prodigy in USA 2002
review & pics
27/4/02: The House of Blues, Las Vegas, USA
story starts about two months ago...
Online boredom, as many of you are familiar with, led me to root around
for something interesting...and Jesus did I find it.
My friends and I had a 500 Mile Pact. The Pact stated that if The
Prodigy ever played within 500 miles of our desolate hometown of Tucson,
AZ, we'd go. No matter what. So here I am, two months ago, looking
for something interesting...and what do I find? The Prodigy had THREE
scheduled dates in the US...the first, in Las Vegas. About 400+ miles
away....Needless to say, out came the credit card, a few phone calls
to other Pact members, and a plan formed....two months later....
9:00pm:House Of Blues, Las Vegas
Now, the House Of Blues is located inside the very posh Mandalay Bay
casino/resort/hellhole. When I found it inside, I kept scratching
my head, thinking..."THIS is where they're gonna play? In this
fucking corporate alterna-bar inside a mammoth casino?". I got
closer to the place, and sure enough, the poster by the door sported
none other than our beloved heroes Liam, Maxim, and Keith. I breathed
a sigh of relief upon seeing it, still in disbelief that they'd actually
be playing there, but the poster did a lot to actually sell me on
the idea that they'd really be there. Looking around though, I expected
more people to be hovering in/around waiting to line up. I began to
worry about whether or not a decent crowd would show...
Two guys from Canada were in front of my friends and I, but damn did
that line ever grow! There was a definite buzz in the air as the line
began to wind down the long wall near the club, around the corner
and back out into the casino. Fifteen minutes later we were allowed
in, and we rushed down the steps into the pit-like general admission
All I could think of was "Holy Shit!" as I was leaning over
with my arms out, hugging the piece of prime real estate that was
a chunk of railing just to the right of center stage. Right in front.
I looked up, seeing the same banner/logo I'd read about in previous
updates on ProCon, the new Prodigy logo with the star/head with rocket,
the two rockets on either side bearing the worker ant logo, and the
equipment set up, consisting of a drum kit, Liam's stack of synthesizers,
and some Marshall amps/assorted shit. The legendary Moog Prodigy among
the machines. Total buzz. This was real, and we were about to witness
1:30a (Yes, one hour past when it was supposed to start)
The place is packed, and the natives are restless...the house DJ's
tap-water flavored trance shit is NO LONGER cutting it. Any break
in the music or other slight break from the monotony gets the crowd
erroneously excited, and people are starting to bitch loudly.
Finally, a shaven-headed man jogs in from stage right, and sneers,
"Awwwww, did we keep you waiting??? Direct from the UK, The Prodigy!!!!!!!"
The crowd erupts into chaos. Every security person between the rail
and the stage almost simulteaneously reaches for earplugs.
Liam emerges from stage right, wearing a big gray blazer with a T-shirt
and kickboxing pants. He gets behind the stacks, and the intro comes
on...a militant sounding theme, with staccato drums and horns blaring...Maxim
and Keith show up, and they tear into Their Law....
I was very impressed by the new tracks. I'd have to say that Nuclear
was my favorite, followed by Trigger. Nuclear is almost pure punk
rock (!), while Trigger, with its repeat chorus, is very much like
Breathe...I imagine that Trigger will end up in heavy rotation on
alternative FM here in America. Keith looked exactly as I'd imagined,
wearing a strange clingy shirt with the word 'SLUT' under his left
arm, and these weird red/black pants held up by these gaudy glam metal
belts. Maxim sported big fat dreads, accompanied by these big white
puffy boots and this funky faux kilt made up of denim and US flags
with loads of patches adorning it. The entire show was just non-stop
intensity, just as I read about so many of their other shows over
the years. Some of the weirder highlights included Maxim confronting
a fan who threw a cup of water at him, giving him a vicious verbal
diss much to the crowd's delight, as well as Keith's tantrum at the
end of Nuclear, where he proceeded to kick and bash the shit out of
a bunch of monitors/light fixtures on the stage. There were also a
few times where they climbed up off the stage and trundled around
the bar area to the right of the stage. I can't express how intense
and impressive their stage presence is, after reading so much about
them over the years I'd felt I was doomed to be disappointed, but
they met and exceeded my every expectation. Their sound setup was
lethal, after the show I felt like I'd had my ass kicked by the LAPD
from the sheer level of high volume bass. My only complaint was that
although Rhythm Of Life appeared on the setlist, they never performed
it...that's my 2nd favorite B-side (besides Scienide).
It was so good to see them alive, well, and perhaps better than ever...its
clear that Leeroy's depature has done virtually nothing to the band's
chemistry, in fact, given the new tracks composition featuring even
more lyrics by Keith and Maxim, it may have strengthened the band,
allowing them to focus better on creating the most monstrous, compelling
live music around. Part of me wishes I could see the band I used to
worship after repeated viewings of Electronic Punks, but if anything
Leeroy's departure definitely put the nail in the coffin of that era.
