2004.12.02 – Carling Academy, Birmingham, England

Date: 2nd December 2004
Event: The Prodigy Concert – AONO Tour
Venue: Carling Academy
City: Birmingham
Country: England
Support: DJ Eddie Temple Morris, Youth Of Britain

1. Wake Up Intro
2. Wake Up Call
3. Their Law
4. Warning
5. Spitfire
6. Breathe
7. Dead Ken Beats
8. Girls / More Girls
9. Gun Reprise
10. Firestarter
11. Hotride (El Batorix Mix)
12. Back 2 Skool
13. The Way It Is
14. Mindfields
15. Poison
16. Method Beats
17. Smack My Bitch Up

Extra info:
Leeroy didnt play at this gig.

Review by Frequen-Cee:
I arrived at the Carling Academy venue around 20:25 so I’d already missed (at a guess) an hour and a half of support bands, with only half an hour to go before The Prodigy. This however, was unbeknown to me at time since I was expecting the band to come on around midnight and had prepared myself for at least a three hour wait – bonus!
Youth Of Britain, the support act before The Prodigy, I thought were okay, but nothing special. The last track they played featured a video of a cat riding a bike (bizzarely as it sounds) and did actually succeed in getting a small section of the crowd moving – if only for the briefest of moments. The DJ that came on afterwards played a selection of big beat tracks, including one that ‘borrowed’ the Outer Space vocals which really got everyone chanting along.
Afterwards, a cutain came down to reveal Liam’s Korg and W-30 and a glow-in-the-dark Apple Mac symbol on the back of his laptop (featuring the words ‘Liam Lives ‘Ere’ slapped on the back). This was soon followed by the Wake Up Intro – and suddenly the crowd sparked into life. As soon as Wake Up Call came on everybody went nuts and before the track ended I somehow found myself near to front of the stage without really trying to get there!
Immediately following Wake Up Call came Their Law. As you’d have guessed, the crowd went absolutely mental! Now, I’ve seen several gigs before on video and always wondered why the crowd stopped jumping halfway through the opening beats – but now I understand why…….
The heat in place must have risen by several degrees and even after just two minutes of Their Law I found myself completely knackered and sweating like I’d just run a marathon. Fortunately, security were handing out cups of water to the crowd, which was gladly received by one and all.
Now, unfortunately the exact tracklisting escapes me somewhat, but there was a noticeable difference in the crowd reaction when comparing the old stuff to the new tracks.
Spitfire was received well and during this track I made eye contact with Keith – it was wicked shouting the vocals at him as he threw his head down whenever the main kick drum blasted from the speakers. A lot of points during the gig he looked completely knackered, sweating more than what a lot of the crowd were!
Anyone suffering from epilespy would have ended up a severe attack during Breathe – maybe the lighting guy jammed the strobe lighting button down or something, but anyhow, it rocked the place; people jumped and shouted away. One of the highlights of the gig.
Girls sounded great, but More Girls completely tore it apart and just generally sounded a lot beefier and heavier.
There were a few new tracks that Liam played, but these were not so well received – during a couple of the tracks the crowd was pretty static throughout. But to me some sounded a bit too ‘samey’ with nothing that really stood out – in fact, they felt more like B-Side material than anything else. I knew Warning from previous gig recordings, but this just felt like another track for Keith to sing as a result of boredom from one-to-many Firestarter outings.
Back To School really did hit home though with a much more positive crowd response. The vocals were something along the lines of ‘gonna take you back to school, and teach you how to build bombs!’ Very heavy beats, sounding even better on the sound system.
I remember reading a message on the official site where Liam mentioned that he’d written the fastest track that he’d done with Maxim on vocals. I think this was played, but again, it sounded quite stale and didn’t really hit the mark. I remember thinking to myself ‘Liam, look at the crowd! Give them something old to chew on!’ In this case, although the track was fast, the beat structure didn’t really reflect this and made it sound slower than it actually was.
The Firestarter remix began in the usual way, but the beats started a bit slower which threw a lot of people to begin with, before suddenly hitting home with the traditional hard and manic beat which got everyone going once again. The structure of the track was noticeably different, with a few added guitar riffs and re-structured vocals, making it difficult to sing along to – but still a great version.
The Way It Is felt more like a breather, with people dancing rather than just jumping hell for leather, with Liam chucking in a few Thriller samples for good measure.
At one point, Liam played the Climbatize Horns, which to me indicated an intro to some of the more older stuff, and I was proven to be right.
Mindfields got everybody moving again and sounded great – I actually came round to really appreciating a lot of the tracks more than I had done before, simply because of them being wacked through a massive sound system!
After this, they left stage before briefly returning for an encore, with Liam launching into an intro before playing Poison. At one point here Liam played a brief section of his Method Man remix (I think it’s that one) before following up with Smack My Bitch Up. This, together with Their Law and Poison, were the big hitters of the night and gained the most of the ‘pogo-effect’ from the crowd.
All in all, a great night – my only disappointment was some of the new tracks that didn’t really hit as hard as I thought they would, with the older classics still winning the day.

