Published Sep 11, 2011Contrasting the expansive grandiosity and overall subtlety of the headlining act, Twin Sister are a slick five-piece band from New York. With their lazy bass and subdued progressions, much of their aesthetic is indebted to the late '70s pop and disco scene, although arguably their best track was an organ-heavy rocker anomaly that sounded a little closer to the Whitsundays than the Doors on the psychedelic spectrum.
Though lead singer Andrea Estella speaks with a clearly American accent, she sings with kind of a disjointed twang like Deerhoof's Satomi Matsuzaki, with a slightly cleaner timbre than Astrud Gilberto and Nico. If Twin Sister let a little more psych weirdness into their sound, she would be the Miho Hatori to their Cibo Matto. But instead, Twin Sister stuck pretty hard to their lounge comfort zone for the majority of their set, which would be great for cocktail parties but a little underwhelming for a Friday night. They were a smooth live band, though, joking with the sold-out crowd and professing a deep adoration for the city of Vancouver.
Texas instrumentalists Explosions in the Sky lived up to their name and reputation. The long-running post-rock unit have such a dynamic sound on record, and they can replicate it perfectly live without losing their sense of spontaneity. With no gimmicks or vocals to fall back on, just five dudes in jeans with instruments moving in fluid synchronicity, ebbing and flowing in unison, they felt every note and beat to their core. They said more with their body language than most bands can say with a lyric sheet the size of a phonebook.
Explosions in the Sky's powerful post-rock drew the capacity-filled sit-down theatre to its feet, with a dense haze of pot smoke and electricity swarming the air. The band's mystical sounds and elongated forms evoked the supernatural wonder of moonlit desert landscapes, each section a snake biting the tail of the proceeding snake, together winding their way across vast ocean-like plains. They were epic with a capital "E."