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All Points West: Underworld and CSS

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Underworld_l

Underworld_lMy All Points West festival experience started off on a bit of a sour note. It was raining, it was cold, and I was having some reservations as to how effectively this ”Coachella East” event was going to work out. However, at the end of day one, I feel both satisfied and extremely tired (both signs of a fun time in my book).

My first stop was at the ”Queen of the Valley” stage, where Grizzly Bear put on a short set (see Simon’s coverage here.) After that it was over to the ”Bullet” stage, where CSS was running late. Overall, I have not been that impressed with CSS’ new album, Donkey, and I was definitely skeptical of what they would bring to the live setting. That said, I did enjoy their performance. The band came flying out on stage like the Animaniacs on mescaline, and any group that hires dancers wearing neon one-pieces can’t be all that terrible. As expected, the band played a very Donkey-heavy set, with tracks like their recent single ”Move” being the hit of the evening. All in all CSS put on a good show, but if you saw one song, you saw them all.

After CSS it was over to the ”Blue Comet” stage to catch Underworld (pictured) before Radiohead. These guys were the highlight of the night for me (next to Radiohead, of course). Their sound was solid, the visuals were terrific, and each track seemed to hold its own live. Being a person who knows little about Underworld — excluding their track from the Trainspotting soundtrack — I was extremely impressed. After listening to their set, it had me wondering where bands like CSS would be without seminal acts like Underworld redefining electronic music in the ’90s.

So for day one, night one of All Points West, I was extremely satisfied and looking forward to another day in the sun tomorrow. Sidenote: No Age… when Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood is wearing your t-shirt on stage… you know you have to be doing something right.

addCredit(“Underworld: John Shearer/WireImage”)

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