Going to a post-rock show is almost always an intense affair. This was my first time seeing This Will Destroy You, but I have a long history of seeing similar stylistic bands like Explosions in the Sky, Mono, Russian Circles, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor and all of my experiences with post-rock have been pleasurable. This Will Destroy You at St. Vitus was no different.
Starting out from small beginnings, the Texas quartet built their songs from simple melodies until they hit the audience with sweeping crescendos which last for just long enough before giving way to haunting ambiance, which shifts gears and then the band starts again with simple melodies which build and change just enough to keep an audience in check.
At the show, as on the record, their songs flow together as one long song with variations on a theme coming together as conceptual instrumentals that are equally elegiac as it is triumphantly bombastic. It’s an expectation of the genre, and This Will Destroy You work those forms and pathos with an expert restraint, teasing the audience with elation, before pulling it out from under them, leaving them wanting more.
On setlist.fm, it says that they played 11 songs, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell you one from the other, it all seemed like a blur of delicately strung together ideas, meant to have the audience get lost in the creative play with dynamics. They drew equally from their four full lengths, giving a broad scope for the audience to get lost in. Alex Bhore’s drumming was steller, and formed cogent narratives with his drum parts, which the rest of the band seemed to revolve around as part of the band’s ethos and aesthetic. Jeremy Galindo and Christopher Royal King’s dueling guitars took an ego-less background, creating sound palettes and subverting the expectations that guitars are all ego driven instruments.
The thing that’s most impressive and different about This Will Destroy You is their appeal to shorter attention spans. Whereas most post-rock bands tend to jam on themes ad nausea, This Will Destroy You gives small tastes before switching to another theme. The sold out audience in St. Vitus responded with enthrall when the band turned on the distortion switch, and stood transfixed by the relatively short ambient interludes, which are necessary dynamics that allow for an audience to catch a breath. Check out This Will Destroy You the next time they come around!
Article by: Steven Klett