2005.05.28 – Festimad Festival, Fuenlabrada, Spain

Date: 28th May 2005
Event: Festimad Festival
Venue: Parque La Cantuena
City: Fuenlabrada
Country: Spain
Support: see timetable

1. Wake Up Intro
2. Their Law
3. Wake Up Call
4. Breathe
5. Spitfire
6. Back 2 Skool
7. Firestarter
8. Action Radar Link
9. Mindfields
10. Poison
11. Method Beats
12. Smack My Bitch Up

Extra info:
Escenario Heineken timetable:
01:15 The Prodigy
22:15 Incubus
20:00 Hermano
18:15 Mondo Generator
16:45 The Eighties Matchbox

Review by neko:
Lisbon is already a bit a late night and I get exactly 2 hours sleep before I am off to the airport to catch my 10:30 flight to Madrid. I was already tired before I got to Lisbon, so now I am properly knackered. My brother and his girlfriend Maria are here though, so we head out to have a couple of beverages in the afternoon around Madrid wich of course means no proper rest for me once again. ah well.
The gig is again supposed to be a late one. According to the program on the festival web site the plan is for Incubus to play stage 1 at 22:15, System of a Down to play stage 2 at 23:30 and then Prodigy to close on stage 1 at 1:15am.
We head to the main arena in the festival just before 10 and as we get up to the hill where it takes place, it is very windy and because the area is so dry all the sand gets blown around and it feels like in a sandstorm. Ewww.
Nothing is happening, so we just sit around and have a drink. There’s some problems with stage 1, but they’re not making any announcements about it. One hour later still nothing happening at all. After 11pm then some announcement, in Spanish of course, but not even the locals seem to be able to understand it. Some people tell “All bands are cancelled!”, “Incubus are cancelled!”, “Systm of a Down are tomorrow” etc. What happens now though is big chaos, all people start shuffling around, some try to get near the stages, some try to walk away from it, some people are getting totally mad and start throwing rocks around, so it gets very dangerous in there and i get pretty scared actually within this huge mass of people. We are lucky enough to have access to the backstage area, so that’s where we head to and stay for the next couple of hours, just to be safe. Later people are burning cars and turning them over into the ground, running over and completely destroying whole beer tents and food stalls; it’s not a nice sight when we get back into the main arena much later that night.
The next hours we’re just sat around, trying not to fall asleep. There’s no point going back to the hotel either, as no one is quite certain yet about what’s going to happen. It’s very surreal in a way, with all the bands just lurking around and trying to kill the time as well, not really knowing what’s happening either. The quietness here is in a strange contrast to the madness and warzone-like feel outside. What impresses me though is that the bands are all there and stay to play the gig. The wait is just as frustrating and boring for them as it is for the fans and i can only imagine how many other bands would have said “fuck it” and gone home. Not so System of a Down and Prodigy, they know the people have been waiting for them and so they want to play the show, no matter what.
The problem is that stage 1, the one Incubus and Prodigy were supposed to play on, hasn’t been properly set up to cope with the wind, so when it started winding the stage started to bend with the wind and it became life threatening to even get near that stage, let alone perform a gig on it. So the only option for the organisers was to move all bands to stage 2 and have them play one after the other on there, which would of course further delay it due to the changeovers between all the bands.
At 2am then I think Incubus played their gig on stage 2. This means there had been no music at all from the main stages for over 5hours now. 5 hours for people going mad and riots going on. At some point we had tried to go back into the main area just to look but the security guard at the entrance from the backstage told us we can’t as it was too dangerous to allow us to enter. Nice! We don’t actually see Incubus so I can’t comment on how their show goes, but we then finally head into the main area again just after 3am, being warned once more that it is ‘too dangerous’ in there!
What we see now is a quite shocking result of a lot of people going mad over a few hours. Burned cars and general destruction everywhere, I feel like I’m in a war zone. As we get there, System of a down are just coming on at 3:30am. After all the waiting this is a major buzz now. There’s still thousands of people around and System are exactly the kind of band you want to go mad to and that’s what happens now. I’m suddenly awake again and with this sudden massive rush we push our way through all these people, and finally get near the front on the very right side of the stage. Due to the time changes all bands had to shorten their sets, so System only play just over an hour, which makes their set even more intense. I love it, they just totally rock and really blow me away this time. They even announce that it is exactly 10 years today since their first show, so they definitely want to make it special. A bit over an hour then System are over. I don’t know how they did it, but no one cares about the delay anymore, everythings full on despite that it’s 5am now. This was probably one of the best shows I’d ever seen. My brother loses his wallet and Maria gets a blue eye from someone hitting her, but it’s just too good to care.
So now, how in the world will Prodigy match up to this? They are no doubt the best live band in the world in my eyes, but at the same time they must just be as tired as I am and it’s not going to be easy to follow up on such a great gig by System and all that after 5am in the morning! There’s a changeover now of course where the stage gets made ready for Prodigy and this is another chance for people to leave, loose interest or fall asleep. I just sit down for a minute and fall asleep straight away, thats how I feel now, despite being very excited for the show.
So, pretty much on the dot at 5:30am (!) then, finally, the Wake Up intro, more suitable than ever I guess. Definitely wakes me up, along with thousands of Spanish people who storm to the stage now and are as into it as ever. The band run on stage and it’s Their Law. Oh wow, they’re as good as ever and it’s all just really full-on. What follows now is one of the most intense experiences ever. They have to cut some tracks out of the setlist due to the delay, but personally it doesn’t even matter. The audience is totally back and just really into it, it is amazing. Some people are climbing the dance tent and dance along to Prodigy on top of that, it’s mad. I guess it’s also a bit down to the culture here in Spain as well, people usually don’t go out before 1am anyways, so a gig at 5 doesnt seem too weird. Couldn’t really see this happen in Germany though!
All the tracks are played more or less as usual, quite frankly there’s not too much I can remember apart from how impressed I am with the band just looking totally awake now, waking me up completely and just the whole intensity of it all. During Poison then then sun rises, the whole atmosphere is just pretty amazing and I have to say that after all this it turns into one of my favourite gigs ever, definitely a night to remember forever.
And it really isn’t just me, the audience reaction proves that Prodigy have done the incredible and really managed to save this evening. Maria, who had only ever heard three tracks by the band prior to the gig, announced that this was the best thing she’d ever seen in her life and is totally converted now. And I’m sure she’s not the only one.
Their set finishes at 6:30am in daylight and we jump straight into a taxi back to the hotel (I get a bit less than 2 hours sleep again before I have to get up again for my 12:30 flight to London, about as sleep deprived as ever).
There’s definitely respect due to all the Spanish fans who were waiting around for so long for these bands and also to the bands for staying around and all the people working there and for the bands, absolutely amazing how things turned out and this whole thing was made to work in the end despite all the problems.


Entrance pass:

Photos from the show:

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