The new Prodigy is fierce, relentless, and nastier than ever. The
show I was privileged to witness on April 27th was living proof that
this band cannot be stopped. All I can do now, like everyone else,
is wait with bated breath for the arrival of Always Outnumbered, Never
I don't know about you, but this Prodigy show was by far the most
crazy and energy filled show that I have ever been too. I have seen
and worked at shows such as Lords of Acid, Atari Teenage Riot, Rage
Against the Machine, Cirrus, OzzFest (the Ozzy Osborne Metal Fest),
Moonshine Over America, ect. here in the United States, and these
don't even compare to what happen once Liam got behind the boards
jacked shit up; I had to protect my space from the moving mosh pit.
After almost four years, I once again got to see one of the greatest
live bands ever; I don't care what the mainstream media thinks who
great bands are."
name is Neal Dyck (a.k.a. Braintree). I am from Ontario, CANADA and
I was recently in Las Vegas with my brother Dan. The Prodigy just
happen to be doing a show at the "House of Blues" in the
Mandalay Bay Hotel. Unfortunately the show was scheduled for 11:30pm
on Saturdy April 27th and our flight out of Vegas left at 11:00pm.
I was almost ready to miss my flight and risk losing my job to attend!
I opted to use my brain and take the loss of a great opportunity to
see the Prodge, who haven't been in North America for almost 4 years.
My brother suggested we should take a tour of the hotel's shops and
other venues to clear my head. There is a small restaurant in the
Mandalay Bay Hotel called the "Rock Lobster" ....being the
total tourists we were, my brother decided to get a photo of the Rock
Lobster's sign (which was a guitar with a lobster claw as the base).
I just happened to glance at the patrons eating in the 'cafe' part
of the restaurant and I almost passed out!!! Sitting there was none
other than Liam, Keith, and another fella (excse my ignorance) that
I believe was thier new guitarist. I was totally freakin' out!! I
tried not to make a scene and slowly walked over to get a few words
and maybe a photo. As I introduced my brother and I and stuttered
away how big of a fan I was, Liam stood up and shook my hand and my
brother's and told us to come around and have a seat!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
I can barely write this just thinking about it. I sat down in awe
of my idols while my brother snaped the shots. I was, without a doubt,
in a state of bliss for the rest of the day."
to the Show, it was short only about an hour, but it was great!!!!!!!!!!!!
28 /4/02: Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA
the four years since they've played a gig in america and the five
since they've released a proper album or single, it's been easy to
about the prodigy. liam hasn't made it difficult for himself or for
general public to put the records away and move on. for awhile it
like he was into making any more music with the band, and after the
that was fat of the land, we were all okay with that. (well, i was
aggravated, but pretty much everyone else could have cared less.)
sunday night, he made it very difficult to ignore the greatness that
the prodigy. i can only hope that it was as much a reminder for him
as it was
for the audience.
- that the prodigy's best songs are very fucking good, that there
nothing like the juggernaut of "firestarter" on the radio
today, that live
and loud and enraged they are by far the most intense live act i have
since rage against the machine. sure, there's something kind of comical
keith and maxim even now, but i think liam knows that and likes it.
posturing, maxim's sneering of "i came here to feel PAIN!!!",
lewd drooling combine into this wicked cocktail of rock and dance
and sex and
nasty fucking beats that shake the ground beneath your feet. i know
bands have done parts of it better, but no one's put it all in a shaker
come out with something so funny and satisfying. and no one's walked
done fuckall for four years and then walked back into the spotlight
delivered with as much confidence as liam howlett. he's ridiculous
but i love
him, and i love the new track "baby's got a temper," and
i love having jim
davies onstage clawing at his guitar like a wild animal. at least
percent of the live performance was due to jim, who's one of my favorite
guitar players, period, and has done some cool stuff with pitchshifter
nothing as awesome as what he's done on record for the prodigy. hello,
vintage "firestarter" riff? the guitar on "their law"
and "voodoo people" ?
it's all jim. thank god he's back, it's like being punched in the
the foo fighters left the stage (i only saw "everlong,"
which was good)
and the crowd exodus commenced, i snuck my way into the pit and got
back to my prime position from earlier that day, which i had given
up to see
the mars volta. when the band went onstage, i was about six people
front, perfectly center right. and like the rest of the crowd and
the band, i
jumped and thrashed around and screamed my head off. i woke up today
the pain for sure. but it was worth it, one big sweaty mass of people,
hour and fifteen minutes, two (three?) new tracks, innumerable memories
waves of emotion flooding over me. liam is platinum again. jim was
dead kennedys shirt. maxim was wearing some ludicrous white boots,
wore the pants with the star-shaped hole in the crotch.
came to coachella to see the prodigy play and they were *brilliant*...
oh, and liam - welcome back eh. ;)"
review & pics
- copyright © 1998-2002 by neko
- all rights reserved