2019.02.05 – Trusts Arena, Auckland, New Zealand

Date: 5th February 2019
Event: The Prodigy Concert – No Tourists Tour
Venue: Trusts Arena
City: Auckland
Country: New Zealand
Support: Enschway

Tracklist:
1. Breathe
2. Resonate
3. Nasty
4. Omen
5. Champions Of London
6. Voodoo People
7. Run With The Wolves
8. Need Some1
9. The Day Is My Enemy
10. The Day Is My Enemy (Bad Company UK Remix)
11. Everybody In The Place
12. Firestarter
13. Roadblox
14. Light Up The Sky
15. No Good (Start The Dance)
16. Take Me To The Hospital
Encore:
17. We Live Forever
18. Timebomb Zone
19. Smack My Bitch Up

Extra info:
Review by Sarah Kidd, www.ambientlightblog.com:
In all honesty, words just can’t sum up the experience of witnessing a live show by The Prodigy; The Godfathers of Rave may be staring down their thirtieth anniversary next year, but they have lost absolutely none of their ferocious and tribalistic intensity that has seen them revered by both their fans and counterparts alike.
Touring Australasia in support of their latest album No Tourists released last year, The Prodigy hit Auckland last night, facing down a voracious crowd who have waited almost a decade for the trio to finally make their way back to our shores. Well known as an act who can bring together all and sundry from bogans to ravers, last night’s crowd was an eclectic mix who came together as one heaving, sweaty mess as the lights fell and the trio dropped ‘Breathe’. Accompanied by both a live drummer – long time touring member Leo Crabtree – and guitarist, the founder and nucleus of the group Liam Howlett led the charge from behind his industrial stylized keyboard as vocalists Maxim and Keith Flint paced the front of the stage like caged animals just begging to be let loose so that they could tear the flesh from those clinging to the barrier.
Ditching the almost comical giant fur jacket he was wearing – New Zealand’s summer heat and humidity combo far too overpowering – Maxim took the crowd through newer material with ‘Resonate’ before dialing back a few years to the 2015 album The Day Is My Enemy with ‘Nasty’. But it was the synthed-out opening notes of ‘Omen’ that saw the first big hit with the crowd for the evening, Flint’s distinct English accent cutting through the wall of bass, smoke and almost horror movie style lighting that swirled around the stage like a vortex threatening to pull the entire arena down into the underworld below. While Howlett remained firmly entrenched behind the keys, Maxim and Flint continued to stalk the stage, pausing only momentarily to fix eyes with a member of the crowd, as if selecting their next victim.
Moving smoothly up and down the timeline of their work, Auckland was taken through fresh tracks such as ‘Champions of London’ before sliding into the hypnotic 1994 hit ‘Voodoo People’; the title track from the album The Day Is My Enemy including a throbbing drum and bass breakdown that saw Maxim demand all the D&B people in the house to show their love. Not afraid to get up close and personal both Maxim and Flint made their way into the security pit on separate occasions, hundreds of arms desperately reaching out towards them; Flint taking his time, often leaning back and regarding those in front of him as he swayed like a cobra ready to strike, head slightly cocked to the side.
By this point in the show both Maxim and Flint were down to singlets; the impressive jackets and shirts ditched along the way as the pulsating heat on stage grew. Often facing each other as they moved side to side, Maxim and Flint continued to feed off each other’s energy as well as that of the crowds; thousands of souls melding together for this small moment in time. Pulling out the big guns, ‘Firestarter’ threatened to tear the room apart as the stage was bathed in blood red, the fans screaming every word along with Flint; no one being able to deny the fact that this track is one of Prodigy’s most recognisable.
With both ‘No Good (Start The Dance)’ and ‘Take Me To The Hospital’ from the brilliant Invaders Must Die album closing off the set the night had already well and truly achieved it’s epic status in the memory banks of nearly all in attendance; but more was both wanted and demanded, The Prodigy soon returning for a four track encore. Reminding all that they are still the undisputed kings of electronica with one of the standouts from the No Tourists album in the form of ‘Timebomb Zone’; The Prodigy threw in a little reggae infused techno goodness with ‘Out of Space’ before closing the night down with the only track that they could, the sometimes controversial but always insane ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ with the ethereal vocals of Sheila Chandra sending shivers up the spine; Maxim encouraging everyone to give it everything they had left in the tank, the fans happily complying.
Thirty years and counting, make no mistake; The Prodigy are still taking our brains to another dimension.

