2018.11.15 – Alexandra Palace, London, England

Date: 15th November 2018
Event: The Prodigy Concert – No Tourists Tour
Venue: Alexandra Palace
City: London
Country: England
Support: Cross, Ho99o9

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

Extra info:
Review by Selina Begum, www.theupcoming.co.uk:
Pioneers of electronic music The Prodigy return for their second night at Alexandra Palace, performing their razor-sharp techno beats amidst a wild light show to rave fans.
As the glimmering silver curtain cascades, revealing black London buses, an array of lights flash on, backed by laser sounds, MC Maxim shouting the lyrics to Breathe, (Fat of the Land, 1997) alongside Keith Flint’s vocals, and co-founder Liam Howlett’s deep bass setting the night off. Resonate, off latest record No Tourists exemplifies The Prodigy as a band who are unafraid of extreme performance, showing the same frenzied energy after nearly three decades. The lyrics to Nasty (The Day Is My Enemy, 2015) are lost amidst the hard-core techno, but as with most Prodigy songs, the music is their essence. Second highlight of the night, Omen, is a win with the crowd; as Maxim shouts, “All my people who came to party tonight, let me hear ya”, everyone collectively chants the chorus. Champions of London gets a fan so enthused, we can see a shoe arcing over the stage – this is only a brief glimpse into a standard Prodigy show.
There are plenty of highlights, including Voodoo People (Music for the Jilted Generation, 1994) and Run with the Wolves (Invaders Must Die, 2009), the pulsing drumming reminiscent of 2009’s popular single Hot Ride. Shimmering samples on Roadblox provide a fresh-sounding element to the material, as the tracks have a formulaic drum and bass rhythm found across the group’s records. Smack My Bitch Up is another clear highlight, Maxim demanding everyone to get down, which is followed by the audience jumping with the ecstasy-fuelled chorus, and Sheila Chandra’s recorded vocals are haunting in the cavernous space.
Maxim declares confidently, “If you’re not sweating you’re in the wrong fucking place”, performing We Live Forever. 1992’s Out of Space, taken from innovative debut Experience ends suddenly, feeling incomplete, but leaves fans singing the refrain. The Prodigy tonight display a solid dynamism, just as in the 1990s, however, the downside with this show is the choice of venue. For those situated at the back, the stage is completely indiscernible, unaltered by the visual screens situated too low, rendering the event into a clubbing experience; yet it cannot be denied, the “Godfathers of Rave” put on a furious light show, displaying an ever-present method to their musical madness.

Review by Naomi Dryden-Smith, www.louderthanwar.com:
Promoting their new album No Tourists, The Prodigy bring their big beat magic to London’s Ally Pally, turning the magnificent and iconic venue into a rave to rival the best of the 90s. Naomi Dryden-Smith went along to the second of two sold-out shows
Every time I go to Ally Pally I’m overawed by the sheer size of it. Beautiful as it is, it’s essentially a massive warehouse with stained glass windows that was, obviously, never designed to be a music venue. On the plus side, it’s a perfect venue for all-standing shows like this. I’ll get to the (minor) downsides later.
The set is an industrial scene, a bit Mad Max-like but with a London bus. And giant cage fans. Liam Howlett presides, like the Wizard of Oz, just visible behind his various contraptions. But it’s Keith Flint and Maxim who dominate the stage, rushing around like pantomime villains, or pixies maybe, snarling and gesticulating and generally whipping their audience into a frenzy. The feel of the show is tribal – enhanced by Maxim’s glowing warpaint, Flint’s trade mark hair spikes, and the throbbing bass.
Classics like Breathe (the opener), Firestarter, Voodoo People, and Smack My Bitch Up are slick and fresh-sounding. New tracks from No Tourists include Resonate, Champions Of London, Need Some1 are distinctly Prodigy, don’t really bring anything new to the table, but that’s okay. The sound is a bit muffled at times (one of those minor downsides) – Ally Pally, like the O2, can sometimes suck the life out of music, depending what it is – but it’s not bad tonight and adds to the whole shabby-warehouse-ambience. Disappointingly absent from the 28-song set is Poison, another downside but not Ally Pally’s fault – and you can’t have everything. The whole place is jumping regardless.
All in all, tonight proves they are still just as relevant nearly 30 years on – a class act.

