20 Apr 2016: Terminal 5 New York
Over at BrooklynVegan, Klaus Kinski expressed how he felt some concern ahead of the new release from one of the pioneers of electronic dance music, Underworld. He ended up realizing, “[T]hey still deliver records with as much energy and intensity as ever as evidenced by their newest release Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future. When artists I love are in the grips of old age, I am always prepared to be disappointed by their latter day releases. I don’t know why I do this… But once again they delivered an item of vintage Underworld sound.”
I too had some concern ahead of the new album but it quickly resonated with me, particularly the intense trips of “If Rah”, “Low Burn” and “Nylon Strung”. And fortunately, Underworld found their way to New York City for a show in between their weekends at Coachella so I could experience them again, my first time since August 2008 and my fourth or fifth time since 2002. Their shows are sweeping epics of uptempo and slow burning beats. At Terminal 5, even though the band ended with the awesome Trainspotting smash, “Born Slippy .Nuxx” as anticipated, it might have been better placed a bit earlier in the set so people could have a come down from it. I felt more drawn towards “King of Snake”, when the smoke machines billowed out a haze that obscured the band and the lights pulsed green, and the powerful chorus (“You bring light in”) in “Two Months Off” elevated the crowd before the band brought them something more meditative with “8 Ball”. Overall though, I was completely satisfied—Underworld remain in fine form. In the EDM world, Underworld (Rick Smith and Karl Hyde) craft a sonic experience that is almost peerless (thinking of when I saw Daft Punk in 2007). Hyde asked the audience to dance with him during “Born Slippy”—but of course he’d already been leading them on an almost two hour body moving session, spitting verses over a field of bombastic beats, and only wanted to be sure they left with sweat pouring down their backs.
Juanita: Kiteless: To Dream of Love
Two Months Off
King of Snake
Born Slippy .NUXX