2023.11.24 – Alexandra Palace, London, England

Date: 24th November 2023
Event: The Prodigy Conert – Army of the Ants Tour
Venue: Alexandra Palace
City: London
Country: England
Support: Jack Saunders, Soft Play

1. Breathe
2. Omen
3. Vodoo People
4. Light Up The Sky
5. Climbatize
6. Everybody In The Place
7. Omen (Reprise)
8. Firestarter
9. Roadblox
10. Their Law
11. No Good (Start The Dance)
12. Get Your Fight On
13. Poison
14. Need Someone
15. Smack My Bitch Up
16. Take Me To The Hospital
17. Invaders Must Die
18. Diesel Power
19. We Live Forever
20. Out Of Space

Extra info:
Review by Jack Flynn, www.louderthanwar.com:
The Prodigy electrifies Alexandra Palace with a high-voltage party, seamlessly fusing classic rave energy, hardcore electronica, and punk rock menace.
Walking into the enormous Victorian splendour of Alexandra Palace, the first thing you see is a 20-foot-tall statue of a hooded figure, stoically casting his gaze over the stage from the back of the hall, a mystery which won’t be explained until later on in the evening. Meanwhile, a circular projection of The Prodigy’s Army Of The Ant’s logo fills the round glass window overhead and looms over the hall like a bat-signal designed to summon the ’90s alternative dance music legends into our midst.
Soft Play, formerly known as Slaves, are the touring supports opening the show. It might seem like an odd choice, with Soft Play’s no-frills punk rock a world apart from The Prodigy’s army of synthesisers and breakbeat complexity. The topless Tunbridge Wells two-piece are about as raw as it gets. Yet if you stripped out all the electronic wizardry, and laid the raw punk savagery of the dance music legends alongside Soft Play’s Issac Holman’s and the late Keith Flint’s East End drawl, you can totally see the similarity between the two bands.
First song out of the gate is, of course, Soft Play’s comeback single Punk’s Dead, a violently catchy tirade against the doubters who have questioned the band’s rebrand and those whingeing cynics responsible for the death of punk. One of my favourite singles of the year, it sets the scene perfectly for the chaotic half hour that is about to follow.
Debut album single Sockets is next, whilst White Knuckle Ride sees Holman smashing the living hell out of cymbals like they owe him money. It’ss only the third song yet he seems intent on putting that drum kit out of action. While it’s repaired, it seems the perfect time for both band members to dive into the crowd and relay the questions they’re always asked, “Where’s your bass player?” or “Where’s your hi-hat?” To those people they reply in the only way they know how, with a protopunk Stooges style one-chord-wonder whose vocal hook is simply the chant of “Fuck The Hi Hat!”
No bass player is needed thanks to Laurie Vincent’s army of Marshall stacks and pitched shifted guitar doing the work of multiple members. This creates a spluttering fuzz-drenched tone which rips through the riffs of closing song, The Hunter, with the energy of a primeval beast growling and bristling with distortion and menace. On the final note of the set, the drums are kicked over, the guitar is flung across the amps, squeals of feedback ring out across the vast cavern of Alexandra Palace, and Holman leaps into Vincent’s arms and the duo exit the stage.
Keeping the crowd at maximum hype levels during the break, it’s the turn of Radio 1 DJ Jack Saunders, with a gloriously filthy mix consisting of Prodigy-style cyberpunk drum and bass. You can feel the anticipation and excitement building for the headliners with every strobe light that peppers the great hall.
Suddenly a halo of light appears over the totemic statue at the back of the room. Green laser beams burst from its eyes and shoot across the length of the hall, slowly painting the silhouette of the Keith Flint’s iconic green double mohawk onto the stage backdrop. The statue’s purpose as a tribute to the late singer, forever watching over his band from the back of the crowd, becomes clear.
Opening their set with three absolute monster tracks, Breathe, Omen and Voodoo People, I defy anybody to find a more exciting start to a show than that triple threat of rave classics. Maxim now takes on the role of sole frontman duties, and immediately disappears into the void of the crowd, wringing every last drop of energy from the crowd face to face. Meanwhile producer / founder Liam Howlett remains walled behind a vast bank of synthesisers, laptops and equipment, darting between the flashing lights like a futuristic space captain flying his ship into another dimension.
What follows is 90 minutes of hardcore electronic dance classics with just enough distorted guitars to bless their sound with some counterculture punk attitude. The multi-generational crowd that fills the Alexandra Palace undulates to each syncopated drum beat. After the epic conclusion of Smack My Bitch Up, a 5 song encore shows how much energy The Prodigy still have left to give, as it culminates in the offbeat reggae outlier, yet wildly popular, Out Of Space. The insanely catchy 1976 Max Romeo vocal sample loop, ‘I’m gon’ send him to outer space, to find another race,” gives the crowd a joyful singalong and one last chance to dance before the lights come on.




Photos from the show:

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