Published Aug 12, 2009For some, Underworld were simply a group made famous by the Trainspotting soundtrack. For many, though, the UK duo were an integral part of the '90s electronic scene, and the Guverment was packed with those who wanted to be whisked back in time.
The group's Karl Hyde, noticeably aging but not letting that stop him, appeared on stage in what is now his trademark disco-ball jacket, bringing all the excitement of a kid on the last day of school. It wasn't just him showing his age, though; there were a ton of concertgoers in their 40s reliving their misspent youths, apprehensive of letting go at first then giving in as the spectacular visuals dissipated their anxiety.
The mix of Hyde's vocals and live guitar with the sounds made by the thousands of dollars worth of tech-y equipment was astonishing: from the beginning of the set right to the end, there was a relentless blanket of music, eventually giving rise to the brilliant "Rez," the definite highlight of the night.
It was impossible not to feed off Hyde's seemingly limitless energy as he literally ran around the stage, and as "Born Slippy.NUXX" finally began, the band released "mega-mega" white balloons into the crowd, creating even more of a childlike euphoria in the audience. When the thundering bass kicked in mid-song you realized that it isn't simply an overplayed soundtrack tune, and grasped the impact that the song, and the band, had on progressive house music.
Compared to their contemporaries, Underworld performed a gig that showed what the rave scene was really all about, not to mention that they know how to make some phenomenal noise.