Underground Cities is the first act I catch, a group I've never heard of before. But what an introduction! They play post-rock, in the same category as Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai, but with an energy all their own. I could say so much about post-rock, as it really is the perfect genre, or at least the most difficult to fuck up. I imagine punk rock angels play these introspective jams when strung out on heroin. (In Heaven, heroin has no negative side-effects.) Post-rock removes vocals, as they can get in the way of exploration, and that's what Underground Cities does, explore, and take you on a journey to those sweet spots in music, hitting those reward centers over and over again. Huh. Just like taking certain pills . . .
But post-rock lacks solid narrative and this is its downfall. All songs fall backwards against their own void and get lost in the fuzz. That's why a live experience for post-rock is a must; in order to fully realize that expression. Underground Cities only paused twice in their frenzy, hardly relenting as they kicked up a storm. Their sound feels more optimistic than aggressive, giving the illusion of free-falling rather than some epic battle scene out of an overblown sci-fi space opera.
And for that, Underground Cities deserved a more receptive audience. This is exactly what I anticipated and contributed to my decision to swallow this substance. I wanted to take something that is completely out of place in the crossed-arms hipster universe. Perhaps MDMA needs to be brought out of the underground cities (better known as raves) and into an environments with more refined taste. Just to see what happens. People might just enjoy themselves more.