out and about: underworld
    • THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2010

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    Photos by Jenny Pierson. For more shows, check out our photo section

    Underworld's founding members may be in their 30th year of collaboration, but they could give most bands a quarter their age a few lessons on how to put on a show. Their tour took them to Roseland Ballroom last night, where they played before a packed house filled with enthusiastic electronic music fans both young and old.

    Felix Da Housecat opened the night's festivities with a DJ set mixing old and new tunes from New Order to MGMT to Deadmau5 to, of course, some of his own classics, delivered with some occasional easygoing commentary and a laid-back (perhaps a bit too laid-back) stage presence. His early offerings were slightly dampened by a lack of cool lights (a staple of any DJ set) and quiet subwoofers, but by the end of his set the lights were up, the bass was thumping, and the crowd was into it. Unfortunately, he was cut off between songs while his set was still at a high point.

    This, on the upside, cleared the stage for Underworld. Those of you watching Jimmy Fallon the night before last already know that frontman Karl Hyde has got some amazingly flamboyant, energetic dance moves, and he made full use of them all night. I was tired just watching him, and keep in mind that he's at least pushing 50. Fellow band members Rick Smith and Darren Price handled most of the music (aside from some intermittent guitar and the vocals) from behind a wall of electronics and let Hyde handle most of the stage presence, which he was more than capable of.

    Add Hyde's spotlight-stealing dance moves to the elaborate production - video, lots of lighting effects, and lots and lots of smoke (so much it accidentally set the fire alarm off at one point, although the issue was quickly resolved and there was no interruption) — and of course a mix of the best tunes from Barking (Underworld's latest) and their extensive back catalog, and you get an audio-visual experience unlike any other.

    If at all possible, be sure to catch these guys on one of their remaining tour dates - despite being fifteen years past their big break, they'll appreciate it like a young band out on their first major tour. -peter menniti

    Underworld on Myspace
    Felix Da Housecat on Myspace

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