Image by: Maisy McLeod-Riera
Concert Reviews

Convert Review: The Prodigy Light Up Auckland

Where: The Trusts Arena, Auckland NZ
When: 05 Feb 2019
Simon William Todd

The Prodigy pummelled their Auckland punters in an all-over body sweat-inducing ride on their No Tourists bus last Tuesday night at the Trusts Arena in Auckland, NZ.

Quite rightly cocksure, their new material stands tall among their genre-defining hits from last century.

Support is Aussie artist and DJ Enschway and he is clearly enjoying himself as he shimmies his way through a mash up set of bangaz and alt-rock, culminating in a crowd singalong to Blink 182’s All The Small Things.

As if preempting the sweatfest of the encore, many of the crowd are topless as The Prodigy bound on stage to a blistering Breathe.

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The floor of the overgrown school hall that is The Trusts Arena undergoes its first test of communal bouncing, as Keith Flint strikes his first of many silhouetted poses. His trademark double mo is almost lost in the warm yellow lighting and relentless, pulse-heightening strobes.

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Maxim the hype-man, has quickly removed his furry caterpillar outfit as it is well hot. It's the last night of the current tour, and Maxim wants it “louder you fuckers”. And newer material, like Roadblox from 2015’s The Day Is My Enemy see more of Maxim on mc-ing duties.

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This frees up Flint, and it's like a totally cool game of hide and seek with him, as he flits from one side of the stage to the other, dressed like a futuristic communist gargoyle, and often disappearing completely, but as if by magic, there again, titling his head and staring through panda-patch eyes at an elated crowd.

Opting for no video screens seems to focus the crowd more, and so it is that during Firestarter, all eyes are on Flint... this time happy to stand in one place. No such thing is happening on the floor though. Punters clear circles of space, not allowing anyone in until the beat drops, then all piling in, to mosh like never before.

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And what beats they are. Leo Crabtree is remarkable atop a drum riser, pounding out big beat, drum n bass rhythms that compete with and complement ringleader Liam Howlett’s electronic loops. Along with the stabbing guitars of Rob Holliday, this incarnation of The Prodigy is an impressive, aggressive punk band - albeit one with steely sounding beats and a knack of ‘bringing the bass back’.

The hits keep coming... of course their breakthrough track No Good (start the dance) gets an outing. But, The Prodigy are confidently happy to shorten these (to a length more suited to punk)... teasing the audience, but also perhaps to not lose sight of the fact that they are still making cracking dance records.

Encores We Live Forever and Timebomb Zone, both from 2018’s No Tourists, see the mosh pit sway harder than ever; flying arms and tip-toeing-on-hot-coals dance moves, swathes of weed-smelling vape clouds and flying droplets of sweat all adding to the euphoria.

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Maxim hypes up his “Prodigy Warriors” one last time, as he and Flint, such the dynamic duo, bound left and right for set-closer Smack My Bitch Up and all too quickly it's over. Shame. But. Amazing.

Radio 13 thanks and credits Maisy McLeod-Riera from Castor & Pollux for all the images featured on this article. 

 

Written By: Simon William Todd After loitering on the periphery of the London indie scene in the 1990s, Simon hot-footed it to Aotearoa where he loves his family, English language teaching and writing swan songs. He is a keen follower of Tāmaki’s maunga, enjoying rough and smooth basalt alike. A gig and album reviewer and now radio DJ as well, Simon champions the seedier side of electronic pop and indie rock.