Sep 23, 2007

Underworld in Central Park - 9/14/07

When I heard Underworld was playing Central Park (months and months ago) I bought a ticket right away. I was only familiar with their big songs that everybody knows, but they were some of the first guys out there making electronic music and I knew it was something I shouldn't miss. Despite my best efforts to get through their whole catalog before the show came around, I was only able to get in a few listens of dubnobasswithmyheadman and the Pearl's Girl EP. Honestly it didn't matter...I knew less than half of what they played, but the show was great anyway.

When I heard the bass thumping as I wandered through the park I got the same weird Alice in Raverland feeling I had when I saw the Chemical Brothers there 2 years ago. I arrived a little after 6, found Chuck and Greg pretty quickly and we secured a good spot, dead center, maybe a little further than halfway back. James Holden was dj-ing in the meantime...decent, nothing mind-blowing or anything.

Underworld hit the stage at 7:30 and it was a non-stop good time. There was a very good vibe from the crowd. I have never seen so many different types of people with such a wide range of ages at a show, all having a good time. Every time I looked around me people were either getting down, or had their eyes closed and looked to be having a religious experience. The actual music was banging. They played a lot of their more well-known hits and some stuff off of their new album (Oblivion With Bells, out in the US on October 16th). Setlist below thanks to URB.

1. Luetin
2. New Train
3. Crocodile
4. Pearl’s Girl
5. Biro the Leggy
6. Two Months Off
7. Rowla
8. Glam Bucket
9. Rez / Cowgirl
10. Born Slippy Nuxx
11. King of Snake
12. Jumbo

Their set flowed extremely well. There were parts that had everyone moving, then they would mellow it out a bit with a slower track, but then come back again with the perfect banger. It was really a great, well-rounded, fun show. It was also awesome to hear them play their own stuff, loud and live, especially songs I knew like Rez, Cowgirl, and Born Slippy.

I thought the whole show really had an old school feeling. Most of their songs that I knew were from my early days getting into dance music, so it reminded me of that time in my life and alot of the other stuff I was listening to then (Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, etc). Having the show in the park gave it a very free, outdoor party vibe. I've never seen so many people so happy at a show. The weather was perfect. The skies were clear. There were some nice, old school Atari visuals and big light up balloons. From where we were, the stage, the whole space, was framed by trees with these lights shining through, and music banging all around us (though it definitely could have been louder) was very surreal.

I really didn't have any expectations for the show because I wasn't that familiar with Underworld's music. If anything I was trying not to get too excited because I didn't want to feel let down if I wasn't that into it. I can gladly say seeing Underworld live was a great experience and probably one of the most fun, carefree, good feeling shows I've been to in a long time.

Some great photos here and here, and a very interesting review from someone who knows way more about Underworld than I do, Tony.


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