Underworld Live At The Hollywood Bowl
One the best things about performing at the Hollywood Bowl is the number of people that will be exposed to your music just because they’re having an evening out at the Bowl, even if they don’t have any idea who you are. The almost sold-out crowd that were in attendance for Underworld’s show at the famed venue, for the most part, were not familiar with the longstanding British dance duo/trio—if eavesdropped conversations on the buses were any indication—but one would not have known these hearing the heaving crowd reacting to the three’s set.
Underworld were preceded by a DJ set from Paul Oakenfold, accompanied by at times Carmen Rizzo, which catered to the audience just right, considering the expanse of the venue and its separation from the stage making it not the ideal space for a dance show, plus the fact that it was still bright out during Oakenfold’s set.
Both artists had visual backdrops (also projected onto the monitors) that mixed the performance on stage with their own pre-produced visuals making the usually difficult to connect visual part of the show far more engaging than normal. Alternating between being mesmerized by the monitors and being mesmerized by what was happening on stage, Underworld, led by charismatic frontman Karl Hyde’s natural and sensual moves, seemed to be having the experience of a lifetime. This goes a long way in translating the mood to the audience of course, and even if there were some lulls during not as familiar tracks from their as yet unreleased album, Oblivion With Bells, and even not fast enough ones from their familiar previous albums.
Highlights naturally were the group’s older numbers: “Rez,” “Cowgirl,” and “Born Slippy,” whose effect was so powerful, it completely wiped out any still moments. Probably a good thing as keeping up that much energy for 18,000 people is a little difficult.
The looks on the trio’s faces at the end of the evening were enough to know that they certainly had the gig of their lives.