Mercer Arena, Seattle - Thursday, June 18, 1998
The first band of the nineties to put the word rock well and truly into electronic rock music packed an arena that hasn't seen anything but guitar based bands since Depeche Mode appeared here back in the eighties.
And as rock shows go, Prodigy put all their energies into making it a night to remember. Lights, music, action and the kind of sound levels that would have made AC/DC proud.
Our intrepid photographer, after returning from the pit immediately in front of the stage, told me his trousers were flapping due to the incredible volumes of air being moved by countless bass bins under the stage, pushing out several thousand watts of bass.
As the audience waited in anticipation for the band to take the stage I had an opportunity to take stock of exactly who was here tonight, and being an all ages show wasn't too surprised to see an abundance of those in their early teens who no doubt were making this their first venture into the wonderful world of live rock n' roll.
Needless to say, I find it hard to imagine a better christening.
First to take the stage was a drummer (Kieron Pepper), followed by a guitarist (Gizz Butt) and then Liam Howlett (keyboards and programming mastermind), who gave the audience a scowl as he made his way to the command post center stage.
A few seconds later the show began.
To say the audience went crazy is an understatement. Obviously a fair percentage have been waiting a long time to see a band that didn't make it up to our little NW corner the last time stateside, and as MC Maxim Reality appeared, microphone in hand, after an extended instrumental intro, the fans let it all go and made the most of this precious occasion.
The set list at left should give you an idea as to which tracks went where, with seven of the songs from their Fat Of The Land album, three from Music For A Jilted Generation, and the rest either covers or new stuff (feel free to let me know).
Two songs into the set Leeroy joined in the fun and began dancing to the beats.
But something was still missing, although it could be made out in the shadows sidestage, looking out at a crowded house.
As the third track fired up, the Firestarter himself took to the stage. Keith Flint, the most recognizable member of Prodigy, made the picture complete and the show was up and running.
One of my favourites, Serial Thrilla, which kicked in relatively late into the show really got everyone in the arena moving. It was like something just clicked. Already more than satiated by the bands performance, people seemed to see the band as if for the first time. Not just a cool video on MTV or a pop song played over and over on the radio, but a real live band, more than capable of putting on a real live high energy electronic dance punk rock show. Prodigy style.