be announced tomorrow), the Treasure Island Music Festival, The Independent in SF, and the Fox Theater in Oakland, among others) that I am dubbing "mini-Coachella" since the headlining bands (and many of the openers) are playing there both last and next weekend. Upcoming Davis shows are: Bon Iver on Tuesday, April 17th at Freeborn Hall; Florence and the Machine on Wednesday, April 18th at the Mondavi; and The Shins on Monday, April 23rd at the Mondavi.

But rather than battling 75,000 of your closest friends in urban-warrior-princess headbands on the polo fields of Indio, the cushioned seats and impeccable acoustics of the Mondavi make for a civilized alternative, especially if one is within cycling distance of the venue.

Michael James of Explosions In The Sky

Munaf Rayani of Explosions In The Sky

Explosions In The Sky brought their emotionally expansive instrumentals to an enchanted capacity crowd. The band’s frequent closed-eye playing and rhythmic swaying provided echoed the audience’s reverie. During one particularly head-banging passage, a nascent rebellion of several audience members defied the ushers and danced at the foot of the stage. In the end, order was restored until EITS thanked the audience to an instantaneous standing ovation to close.

Munaf Rayani of Explosions In The Sky

Fellow Texans Zammuto, Nick Zammuto’s project after the disbanding of The Books, opened the show. With a collage and pastiche approach to songsmithing, their final number was "The Best Autoharp Solo Of All Time!" which mixed precisely-edited footage and sound from an autoharp instructional video as the basis of a rousing song.

Nick Zammuto

Zammuto: “The Best Autoharp Solo Of All Time!”

[See a full set of higher-res photos on my website: http://www.rikkeller.com/Music/Explosions-Sky-Mondavi-4-2012/22482190_KZCMTq]

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