1999.08.28 – Academic Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria

Date: 28th August 1999
Event: The Prodigy Concert
Venue: Academic Stadium
City: Sofia
Country: Bulgaria
Support: Mindstorm, Fake

1. Run DMC Intro
2. Rock’n’roll 98
3. Smack My Bitch Up
4. Funky Shit
5. Prepare For The Rush
6. Breathe
7. Fuck What You Want (v.2)
8. Voodoo People
9. Voodoo Beats
10. Their Law
11. Firestarter
12. Climatize
13. Mindfields
14. Poison
15. Rhythm Of Life
16. Ill Shit Beats *
17. Fuel My Fire

Extra info:
*the track is called “Ill Shit Beats” by el barto (one of the polish fans) because it is built on Mixmaster Mike track “Ill Shit”.

It was the last gig with Leeroy.

Review by summer breeze and the bomb:
I and my friends were there nearly at 6 o’clock at the venue. The doors were open at 7. We got inside and saw the place. The stage was in front of the main tribune. Most of the people sat up there and there were few people down in front of the stage.
First came out the Bulgarian DJs MINDSTORM. They played nearly 1.5 hours and played very good mixture of breakbeat, d’n’b and minimal techno. The crowd became larger and crazy.
The second act was a Bulgarian band called FAKE. This was a very strange decision by the promoters because they are a new band, don’t have any records yet and people don’t know their songs. They were a typical summer festival band – a little hard core, a little industrial and so on. The text of their last song was only “Pro-di-gy” and the crowd, which was ready for the headliners, started repeating it.
After the end of their set there was a little break for the sound crew’s last preparations and there were a few jazzy hip hop tunes which we couldn’t recognise. The last song was Keep Hope Alive by Crystal Method and after that there came THE PRODIGY:
In the beginning of the show, we managed to reach the front row. There was war. So we stayed infront of the stage and watched with attention what’s goin on. In the beginning there was Liam behind the keyboards, Keeron on drums and Maxim on the mic. The show began. For the second track there came Keith and then Leeroy. Keith had his double mochikans as always. The new haircut of Liam is a blond punky hair-comb. He wore a t-shirt like the UK flag but with wrong colours. Click itSo this is interesting about the guys. The party was crazy. Maxim was unstoppable, he performed kung-fu-like movements, kicked the spotlights on stage and shouted to the crowd: Hey Sofia are you feeling nice? and so on. Leeroy was incredible dancer and Keith was acting as usual. They came down several times and walked in front of the fans. They were just a hand far from our place but I couldn’t touch them. Some songs were played in different versions – Poison had cool instrumental in the middle, there are new lyrics in Their Law – “where is the law/DJ’s brings (breaks?) the law”. Extremely interesting was The last track Fuel My Fire with Keeron on guitar and Leeroy on drums. So that it was. The show ended around 11:30 p.m.

Review by neko:
Now already quite a few people were waiting outside for the doors to open, at least 90% wearing a Prodigy T-Shirt. I of course decided to watch the show from the front row, as always 🙂 So we were alreay waiting there just before they let the people come in at 7pm. Everybody was running to the front and very soon the space became rare. Now the first warm up act came on stage, the Bulgarian DJ duo ‘Mindstorm’. They were ok in the beginnning and the crowd alredy started to jump a few times, but they soon got boring and of course all we wanted to see was The Prodigy! After about 90 min the next supportband came on stake: ‘Fake’, also from Bulgaria. They were not bad at all, somehow (strangely) they kinda reminded me of Underworld, although their music was much harder. Everybody started to scream ‘Prodigy, Prodigy, Prodigy’, but of course, Fake played their set. Soon I spotted that Prodigy had arrived and they were watching Fake from the side of the stage. As people spotted them they of course started to scream for them even more. Finally Fake had finished their set and the last preparations for The Prodigy gig were made on stage. Huge Excitement in the crowd, you almost couldnt breathe anymore in the front, and the very weird fence didnt really help us much.
At 10pm the lights went dark and: ” Sofia, do you fuckin want it? From the UK,……. its The Prodigy!!”
Liam came on stage, Kieron behind the drums and they started the Run DMC Intro to Rock n’ Roll. Liam was funnily wearing that shirt, that Keith had been wearing in Greece (lack of clothes in Prodigy??). Now Maxim came on stage and they started Rock n’ Roll 98. The crowd was going wild, jumping around like mad. I almost couldnt breathe anymore in front row, but the whole energy from stage was too big to make me go back. Rather die than leave the front row of a Prodigy gig!
Next was the start to SMBU and now of course also Keith was running on stage! He was wearing a grey shirt with a big red cross and now, unlike back in the afternoon where he had been wearing a baseball cap, he now had his ‘2 horns’ as we all know him. Next was Funky Shit, it seemed as it was going to be the same setlist as in Greece.
Leeroy was now dancing over the stage in his very unique style, while Maxim was shouting around and also coming down to the crowd. Once again it was incredible, there isnt anything in the world like a Prodigy gig, it makes you forget where you are, and who you are and you just dont care about anything else, you just wanna soak in that gig!
Now Liam started some jamming and Maxim was rapping to it, like in Prepare for the rush, but towards the end Liam also threw the ‘Ride the rhythm’ sample in. Then we saw Keith running on stage and Breathe started. Once more the crowd was going mad! As in Greece the next track was We do what the fuck we want, I realized very soon that it had changed a bit since Greece, some beats were a bit different and there was less vocals. Next was Voodoo People and after that the Voodoo People re-remix, “Rock the house in”, and once more the crowd was going wild.
Without interruption Liam now started Their Law. Oops, Kieron was still behind the drums, there was no one playing the guitar! Once again this song made everybody jump even wilder, Their Law still is one of the best live songs in my opinion, with or without guitar. The same was for Firestarter, which was next, Kieron stayed at the drums, no guitar… hrrrm, I had seen them checking the guitar at the soundcheck, so there must be a guitar part!
But next was Mindfields and then Poison with Maxim on vocals, of course! But the total highlight of the gig was still to follow: Rhythm Of Life! Unlike in Greece also Keith was running on stage now, pretending to have some sort of ‘fight’ with Leeroy on stage. For a while all 4 of them were on stage and Kieron still behind the drums but then Keith ran down to the crowd again. This song still is incredible live! I’m so glad they played it again.
While in Greece they had just walked away after that song, now Liam started to play an instrumental track, with very hard beats for about 2 minutes! It was wicked, wicked, wicked, I wished it would go on forever! But then he also left the stage .
But soon they came back and my guess was right, the next track was Fuel My Fire!
They came in and Keiron finally took the guitar, but, what the fuck! Leeroy was sitting behind the drums!! That was so weird, it seemed as it was more a laugh, even for them (as you could tell from Leeroy and Liam’s face).
After that powerful last song it was definitely finished, although most of the people could hardly believe it, and kept screaming for more.
Meanwhile I went backstage now… […]

