Few electronic acts have staying power like the Prodigy, which performed for a sold out crowd of over 3,000 at Roseland Ballroom in New York City on Friday. With close to five years separating the release of 2004's "Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned" and this year's "Invaders Must Die," the Prodigy have still retained a loyal fan base over its double-decade career.
The three of the original members, reunited after five years of on-and-off-again performing, seemed excited to be back in the spotlight – or, rather strobe light -- particularly since they only have three North American dates on schedule for March. They were able to re-create the same level of euphoria that first erupted from the rave scene in the early '90s inside the legendary Roseland Ballroom with flashing lights, heart-stopping bass and glow sticks flying.
The madness kicked off with “World’s on Fire,” one of the band's top picks off the new album, as Maxim repeatedly asked the eager crowd, “Where the f*** is New York?” The square synth that gives the Prodigy’s recognizable hit “Breathe” its force inspired crowd surfing and mindless head banging as “Breathe the pressure / come play my game I’ll test ya / psychosomatic addict insane” was recited in unison.
Maxim commanded the crowd with lines like “I wanna see everybody f*ckin’ movin’” and “Where the f*ck are my warriors?” while Liam danced with his beat machines. Keith kept the energy inside the ballroom high with his undeniable stage presence and ear-piercing vocals. They performed classics “Poison”, “Firestarter” and “Voodoo People,” plus fresh, soon-to-be fan favorites “Omen” and “Thunder.” Lyrics taken from “Warriors Dance” described the atmosphere inside the ballroom in a bit of a discrepancy: “And the music in the house / is so soothing.”
After exiting the stage with “Comanche” still fading into a cloud of screaming and cheering fans for a good two minutes, Liam, Maxim and Keith returned to the stage. Maxim asked the hungry crowd, “You want more?” and caused the thousands of fans to push through the exhaustion and dehydration, despite having been packed together and sweaty near the front of the stage. Maxim wanted to “kill them off with diesel power” as he transitioned from encore opener “Invaders Must Die” into 1997’s "Fat of the Land" hit “Diesel Power.”
After “Smack My B*tch Up” and “Take Me to the Hospital” stole whatever energy the crowd had left, the Prodigy rewarded long-time listeners with a mind-blowing “Out of Space,” the only track from its debut album "Experience" (1992) the trio would perform all night.
Throughout, the Prodigy performed just as they did when rave was reserved strictly for the underground, for those who wanted to experience music on a physical level. What was then, clearly, is still now.
"Worlds On Fire"
"Run with the Wolves"
"Invaders Must Die"
"Smack My Bitch Up"
"Take Me to the Hospital"
"Your Love/Out of Space"
- Track Review