On October 27th, at Roseland Ballroom, British masters of electronic music, Underworld, dazzled and reawakened fans by performing both new and old songs along their tour to promote their latest release Barking. What followed that night was one of the most energetic and enthusiastic performances I’ve seen in a long time, complete with many quirky dance moves.
Before this, however, electro-house DJ Felix da Housecat started the night off, dabbling in dubstep and spinning some very bass-heavy house music. To those unfamiliar with his music, he did remixes of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle,” as well as Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus.”
Karl Hyde and Rick Smith were also joined onstage by DJ/producer Darren Price, who collaborated with them on Barking. Notable performances of the evening included “Downpipe,” “Bird 1,” “Cowgirl,” and of course, the anthemic “Born Slippy (Nuxx),” which outdid a ten-year-long expectation I’d had. The only time Hyde stopped being a dancing machine was when he’d pick up a guitar every now and then.
The true reality is that most of the photos I got of Underworld that night were either so blurry from how much Karl Hyde was shaking his booty or very, very intense, looking like Karl had just fallen in love. The whole experience is also a bit of a mesmerizing blur in my mind… but what I’m left with is the memory of the most gratifying experience a fan can have: to be able to share the live experience with a group of people who share the same love for it and to see that love ten times stronger in the artists onstage. The feeling was remarkably similar to the way I’d envisioned it to feel after hearing Everything Everything years ago. I remember thinking I had to see them live after hearing that album because of the special way they could make live music sound so cohesive and so solid for it to be fit for an album. That night, I could add absolute sincerity and passion to that image in my mind, which was so unbelievably moving for a live electronic act. Looking on their Facebook page later on, I understood why someone had driven nearly half a day to attend that show.