Review by Sarah Hinksman:
Some years ago I used to holiday with a group of friends with, shall we say, diverse musical tastes. The discussions about the choice of in-car sounds between fans of goth, dance, rap and metal were both fierce and sarcastic. And The Prodigy was the only compromise.
This genre-busting band burst onto the stage at the Birmingham Academy to deliver 80 minutes of blinding, screeching, energised music that picked you up, shook you, and put you down none-too-gently.
The set, played to an animated 2700 capacity crowd, was a mixture of old and new, with the back history, notably such favourites as Breathe and the encore tracks Poison and Smack My Bitch Up receiving a more frenzied reception than the representations from their latest album, Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned.
As one might expect, this is a band that works well live. The opener, Wake Up Call, delivers much more than is promised by the recording. The vocalists burst onto the stage, the imposing Maxim delivering high-kicks into the air and an unblinking Keith Flint swiftly discarding a top hat. Neither look like people you’d want to meet in a dark alley at night and you might think twice about taking them home to meet your mum. On stage, they are in their element. Liam Howlett, the band’s lynch-pin, remained behind the decks.
The Way It Is was successfully revamped for a live performance and male voice and provided a surprisingly dynamic build up before the closing track for the main show, Mindfields.
The mixed reception of the latest album may have put a question-mark over the ongoing ability of The Prodigy to live up to their reputation as showmen and musicians but their ability to pack venues and deliver a show of this calibre proves that they remain an act to watch.The performance was at its most electrifying when both vocalists shared the stage. Their styles – Maxim, ultra-cool yet playful, wandering the pit and delivering vocals with an air of detached oblivion as he is swamped by the hands of fans; Flint, body bent and eyes staring, delivering the focussed madness that is a virtual trademark – complement each other.”
The mixed reception of the latest album may have put a question-mark over the ongoing ability of The Prodigy to live up to their reputation as showmen and musicians but their ability to pack venues and deliver a show of this calibre proves that they remain an act to watch.

Review by neko:
It’s Thursday afternoon and having just left work early, I am on a train to Birmingham. After all these trips abroad it’s weird having been at work in London and seeing the Prodigy on the same day. Yes, my friends, it can only be the start of the UK tour!
Once in Birmingham I first have a couple of drinks with my forum moderator “James Jupiter” though and later meet some other friends. At 7pm we then enter the venue. I had been here once before and it’s quite small for Prodigy with a tiny stage, great!
Apart from the XFM DJ Eddie Temple Morris, support band Youth of Britain are on. I had seen them once before at the Rhythm factory with CBF, but didn’t like them much back then. Tonight though, they’re actually really cool and I like what I hear and see. Great beats and a very outgoing frontman makes this a great support for Prodigy.
Eddie Temple Morris then is on for another bit and by playing an Out of Space remix obviously gets the crowd going. I am properly excited now … Less than two weeks since Amsterdam but it seems like a long time ago already.
Just after 9pm then the change over and it’s the start to The Prodigy’s UK tour with the Wake Up intro … and the setlist goes something like this: […]
The atmosphere at the gig is totally great. We’re right at the front in the middle where you really get most of the energy and it is mad, but worth it. I have to say I really like that Firestarter Intro played in Birmingham, it’s very quiet with some cool guitar parts by Jim, creating a really great build up to the track. The Firestarter remix works well, some cool new beats in it, and it sounds very hard. I’m pretty sure most kind of hard core fans of the band loved it, but for the more casual fans it’s probably more difficult hearing a such different version to the original. Personally I am pleased with it though. I’m a bit dissapointed Medusa’s path has dissapeared from the set, personally thought it always worked very well. The new track from Amsterdam is one of the highlights, and so is of course Back to School. All great!
The set feels quite short. I know it’s all hard work for the band, but it was really only about 1h 20 min or even less. Just before 10.30pm it’s all already over and I’m off to catch my 11pm bus back to London…

