2002.07.06 – Seat Beach Rock Festival, Ostend, Belgium

Date: 6th July 2002
Event: Seat Beach Rock Festival
Venue: Hippodrome Wellington
City: Ostend
Country: Belgium
Support: see timetable

1. Army March Intro
2. Their Law
3. Downtempo Fill
4. Trigger
5. Breathe
6. Little Goblin
7. Smack My Bitch Up
8. Baby’s Got A Temper
9. Mindfields
10. Nuclear (v.2)
11. Poison
12. Firestarter
12. Fuel My fire

Extra info:
Mainstage timetable:
24:00 – 01:30 Prodigy
21:30 – 23:00 Garbage
19:30 – 20:45 Muse
17:30 – 18:30 Paul Weller
15:30 – 16:30 Gorki
13:30 – 14:30 The Sheila Divine
12:15 – 13:00 Big Soul
11:00 – 11:45 Belgian People’s Choice

Review by Thomas:
I went and I’m very dissapointed. The crowd reaction was very VERY poor. The show lacked energy and it was the same setlist as the festivals last summer. Except there was some kind of new guitar with beats intermezzo. Maybe it was ‘dust yoself’ but it was very average. Just a standard breakbeat with a typical distortion riff and a pitched synth sound. Oh yea and they played BGAT offcourse. I think the Prodigy were very dissapointed with their performance. They really need some change now. In my eyes the band died a bit yesterday. Do we really have to wait so long to hear all the fotl hits and some poor new songs. The audience reacted like shit at all the typical maxim bullshit. Honestly I think that most of the people want the Prodigy to be more dance orientated again and not an arrogant stupid rockband

Review by miwant:
Worst prodigy-gig that i’ve heard so far, first of all they only played for 62 minutes instead of 1,5h. The crowd was really lame, nearly the entire festival was watching the gig but only the front rows were reacting to it, seems like all the rest was asleep… I enjoyed the gig itself to be honest but i am kinda dissapointed about the whole performance. They gave me a bit of the energy, adrenaline i needed but not enough.

Review by Erroll Jones:
Rightly or wrongly, the Belgians have a reputation for being boring. And the health and safety official at Ostende did nothing to dispel that myth when he ruthlessly created a Read Sea type parting through the middle of the crowd.
Talk about killing the atmosphere. Nobody wants to see fans injured, but that was maybe a wee bit over the top? Surely the fencing could have been erected in a way that created something that at least resembled a mosh pit. So no matter how good Liam and co were – and believe me, they were good – it was never going to be enough to whip up the kind of frenzy usually associated with a Prodigy gig. A snarling compere saunters onto stage, tells the punters to “shut it” and introduces the band. He gesticulates at the crowd and then fucks off. I like it already.
The bands enters to a crescendo of native screams. Maxim continues the irreverence by asking – strangely to the crowds delight – “where the fuck is Belgium?” before launching into the first tune, “Their Law”. Keith and Maxim spit out the chorusm, “fuck’em and their law.” They could easily have been singing about the over-zealous safety officer. Our not-so-boring Belgians sing along like naughty school children in celebration of the f-word. So far so good. But it doesn’t last. The crowd seem to expect the same old songs from five years ago – they make an effort for Breathe and everything else they’re familiar with, but they fall into a general inertia when faced with the newer tunes. But for me the most disappointing aspect of the gig was that in “Trigger” a few minutes of simmering belligerent brilliance went barely noticed. Maybe it was the result of having so many disparate acts on the same bill, or maybe moses from health and safety was simply winning this particular war. Whatever the answer, the band were blameless. Maxim and Keith relentlessly worked the vast stage and occasionally took the opportunity to “walk on water” and into the parted Read Sea of non-plussed Belgiums.
The crowd were starting to remind me of the ever-so-polite audiences one usually associates with Japan. Closer inspection reveals a placard congratulating Liam and Natalie on their wedding and asking if the baby will have a temper. Cute or corny, you decide.
Lest i forget, the band were ably assisted by live drummer Kieron and guitarist Jim who sparred particularly well with Keith through Firestarter and was clearly unaffected by the dour audience. Watching the band walk off after “Fuel My Fire” and turing back to see the crowd anticipating an encore that clearly wasn’t going to happen, i couldn’t help thinking back to the compere’s introduction. He obviously knew something that we didnt’t. That this crowd were quite clearly “not worthy”.

