Underworld @ The Hollywood Bowl, 9/9/07
People often say that Los Angeles isn't a great audience to play to. Everyone kinda stands back, detached. I've seen it happen, but I don't believe in it. And the Underworld show on Sunday night is just the kind of night Los Angeles isn't known for. And I'm pleased to say that I was a part of it.
But before we continue, a public service announcement: Do not park at the dirt parking lot next to the church. It has no sign with the price on it (so they'll screw you), it's stack parking (unlike the church lot) and, after the show when you've waited 45 minutes for the rude assholes who are blocking 20 people in to show up, there's no one to be found.
All right! Back to the goodness. I've been to a few shows at the Hollywood Bowl, and usually they're pretty solid -- people stand up for the hits and sit down for new stuff. But this Underworld show, not only was the band completely, mind blowingly, amazing, but the audience was on their feet the entire time, dancing, waving glow-y things and dancing in the aisles. The audience and the band connected and threw off sparks, each feeding off the other in a crazy, twisting dance that culminated in a mushroom cloud of mutual admiration, with lots of yelling, crazy white people dancing and Karl Hyde's sparkley shoe/shirt combo. It was the best show I've seen in a long time.
In fact, my greatest criticism (since I missed Oakey) was more. More, more, more! More arty graphics and songs where they play words on the screens, more of the new album (Oblivion with Bells, out October 16th), which, if this show is any indication, will be unbelievably awesome. They banged out new songs and old alike with equal joy and abandon. They started with "Luetin," all swirly and glittery and continued to play (in no particular order) "Pearl's Girl," "King of Snake," "Two Months Off," "Cups," "Juanita/Kiteless," "Cowgirl/Rez," "Born Slippy" and finally, "Jumbo". That's really what we needed more of -- encores! I believe there was only one (Underworld usually play two) and I think it was only one song.
Also of note: (I wish I had pictures of this stuff!): really long lines for beer, guy in a suit passed out by the bathroom, visuals including Pong and Space Invaders, guys in front of us chain smoking joints like cigarettes.
If anyone has a bootleg they wanna share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Amazing photos (used with permission) by fac013 via flickr