The Prodigy At The 3Arena – Review
There’s a collective sense of hysteric joy in the crowds of fans gathered in Dublin’s monumental 3Arena tonight. The Prodigy have seemingly reached that semi-godlike status where fans both young and old still revert to an uncontrollably manic state at their gigs. With a back catalogue as impressive as theirs and a surely dazzling stage show prepared, it’s unlikely to be a quiet one.
Arriving onstage after much anticipation, the throngs of bizarre lights and visuals begin to let loose as the opening riff of ‘Breathe’ is cranked out. If there’s a bigger and better opener to any show, I don’t want to know about it. Not surprisingly, the fourteen thousand odd punters are thrown into a mutual frenzy. A headbanging rendition of ‘Nasty’ and an explosive crowdpleaser via ‘Omen’ are well received to say the least. However, it’s the 1997 anthem ‘Firestarter’ that cements this opening half hour as perhaps the best we’ve ever seen. The conviction and raw energy in the performance is just inspiring.
Amid the flurry of tracks to follow, the dynamic of the event shifts from watching a brilliant band to experiencing a brilliant rave. The largely dance and hook based tunes like ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ provide the soundtrack to what quickly becomes the rowdiest gig this reviewer has ever been to. Bodies fly against each other like rag dolls, and the sweat in the air becomes intoxicating. It’s a fittingly intense atmosphere for an equally intense band.
Another classic, ‘Voodoo People’ grounds things for a few moments and gets people singing along again instead of just functioning as human projectiles. With many now bowing out from the front rows, it becomes apparent that this is an endurance test as much as anything. Now coming to the end of the main set, ‘Invaders Must Die’ gives the audience the adrenaline they need. The title track from the 2009 LP just seethes with grit, and the crowd lap it up. More blinding visuals and deafening screams from Maxim keep the crowd alive. Exiting with the raucous ‘Smack My Bitch Up’, not a soul in the building isn’t belting out the lyrics and trying to keep up with Keith Flint’s infamous dance moves.
As if they hadn’t proven it already, the Essex madmen return for just a little more carnage and treat us to more unadulterated rave rock. The performance of the night is found in ‘Take Me To The Hosptial’, which closes the show once and for all. Blazing hooks, massive beats and a stage ensemble that would make U2 blush are what cap off this unbelievable performance. The final ‘walls of death’ collide, and the battered bodies are finally let rest.
Energy is arguably the most important thing in a live performance. The Prodigy encapsulated the spirit of pure punk tonight, and also provided the staggering back catalogue to back it up. Bands everywhere should be inspired to attain this level of devotion and drive for your craft. One thing is certain; ‘The Prodigy’ is admittedly a fitting name.