The Prodigy: Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
The devastating results in the general election ironically segued into the arrival in Cardiff of THE drum and bass outfit of the last 20 years, The Prodigy. Ironic because the government was Tory when the Essex outfit’s first release hit the shelves, and it’s the fucking Tories who find themselves in control again on the day The Prodigy roll into town.
Anyway, enough of the political analysis (Agreed - Ed) what about the live experience of The Prodigy? Well, first off, it is worth saying that The Prodigy can draw a crowd. The MIA was rammed to capacity, busier than any metal gig I've seen in there since Maiden in 2006 and even surpassing the last visit by the Foo Fighters, a gig so hot I was sweating in the balcony.
It has to be said that away from the metal/rock festivals of Download and Sonisphere, The Prodigy draw a much more varied crowd than just the Slayer or Metallica fan. However, despite the limited metal contingent, full marks to all of those present; a complete absence of menace or any aggravation which I have to admit surprised me; just a lot of people who enjoyed a few beers or chemical enhancements and a chance to blow off some steam.
Our crew numbered 10, which included Sir Rhod Of Moose, complete with the smell of the 20 litres of oil he had spent most of the day cleaning up. After a reasonably early meet in the Gatekeeper, we headed to the MIA at around 8.20 and caught some of the most insane sights ever witnessed in this god awful venue. Massive queues at the bar, huge numbers trying to access the loos and overall just a bit of a cluster fuck. Did the management not know that the crowd was likely to want to booze? It was Wales for fuck’s sake!
Although the security staff had told us it was 9 pm start, the opening bars of the immense Breathe didn't blast out until 9:15 pm. However, it was so worth the wait. For the next 90 minutes, Howlett, Flint and Maxim controlled the rabid crowd, exhorting and coercing them into a pit of absolute insanity. What can I say about the set list? Blisteringly good, a mixture of tracks from the latest album The Night Is My Enemy, and a greatest hits package (Firestarter, Invaders Must Die, Omen, Run With The Wolves) which maintained momentum throughout the evening. I have to be honest here: I spent little time looking at the stage (impressive lighting aside) as I was too busy kicking the shapes which this band demand from you.
A brutal encore of Their Law and Take Me To The Hospital concluded the evening by a civilised 10:40 pm. We were exhausted, soaking wet with sweat (even Stief had begun to glow) and having given a really good account of ourselves (some shapes thrown hadn't been seen since 1996). The Prodigy live are a force of nature; breath-taking, impressive and unstoppable. I doubt that a better gig will cross my vision this year (and I have two Opeth gigs to cover yet). My bitch was truly smacked up. A most awesome evening all round. 10/10