1997.05.26 – Arrow Hall Warehouse, Toronto, Canada

Date: 24th May 1997
Event: The Prodigy Concert
Venue: Arrow Hall Warehouse
City: Toronto
Country: Canada
Support: n/a

Tracklist:
1. Smack My Bitch Up
2. Voodoo People
3. Breathe
4. Poison
5. Funky Shit
6. Weather Experience Link
7. Their Law
8. Firedrill
9. Serial Thrilla
10. Mindfields
11. It’s My Own Secret Technique Link
12. Firestarter
13. Rock’n’roll
14. No Good (Start The Dance)
15. Fuel My Fire
16. Gabba

Extra info:
I don’t know why backstage pass says the concert was in Molson Canadian Amphitheatre.

Review by Kieran Grant:
The buzz was fun while it lasted. Yes, electronic music rocks. Like everything else before it.
The Prodigy, armed with that old scourge of rock fans the world over — the synthesizer — had a throng of 4,000 bouncing in unison last night at Arrow Hall in Mississauga.
Rave kids and rockers alike assembled to witness the English band’s anxiously awaited debut assault on a North American audience. The Prodigy, along with The Chemical Brothers, are leaders in the so-called rock crossover of British techno and dance music.
Given The Prodigy’s sudden mass appeal, the often blistering show — featuring songs from their upcoming album Fat Of The Land, two 1996 EPs, and 1994’s Music For A Jilted Generation — was proof that underground rave culture has not only reached suburban shopping malls, but it’s also become entrenched there.
It was also proof enough that, in the face of overbearing hype, The Prodigy can rock a crowd as hard as any non-electronic contender.
That said, The Prodigy’s unapologetically rockist live approach differs little from the sonic onslaughts we’ve come to expect at rock gigs, except that it was slightly more aggressive and, of course, automated.
As Liam Howlett — the actual Prodigy himself — took the stage prior to emcee Maxim Reality, dancer-vocalizer Keith Flint and dancer Leeroy, it felt like a hipper answer to a Tragically Hip concert.
Rowdy fans crowed in recognition. Whistles — fixtures at raves — were blown in appreciation.
It wasn’t until Reality and Flint made their entrances and Howlett triggered the clattering drum and rumbling bass samples of Shake That Bitch Up that you could fully hear the power of the band’s tracks.
With his trademark, two-sided Mohican hairstyle and scary clown make-up, Flint paced the stage like a rabid dog.
Kilted and steel-toothed, Reality hulked like a wounded bear and barked nonsense over the beats.
Lanky Leeroy, loose as a goose, pirouetted like a drugged-up basketball player.
All this was impressive to a point.
But there was something remotely Milli Vanilli-like about the sketchy moves and vocal parts, which, for the record, were not lip-synched.
The sound was impressive up front, but continual tinniness made enjoyment levels in the further corners of Arrow Hall considerably lower.
With that slice of negative criticism out of the way, The Prodigy did benefit from Howlett’s prowess at the sequencer.
Bass beats were so fat that you could take a bite out of them.
Meanwhile, Reality worked the crowd and repeated mantras like “this is dangerous” on Mindfield and “Oh my God, this is funky s–” on Funky S–.
Highly danceable tracks like Voodoo People, Breathe and Their Law — which featured a punk guitarist — were broken down and presented like the catchy dance singles that they are.
But despite Reality’s urging the crowd to “find out what The Prodigy is about” and “represent yourselves,” the band offered little in the way of surprises.
If things started to lag a bit after an hour, the band wisely jazzed it up by blasting last year’s incredible hit single, Firestarter, into the mix late in the show.
Fuelled by live guitar and Flint’s constant harangues that he is, indeed, “the firestarter/twisted firestarter,” it peaked with the singer windmilling his microphone and smacking it into the stage in perfect time.
That cleared the way for an encore and a closing that were powerful, but not mind-blowing.
More visceral than visual, the show fell somewhat short of being the blinding extravaganza promised by the band’s glowing reputation.
The Prodigy still have the benefit of being able to blame the hype machine if this conquest-of-America thing doesn’t work out.
SUN RATING 3 OUT OF 5

Press:

Flyer:

Backstage pass:

Photos from the show:

Photosession:

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