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DJ interview

 UNDERWORLD LIVE REPORT







UNDERWORLD
Live in New York City 9/14/07
A review by Carl Noone Jr. www.hi-noone.com

"Crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy..." repeats the backing vocal track of Underworld’s stellar hit "Pearl’s Girl"; a fitting description for this wild yet incredibly powerful performance in front of a capacity crowd on Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield Summer Stage. From the opening hypnotic strains of "Luetin" followed by one of my personal favorites "New Train" and all the way through their two-hour-plus set, Underworld was nothing but spectacular during a show that gave New Yorkers everything they waited five long years to receive. Lee Burridge later asked me jokingly during the height of the show, "Just a tad spooky, eh mate?" "More powerful than drugs," I responded, with "high-fives" and laughter flying in response.

Karl Hyde took center stage, draped in sequins and a white Gibson Les Paul guitar. Rick Smith was tucked neatly behind his glasses and a wall of equipment, while opening DJ and "third member" James Holden assisted throughout, scrambling around the stage with his headphone cord dragging behind, poking, prodding, and endlessly twiddling the knobs of the L-shaped bank of computers and samplers.

The stage production was a virtual color-filled bombardment of visual weapons that ranged from up-close and comical video footage of Hyde and Smith to the use of brightly-colored, inflatable tubes facing in all directions that danced and blinked like strobes in unison to the beat of the music. A single sliver of rainbow lights twinkled to and fro across the bottom of the massive screen, at points casting huge shadows of Hyde in the background. The depth and clarity of the sound was brilliant, as expected, and I found absolutely nothing to disappoint.

Stepping towards the end of the stage to perform "Crocodile", (the third song of a perfectly programmed set list) Hyde easily took command of the crowd. Bathed in a green glow and occasional hand-held spotlight, he charmed the masses as he weaved and bobbed, becoming the "King of Snake" as we were the cobras languishing in the basket, waiting to be unleashed. Ending the set with a downright beautiful song, "Jumbo" left smiles on everyone’s faces. Even more emotive in a live setting than on CD, Underworld miraculously evoked the mayhem-ish feelings of rave days gone by, somehow managing to bring back that 10am feeling before the bells even chimed 10pm!

Underworld setlist
New York City 9/14/07
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

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