1MM: Underworld @ All Points West, 8.8.08

Photos by Andrew Parks

The idea of seeing Underworld in broad daylight is sacrilegious to say the least, so, yeah, we were a little bummed out to hear that the trio’s All Points West set started at 6:30. Especially since their known for such innovative visuals. And no, we’re not talking about the phallic blow-up props that surrounded the stage as the sun started to set. We’re talking about the rave-on tapestry of free verse phrases and live wizard-behind-the-curtain clips that made us miss being 19 and high-tailing it to Toronto for “Amen” breaks and drum & bass ’til the break of dawn.

Underworld didn’t exactly welcome us back to the world of jungle; after all, that’s not really their place in the scheme of electronica’s golden age. What they did do is remind us of how vital and visceral techno can sound and feel with or without the use of synthetic chemicals. “Born Slippy Nuxx,” “Pearl’s Girl,” all of dubnobasswithmyheadman–these are the anthems that reduce self-titled to an emo-tastic mess of sample-triggered memories and godawful dance moves.

Speaking of dancing with one’s self, Karl Hyde is still the finest ‘frontman’ in dance music, a wiggly worm of an Englishman with more energy than a battalion of bloggers who listen to nothing but Ed Banger-esque electro. Karl, the sequined shirt is easily forgiven, my friend.

Watch out for a full Underworld interview this week. For now, some photos …