Review by Karl Puschmann, www.nzherald.co.nz:
The Prodigy smacked the crowd up last night. That’s really the only way to accurately describe what happened.
If you thought the band were a spent force and not worth taking the trip out to West Auckland’s Trusts Arena to see live well, you blew it. Big time.
Like a race car that’s redlining the former ravers turned punkin’ instigators took you on a wild ride through their hits and threatened to explode at any moment.
They opened with the shuffling breakbeat and bass heavy punch of Breathe and did not pause for breath until they walked off the stage 90 minutes later after a truly explosive encore performance of Smack My B**tch Up.
Expanding from a trio on record into a six piece on stage the band beefed up their already full sound with an absolutely thumping drummer and amplified up with a guitarist and bassist. This meant that the sound and raucous energy coming from the stage was immense.
They probably shouldn’t sound as vital as they did. But their uncompromising blend of hard riffs, chaotic beats, electro madness and shouted sloganeering came out swinging and didn’t stop.
Their new album No Tourists leans heavily into their rave roots and those tunes sounded incredible last night. All blaring air horns, calamitous beats, pitched up vocals and huge, room-filling rave synths.
The buzzing mosquito riff of Need Some1, Resonate’s hands-in-the-air, escalating synth line, and Timebomb Zone’s pitched up vocals all proved the old sounds of rave can still feel urgent, fresh and totally destroy a crowd .
Away from the rave, vocalist Keith Flint snarled his way through their new punk anthem Champions of London before burning down the house with a killer run through their mid-90s smash Firestarter. He left it to fellow vocalist Maxim to act as the band’s hype man.
He’d say stuff like, “All my Prodigy people on the sides, all my Prodigy people at the back, I’m with you,”. About half way through he addressed the crazed mosh frothing before the stage saying, “All you shirtless mother-f***ers at the front, I’m with you”.
The set effortlessly flipped through their decades long career; their were early ravey tracks like Voodoo People, Everybody in the Place and the dance floor conquering No Good (Start the Dance) as well as later more aggro efforts like Hospital, Nasty and Omen.
Despite the ever present tension of their music they were clearly having fun up there; they cheekily slipped in a snippet of Out of Space, and teased a couple of bars of Boom Boom Tap.
They had lasers, they had manic strobes, they had a stage shrouded in smoke, they had sub bass that rumbled through the floor to rattle your bones but most of all they had ‘it’. They rocked harder than most bands and raved harder than most dance acts.
Live, The Prodigy just make so much sense. Vital, urgent, and brutal as heck. They started the set turned up to 11 and then just went up from there. No lulls, no quiet moments, no mucking about. Just pure energy and big waves of hyped up grooves attacking you from the get go.
Forget fire, the Prodigy are party starters. And it’s fair to say no one wanted the party to end. The band got booed, hardcore booed, for announcing they were about to play their last song of the night. That lasted right up until the moment the looping horn stab and bouncing bass of Smack My B***ch up kicked in, which most definitely kicked off the crowd.
“All the people that aren’t here tonight,” vocalist Maxim growled into his mic at one point, “F**K ‘EM!”
There is no arguing with his position.

Review by Paul Goddard, www.muzic.net.nz:
As I walk into the huge hall at Trust Arena a few hundred people are moving front of stage to what I initially thought was just music through the PA.
Nope it is Enschway. He is from Sydney He is a DJ. He got the crowd going (eventually). It took a while for him to find his flow but when he did he got the balance just about right.
He did look a bit like one of the muppets with those blonde surfer locks caught in the lights bobbing around behind the decks and at the end of the day Enschway was always destined to be all filler in this killer of a night.
My first introduction to The Prodigy was Charly. At the time I was in a punk band so railing against anything that was classed as Rave or Indie or actually anything that wasn’t Punk. So, I kind of stubbornly ignored them although of course the song and accompanying video was hard to ignore.
Next time I noticed them was when they released Fat of The Land and more importantly Firestarter. This is where Keef Flint adopted (some say stole) the punk image. I remember him looking completely insane. The songs on that album all blew me away and I went straight into the back catalogue and have bought everything since.
For whatever reason I never saw them live when I lived in the UK. Now fast forward to 2019 and here we are in Auckland and I am ready to be blown away. Their new album No Tourists is one of their best and it is bloody hot in this aircraft hangar of a building. My sunburn is twitching. Smack my Bogansville itch up, it’s time to dance…
The energy in the room is through the roof before the band even take the stage. You can feel it. So many people have been looking forward to this moment for a long time. Almost 10 years since The Prodigy were last here.
They walk out onto the huge stage bathed in more lights than Blackpool Illuminations (I am from the UK) and immediately settle in to Breathe. Actually, settle isn’t the correct word. It’s like they are warming up in the first round of a long title fight. They always give 100% and you can see Keef warming up like a boxer as him and cohort Maxim dressed in a crazy fur coat prowl around the stage.
A warm blast of air from the body heat generated by the thousands of people, many shirtless increases as we get into Resonate from new album No Tourists.
The sound is deafening but crystal clear and Liam is clearly enjoying himself behind his numerous desks of equipment. Drummer Leo Crabtree does an insane job playing these tracks live.
The dual vocals on Nasty intertwine as do Keef and Maxim as they psych each other up. There is lots of onstage eye contact between band members as they keep pushing each other forward each song getting more intense. One thing you will never here at a Prodigy gig is “Ok, let’s slow things down for a bit now”
Maxim and Keef constantly make direct (crazy) eye contact with the crowd and 3 songs in the place is dripping sweat.
Champions of London is a highlight for me being one of my favourites from No Tourists and then we are into Voodoo People. No major injuries yet and surprisingly few people coming over the stage barriers. The hits keep on coming and Maxim keeps hyping the crowd. We are three quarters of the way through and both band and audience are pulling on last reserves. I look around and all I see is smiling faces as Firestarter booms out. These songs don’t sound dated and it is hard to believe that a band who have been around since the early Nineties can still seem so fresh and relevant today.
There was no way there wasn’t going to be an encore and it’s a mix of old and new closing with the polarising Smack My Bitch Up.
The lights come up as smoke clears from the stage and a cloud of steam hovers over the audience. We have all just been through an experience none of us will forget. Band and crowd gave it everything. There were no tourists here tonight and as we spill out into the world ears ringing and bodies sweating everyone is buzzing.
If you weren’t here tonight you missed something special. If ever they come to NZ again do not miss out.

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