Review by Courtney Solloway, www.theindependentvoice.org:
I do not envy those that decided they are going to walk up that steep hill to Alexandra Palace. As I stood on the bus that takes you right outside the venue I watched the slew of crowd goers drag themselves up the hill one after the other. A couple of people even waved at those on the bus going by, it was nice to see that regardless of the walk they were still in high spirits for the night to come.
Getting off of the bus you could see their Ant logo projected onto the stained glass which began to build further on the excitement I was feeling.
Once inside I walked into the huge hall that would be where it took place. I had no idea that Alexandra Palace had so many rooms and it would have been easy for me to get lost had there not been signs everywhere. Luckily for me, I had managed to meet a couple of friends at the show so I wasn’t totally on my own. The Prodigy seems to be a rare case in which a wide array of people will listen to them, metalheads and ravers alike. In fact, the more the crowd began to grow the more in awe I was at how diverse the fans seemed to be. The gig was 16+ and whilst I didn’t see too many of that age, I did see a lot of 20+ all the way to about 65. One guy behind me seemed to have come with his wife, daughter and granddaughters. A testament to The Prodigy’s timelessness.
A DJ was present in the room playing a few mixes whilst people began to turn up. By that point, there were easily around 1,000 at the front of the stage. Ordinarily, I would fight my way through to the front of the crowd but as I had never been to a show like this before I decided that staying between the soundstage and the door was not only the safest option, but also best for sound and my own experience. In the end, I was right.
The first band, Ho9909, comes on stage as the lights dim, dressed in high-vis clothing, and one member had a giant hat hiding his face. I’ll be honest, from the moment their music started I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. I didn’t understand these guys at all. For me, what they were doing always left me wanting a little bit more than what was presented. To me they sounded like they were trying to take Rage Against the Machine, Slipknot, Metallica and “mumble” rappers. The unfortunate thing about this is that it’s too many genres to put into one and the parts don’t compliment one another the way that they should. When there were certain breaks in the song I was expecting a heavy bass drop to go completely mad too, but alas it never happened.
In my opinion, Ho99o9 would benefit most from trying to narrow the styles which they use to improve the ones they are better at. That being said, I’ll give credit where credit is due: the drummer was incredibly talented and his drum solo towards the end was enough to keep me in high spirits. Ho99o9 also ended quite abruptly, to me it didn’t seem like it had reached a natural conclusion despite the fact that they remained on stage for a small period of time afterwards.
During the break between the bands, the heat in the room intensifies as more bodies piled in. The ant which was once on the stained glass window outside is now projected onto the curtains on stage, which begins to rile up the ever-growing crowd in the room. Just before The Prodigy takes to the stage you can definitely tell that there are 10,000 people in the room. It looked incredibly cramped at the front of the crowd and that’s where I decided I was right to hang towards the sound desk, because I was still left with quite a lot of room between my friends and I to have a dance without worrying about hitting the person next to us.
As the curtain drops and their hit Breathe from The Fat Of The Land begins to play, the crowd completely erupts into screaming, dancing and singing the tune to the song. Of course, as always with a crowd this large, you can see everyone beginning to rush forward to get closer to the stage. Which, in my opinion, would have been a fruitless effort as from where I was; I couldn’t see anything except an insane light show.
The Prodigy is essentially a giant rave for people from all walks of life and not just normal rave-goers. And unsurprisingly, there were people who were completely off their face left, right and centre. For a sober person, this did seem a little bit overwhelming. I’m no stranger when it comes to drugs, don’t get me wrong. Whilst I don’t take them due to no interest and seeing no point to them, I’m not used to seeing it in that amount of people (though not all 10,000 people were taking them). I’m used to seeing it spread out more amongst 80,000 in a field at a festival. However, what people chose to do at shows is none of my business, and despite my sober state the energy in the room was so high from the music alone I didn’t even feel it was necessary for me to have any alcohol.
The Prodigy continues to play hits of times gone by such as Omen and Firestarter, and some of their newer songs to promote the new album, No Tourists, such as Champions of London and Need Some1. The sheer energy from the stage that transfers to the crowd was pure and true insanity, and it wasn’t unusual for someone to grab a stranger who was dancing nearby and just start dancing with them as well. To be honest, I think a lot of people made new friends that night and that’s one of the great things about these shows. I had conversations struck with me by people who probably wouldn’t approach me in their ordinary day to day life because of my bright blue hair, but at shows like these the more unique and different you are, the more you are approached and celebrated.
To me, the best moment of the night was right towards the end. They begin to play arguably their biggest hit, Smack My Bitch Up, and understandably at this point all bets are off as to what’s going on in the room. It’s pure chaos. Everyone is chanting, singing, dancing, pushing and shoving and it’s hard to tell which way is up or down. When the song finishes and the crowd begins screaming rather than chanting for an encore, it’s clear to see that no one is finished yet.
Going onto We Live Forever and ending on Out Of Space, the crowd continues to sing the chorus at the stage despite the music being over. This actually lasts for longer than I expected at around 1 or 2 minutes, and the crowd are still left wanting more but to no avail. The night is over from there and the crowd, who now begin the cattle walk out the doors to the bag room or out of the venue, continue to sing different songs amongst themselves.
This was my first Prodigy gig and it probably won’t be my last. However, this was a totally different scene that I had thrown myself into. I’m so used to being in the metal scene and only going to rock shows that it was overwhelming when the show started, but it was so easy after the first song to just relax and do your own thing because no one else really cared. I can’t see myself going to loads of drum and bass shows or raves independently of this, but it was definitely a new experience and overall an extremely enjoyable one.

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