About two weeks after the release of their album Beaucoup Fish
, Underworld toured North America, playing more dates than they did the previous autumn: Toronto
, New York
, San Francisco
, Los Angeles
, and Las Vegas
. Because I had class the following morning, I couldn't take the bus
or I wouldn't get back to school in time. So I decided to drive down. My parents were strongly against the idea of me going alone, so I asked on the dirtylist
for assistance. I found it in the form of three ravers from Newport
, who were happy to accompany me to the Big Apple.
We left my dorm at around 4:30, heading for the Hoboken PATH station, and we made great time through Connecticut, only to stop dead at the New York City line. There was an accident (a bloody one at that) right near the George Washington Bridge, and we were stuck in the traffic jam for about three hours. And we all had to pee.
We finally got through and onto the bridge. That's where my directions became a bit vague. I drove around Jersey City and Hoboken (birthplace of Frank Sinatra) until we found the PATH station and a parking lot. MUCH cheaper than parking in the city.
The time was nearly 11 PM, and we hoped to God that we didn't miss anything. Well, we did. Richie Hawtin was the opener, and we caught about 5 minutes of his set before the glory that is an Underworld concert overtook us.
Their set was smashing. I melted with joy, even more so because the security guard told us exactly where the back door was.
After the show, we RAN to the back door, where a bouncer told us that they wouldn't be leaving the building until 4AM or so. Then a hired raver-goon ran by us and yelled "They already left, you slags!" Nevertheless, we remained, patiently awaiting autographs.
Underworld finally emerged. Karl Hyde has a nice orange sock hat that fits his mischievous face. He signed the afterparty flyer, which is the only thing that said Underworld that I had in my pockets. Rick Smith ran right to the taxi, and I never got Darren's signature. I'd get the pleasure of meeting him later
Afterwards, we all went back to the PATH station, since my Underworld-fan friends are mostly from New Jersey, too. Erin told me I should dye my beard blue.
After we left the PATH station, we drove around Hoboken looking for the George Washington Bridge. It was surprisingly hard to find when all the signs were gone. Driving back at sunrise was pleasant, even though it was difficult staying awake.