Explosions In The Sky / Adem Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON - October 11, 2004

Noting that they were seeing "a lot of the same faces" night to night on the tour, opener Adem laid out the kind of expectations that were centred around Explosions in the Sky's return to Toronto after a highly-praised gig at Lee's Palace just last year. The show had sold out quickly and filled up early, which worked to the advantage of the opening act. With a songwriting style that seemed to vary intermittently between pop, country and church hymns, one of Adem's great strengths is their instrumentation. Consistently switching between guitar, organ, percussion and a variety of bell-like instruments, Adem's songs are filled with a depth not unlike Wilco's I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. For the most part, the crowd remained attentive and appreciative, though during some of the quietest, most emotional moments in the set the bar would begin to buzz, ruining much of the musical subtlety the band had to offer. After a brief change on stage, Explosions in the Sky greeted the crowd with some extremely kind words about Toronto's music scene. Remarking that the city is an "inspiration" and dedicating the night to Broken Social Scene, the band started into what was to be an hour-long set of uninterrupted instrumental brilliance. Though occasionally compared to acts such as GYBE!, Explosions possess a sound that is based more in the world of simplistic rock than that of orchestral music. Their music, however, is anything but simple, with a denser and more layered sound than most quartets could ever dream of. With each song building to a crashing climax before flowing effortlessly into the next, the band's members were visibly consumed by the music they were creating, as bodies swayed to gentle rhythms and eyes remained tightly shut. As the final notes rang out and guitars were dropped on the stage, the crowd, some of whom had been following the band since Montreal, was left in awe and appreciation of what was likely to be another legendary performance by a band whose eventual return will be quietly awaited, again.