The feeling of pure unadulterated bliss caught me by surprise, then again it was the one and only Karl Hyde and Rick Smith of Underworld on stage joined by Darren Price opening up their Friday night Central Park set with the beautiful pulsing, mournful, driving "Luetin" from their 2002 album "A Hundred Days Off" (the plankton business starts around the :43 second mark).
(Sorry about the sound quality - the speakers were booming, and the shakiness - there were hundreds of people jumping up and down and bumping into each other).
James Holden opened up earlier with a techy techno set that had heads bopping but was boring the heck out of my boyfriend Raul and my Colombian-Venezuelan bestest friend Diana (above) who had no idea what they were in for. I kept imitating Holden twirling his knobs while holding his headset to keep them entertained, promising that Underworld might be a tad more vocal and visual an experience. Boppin' to Holden:
Considering that this was Central Park, I didn't necessarily expect the Everything, Everything live experience but shockingly Underworld seemed more than prepared to tackle the outdoors in ways that actually played into the setting (they were also scheduled to perform at the Red Rocks amphitheatre in Denver but had to change venue when tickets didn't sell as well).
I mean there also were some giant color-changing inflatable wormy thingies that made it seem like another planet altogether:
I'm not sure if they sold out in New York but the Rumsey Playfield stage grounds were packed. And very appreciative of the band, specially when they performed their biggest hit "Born Slippy. NUXX" from the "Trainspotting" soundtrack (not a personal favorite):
Chills went up my spine though when that classic Moroder/Donna Summer "I Feel Love" riff announced the start of "King of Snake" from 1998's "Beaucoup Fish."
The closer? "Jumbo" also from "Beaucoup..."
All in all an unforgettable night. More YouTube videos here.
Underworld are releasing a brand new album called "Oblibvion with Bells" on October 16th (their first studio album since 2002 although they have since made music available exclusively through website downloads and produced a soundtrack to a Bristish film). A video of their new single, "Crocodile," is available at their website. A limited edition of the CD/DVD that also includes a groovy T-shirt is available for pre-order here.
The complete set from Friday night's show was:
2. 'New Train'
4. 'Pearl's Girl'
5. 'Biro the Leggy'
6. 'Two Months Off'
8. 'Glam Bucket'
9. 'Rez / Cowgirl'
10. 'Born Slippy Nuxx'
11. 'King of Snake'
What others are saying:
- Underworld in Central Park (Channel Six) - the definitive look at the Central Park show
- Underworld live in Central Park (Erich Ian)
- Underworld @ Central Park (Music Snobbery) - has some great photos!
- Underworld surfaces in New York City (Spinner) - more great photos by Redboy, his full set here
- Underworld at Central Park (Varnelis) - has a MySpace vid of Underworld performing "Dark Train" which I didn't capture on vid
- Underworld (BlipTV) - Karl Hyde's ode to New York which started the set