Review by John Stamos:
I was so excited! I had gone to Sofia, Bulgaria by plane to see the Prodigy live and the gig was so close! It was August 28! I went to the place of the gig at 1pm and I got 2 tickets, one for me and one for my father. Then I met Neko and Nikola and we watched the soundcheck for a while. Hey! It was the same guy that I had seen in Greece on stage! The stage was similar to the greek one but the main speakers were much smaller than in Greece. Then we left and I returned to my hotel. I couldn’t wait! I went again outside the stadium at 5pm and waited to go inside. The doors opened at about 7pm and as usually I run to the stage. Luckily I got front row view again! The pressure was incredible, much harder than in Greece. Almost everyone was wearing a Prodigy T-Shirt and a lot of people had colourful haircuts. The first act was very good. It was Mindstorm, a couple of DJs who played some good breakbeat music and the crowd was going wild. The other act called Fake wasn’t very good and everybody was shouting for the Prodigy. It was really funny, we were shouting PRO-DI-GY so loudly during one track of Fake but they still had to continue playing and end their set. Then they left and it was time for the Prodigy!!!
The final soundcheck and then the same guy I had seen in Athens announced: ”Sofia!! Do you fucking want it?? From the UK, it’s the PRODIGYYYYYY!!!!!!” And a war started! I thought I would get killed in there but at least I could breathe! We went wild when Liam went behind  his keyboards and Keiron behind his drums. Liam was wearing the T-Shirt that Keith was wearing in Greece! Rock n’ Roll 98 started and everybody went crazy while Maxim appeared! ”I roll ’n’ rock, rock ’n’ roll, kickin’ up in the brainstorm!!” After it finished Maxim shouted ”Where the fuck is Sofia??” Then SMBU started and Keith came out! We went even wilder! What energy in this track! Everybody was jumping and there was no way to breathe! Funky Shit and incredible Leeroy came out and started his unique wild dancing! This time he had much more energy and really enjoyed it! It finished and Liam started something like Lose Your Mind and ended with a sample from Ride The Rhythm. Then it was time for Breathe!!! The guitar started and the bass made people go crazy!! I was jumping with all my power singing the lyrics! Next was the New Tune we had heard in Athens,  We Do What The Fuck We Want!!
Then it was time for Voodoo People and Voodoo People remix of the Chemical Brothers. We were dancing like crazy watching Leeroy’s dancing! I wish everyone could see him! His dancing abilities have no limit! He was flying all over the stage! At the beginning of Voodoo People we rocked the house in but then Maxim asked us to ”Fuck the House In!” So we were shouting until he was satisfied! Their Law started and we were jumping like crazy! Keiron didnt play the guitar like in Greece. There was no stopping for the crowd, everybody was jumping!! Their Law is one of the best live tracks without a doubt! Then it was time for Firestarter! The energy couldnt be higher. We were singing the lyrics with Keith and went crazy at the end of the song. Mindfields started and Leeroy was still moving all the time..non stop energy!! Poison followed and once again we were shouting the lyrics! It was so funny when Maxim said: ”Someone told me..that here in Sofia..you ’ve got the remedy!!!” and everybody went crazy, including me!!!! I didn’t expect to hear Rhythm Of Life again! But we all did! This track has so hard beat that makes everyone get wild!! And one of the highlights of the gig!!: Keith looked like he wanted to explode and Leeroy had cought him. Then Keith
pushed Leeroy as they had a fight and Leeroy went back and started dancing! Yeah, his dancing was unstoppable and great! Then Liam started something like a New Tune! No vocals on it. It was really great actually!! The last song was Fuel My Fire ofcourse. Keiron played the guitar this time and I couldnt believe it! Leeroy was about to play the drums!! That was something really surprising!! The song ended as the whole gig!! Everybody wanted more but it was the end…. I couldn’t believe what I experienced although I had seen them one month ago in my country, Greece!! Everytime is different, even with the same songs!


Review from Ritm magazine, September 1999:

Photos from the show:


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