Review by neko:
[…] The crowd reaction during Garbage again is very lame, there’s a lot of people who are a bit nodding their heads and singing along, like everyone knows Garbage a little, but no one seems to be completely into it. Garbage finish at 11pm now and the stage is being prepared for Prodigy. Big ‘ah’ and ‘oh’ in the audience as the backdrop gets revealed with the logo. Stage set up is as usual. Oh yes, and I manage to sneak to the front row as well.
So there we are at midnight, or more correctly 0.15am, as the gig, predictable, starts with the army march intro. As usual Liam Howlett enters the stage first and Kieron sits behind his drums, starting that intro. Its very comical how all the photographers are standing in front of the stage, none of them taking a single picture, having expressions on their faces that go something like “when is the singer of that band finally gonna come on stage, I don’t need photos of the keyboarder”.
“Where is fuckin’ Belgium?”, shouts Maxim as he walks on stage, followed by Jim Davies on guitars and Keith Flint. Their Law, still my favorite track and perfect start of the show. Wicked.
I know there is a small chance that they might play something new tonight, but I didn’t really expect them to, since Dust Yoself has only been played once yet and would still be pretty new. So I really almost get a heartattack when after Their Law they suddenly play a completely new intrumental fill. No vocals, mostly beats and guitar driven, with some a bit familiar sounding (?) melody as main theme. Heard it only once now, but I’m sure it will be spreading on the net quite soon anyway, so I wont really judge it as yet. But doesn’t quite blow me away as much as Dust Yoself did when I heard it. And out of the 3 new fills it sounds the least near to becoming a finished track (again, I could of course be sooo wrong about that!).
Next on is Trigger and although it’s technically still a ‘new’ track, more than a few people are singing along and it goes down like one of the ‘known’ tracks. Keith and Maxim seem to be in their usual form, performing, running down to the crowd and doing their usual tricks, but the crowd is still petty lame. Looking back a few rows there’s hardly anyone moving. Maxim tries to change that: “I can hear the people at the front, but I can’t hear the back!” he screams during a song, “now I can hear the back, but not the front! Belgium, where the fuck are you?”.
Breathe, although one of the most well-known tracks, is only little change to that. Still, I personally think the performance is great, there just is not a lot coming back. Live-fill Goblin and Smack my Bitch Up follow, the latter being one of the best tracks of the show.
But the big surprise comes with Baby’s Got a Temper. This is the 10th time this track is performed live and the 10th time I have the pleasure of attending it. But previously only a few low quality live recordings have been aavailable of the track, now is the first performance of the song after its studio version has come out and you must have lived pretty isolated not to have heard it at least a few times. I know that the band said in a recent interview that they felt at Coachella that BGAT really worked for them there live. I disagree, it didn’t work for me back then, but I gotta have to retract what I said about the new version (as opposed to the Big Day Out ‘slow’ version) not working live. ‘Cause tonight it does work, comepletely. Best live performance of BGAT ever! And the crowd is really into it (well, as much as they can tonight).
But what follows is, well, the ‘big mistake’. What I was probably most looking forward at that gig was to hear Dust Yoself again, a track only ever played once in Las Vegas two and a half months ago. Not that anyone really noticed that something went wrong here, but if you payed attention you did. BGAT is finishing and Liam starts to play Mindfields. You can see a strange expression on Maxim’s face, who runs over to have a look at the set list. While Mindfields starts to play as usual you can repeatedly hear Maxim mention the words ‘Dust Yoself, Dust Yoself’, before then jokingly tapping his forehead with his index finger while pointing at Liam, who seems to have ‘forgotten’ Dust Yoself! But again, this all isn’t very obvious to the audiece and the show goes on. But getting hold of a set list after the show, you can see that there’s indeed Dust Yoself supposed to be between Baby’s got a Temper and Mindfields. Ah well, another week then, I really need to hear that track again!
Mindfields, apart from the very beginning, is performed by Maxim only this time, unlike at recent shows where him and Keith performed it together. Nuclear next, wicked track as always. Again, as with Trigger, people treat it more as a ‘known’ track rather than new. Poison again is a Maxim only performance this time, very unlike at recent shows. Of course a huge response as Firestarter starts, this track still gets the biggest crowd reaction at any show, no matter where. And then, after finishing off with Fuel My Fire, the band run off stage after 55 minutes, without a look back, Liam also without his trademark handclapping.
People start shouting for more now, but I’m pretty clear about that there wont be anything more from The Prodge now. As the lights go on people start to boo. And they wont stop as the announcement girlie goes on stage to have her final words. You can’t hear a word she’s saying, people are booing so loud. ‘Fuck you!’ she says with her hysterical voice. But even the booing stops soon, such a lame crowd wouldn’t be able to make even a little riot. The big problem is that the festival had The Prodigy scheduled to play from 0.00 until 1.30am. They only played 55minutes though. If it says 1h on the programme, you could get away with playing 55 minutes, but if it says 90min all over the place then there is no way you get away with just playing 55 minutes. And to avoid misunderstandings, the booing was clearly about the gig being too short and not about the gig being bad or something like that. Still, not a good way to end a show.
All in all? Still a cool show, as always wicked to see them again, but definitely not the best they’ve done this year. But I had a good time, and in the end that’s all that counts, but I do feel little dissapointed after this show, also because it felt so short. And a shame about Dust Yoself. Well, Witnness is only 6 days away


Photos from the show:

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