Review by James Jupiter:
The doors opened just after 7pm and first on was the XFM DJ Eddy Temple-Morris. During his set he played the Prodigy Mix of Method Man’s”Release To’ Delf”. I thought he may have been told not to play that as it is usually incorporated into The Prodigy set as part of “Poison”. Other notable tracks played included The Chemical Brothers “Galvanize”.
Next up was Youth Of Britain who consist of two guitarists, a vocalist and a techie boffin. They had a scrolling message display on stage which said “youth of britain.com – You either love it or you hate it”. They also had a screen which showed the videos for each track they played. The crowd response to YOB was very mixed. During a track called “Free Money” the vocalist threw a wad of notes into the crowd. The crowd proceeded to try to grab the notes as they floated to the ground. The notes were fake $100 bills. A few of the security personnel picked the notes up and had a close look at them – no doubt hoping that the notes were real. MP3s and videos of YOB are available here: – http://www.youthofbritain.com/
Following YOB Eddy Temple-Morris returned to the decks. During this stint he played a bootleg (?) mix of “Out Of Space”. This started a crowd sing along session. At this point a few beats started to be played over the top of the record that Eddy was playing causing Eddy to break out into a broad grin –
Liam warming up the machines from behind the curtain.
The front of the stage was cleared of the DJ equipment and the curtain was removed to reveal a drum kit, Liam’s rig of equipment (including two Laptops – one with a sticker saying “ZX81 Yeah!” (a reference to the ZX81 Sinclair computer of the early 1980s) and the other with a sticker saying”Liam Lives Here”) and a star made up of lights on a black background behind Liam’s rig.
Liam walked onto the stage and took his place behind his machines whilst Keiron Pepper took his seat at his drum kit. The instruction to “Wake Up” started coming out of the speakers and then Maxim, Keith and Jim Davies walked on stage. Keith’s outfit deserves a special mention. He was wearing black Addidas ‘3 stripe’ trousers and jacket. The jacket has a big cat’s (Jaguar?) head printed in white on the back. He also had a belt with a silver Jaguar’s head buckle and sported a Top Hat with a long feather stuck in it and was carrying a black cane with a crystal top.
The set list was: –
Wake Up Call Intro
Wake Up Call
Their Law
Breathe (With Strobe light used to full effect)
Girls / More Girls
Dead Ken Beats* – This was a breather type track in a similar style to Medusa’s Path. The track featured orchestral strings and hard beats. Gun Release* – Featured vocals from Maxim and heavy beats.
Firestarter – The new mix gives the track a new lease of life. The beats are hard and there are new guitar parts.
Hotride El Batori Mix – The Prodigy are about the beats and you could certainly tell with this! The track sounded like it had been stripped down to just the beats!
Back to School – Awesome track. Keith did his ‘fast feet’ dancing to this track.
The way it is – Some additional beats and a very generous use of the
‘Thriller’ sample in the middle of the track.
Climbatize Horns leading into Mindfields
Encore: –
Poison (Poison transitioned into a few minutes worth of the Prodigy’s mix of Method Man’s “Release To’ Delf”)
Smack My Bitch Up
Liam played beats until the end. The beats gradually getting slower and slower until they stopped.
* Evans was standing next to the sound engineer during the gig and he read the new track names off engineer’s set list.
A few random memories from the gig: –
Most of the tracks are ‘beefed up’ for the live show. Liam drops extra beats into most tracks.
It’s hard to judge after just one listen but first impressions of the ‘Firestarter’ remix, ‘Dead Ken Beats’ and ‘Gun Release’ were good. Keith seemed to disappear from the stage for large portions of the gig. I
didn’t see him but I assume he was at the back stirring up the crowd. Keith was full on with his twitches, face pulling and drooling. He stood above a female security member dripping sweat onto her. Later Maxim went face to face with the same female security member and stared her out. People trying to spit on Maxim and Keith – What’s that all about?





Photos from the show:

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