BACK AND COOL: Mixing rave, techno and industrial, The Prodigy show that anything is possible with their music.
KAUNAS - After a bit of silence, The Prodigy is back on tour, so you’d better wake up. The British band, known to indulge in theatrically extravagant performances, has decided to set their only Baltic show in Kaunas. And the locals are grateful.
The Prodigy are an English electronic dance music group formed by Liam Howlett in 1990 in Braintree, Essex. Along with Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, and other acts, The Prodigy have been credited as pioneers of the big beat genre, which achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s and 2000s. They have sold over 25 million records worldwide. The group has won numerous music awards throughout their career, including two Brit Awards — winning Best British Dance Act twice, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Kerrang! Awards, five MTV Europe Music Awards, and have twice been nominated for Grammy Awards.
The group’s brand of music makes use of various styles ranging from rave, hardcore techno, industrial, and breakbeat in the early 1990s to big beat and electronic rock with punk vocal elements in later times. The current members include Liam Howlett (keyboardist and composer), Keith Flint (dancer and vocalist), and Maxim (MC and vocalist). Leeroy Thornhill (dancer and very rarely a live keyboardist) was a member of the band from 1990 to 2000, as was a female dancer and vocalist called Sharky who left the group during their early period. The Prodigy first emerged on the underground rave scene in the early 1990s, and have since then achieved immense popularity and worldwide renown.
On May 25, during the concert in the largest indoor arena in the Baltics – Zalgiris Arena, The Prodigy’s will present their first ever live album “World’s On Fire,” which was released in May 2011.
This package features tracks recorded at the band’s Warriors Dance Festival in 2010. Some 65,000 fans crammed into The National Bowl at Milton Keynes – and footage suggests that every one of them went home with sore feet, ears ringing and a goofy grin. It was a massive statement: The Prodigy’s biggest show to date, over 20 years since their formation in Braintree, it was evidence that their appeal hadn’t dissipated in the slightest. Sure, vocalists Maxim and Keith Flint might not last the distance without a little breather – note the timing of instrumental number Weather Experience in the running order – but they work the stage better than a thousand would-be peers. They excite the crowd, consistently asking if the throng is ready for what’s to follow; and those in attendance respond positively, willing to take whatever is thrown at them.
Which breaks down as follows: seven songs from 2009’s twice-platinum album “Invaders Must Die,” three from 1997’s Mercury Prize-nominated “Fat of the Land,” two from 1994’s “Music for the Jilted Generation” and the rest from 1992’s debut, Experience. That sort of setlist – or at least the version presented here – paints a damning picture of 2004’s “Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned.” It would seem that Liam Howlett’s sole studio blip has been sent to the scrapheap; arguably, it belonged there long before the core trio reformed into the force they’ve been since the revitalising “Invaders Must Die.”
As always, The Prodigy is determined to provoke and disturb their way through Lithuania. Mothers will be praying their children don’t come home with a new piercing, while teenagers will be ecstatic with excitement. As for everyone in between, the band’s dark and unyielding temper will be hard to resist.
The band has yet to break into the genre of pop, classical and folk, but they’ve still got a good many years ahead. And when you’re as prodigious as The Prodigy, anything is possible.