Review from fasterlounder.com.au:
On a balmy night in Brisbane, The Prodigy proved they’re still one of the most electric dance acts out there, even if they make some curious choices along the way.
Quan Yeomans, frontman of Regurgitator, and now doing a solo stint, opens the nights festivities with tracks from his recently released solo album The Amateur. It’s just him and a drummer up on stage, with a lot of the music pre-programmed, as has become the norm with Quan’s work. Unfortunately, a little too much of the music is programmed, and at times it feels like he’s just playing in front of a backing tape. Luckily, his years of fronting bands has given him a laidback charisma, even when the beats are pounding, and his rapping, although not mind blowing, is good enough for the local-boy-made-good to connect with the small crowd gathered at front of stage, and attract some well-earned applause from the rest of us.
There’s a crowd rush down to the front of stage as Simian Mobile Disco come on stage, which is wierd, because there’s also a dearth of dancing as Simian begin their technology-focussed set. People are staring, fixated on the stage, which is unfortunate as this is not a visual show – the two black-clad gentlemen are fixated in turn on their equipment, and acknowledge the crowd only a few times. Their dance music comes from the movements with the buttons and knobs on their machines, one of which looks coolly like an old telephony switchboard built into a computer. Unfortunately, for all the crowd encouragement, too many of Simian’s songs devolve into a messy maelstrom of sound that you can’t dance to, and the songs aren’t distinctive enough to stand out from one another. There’s no doubt these guys are masters of their craft, and get a rousing cheer when they finish, but the set, like the stage setup, lacked personality. And it was quite short to boot – shorter than the sets of Quan and the DJ who preceeded them.
I know Hot Chip are a really big deal right now, and getting them to play a DJ set must have seemed like quite a coup, but nothing that they play tonight has any punch to it at all. Three of the members of the band take turns playing laidback, low-beat dance, but there’s no recognisable samples, and no beats loud enough to boogie to, so the set washes over the crowd like a blanket. And it goes for almost an hour, as The Prodigy are late coming to the party. The DJ set is presumably supposed to be warming us up for The Prodigy, so why does it feel like we’re being hypnotised into a stupor?
Of course, all thoughts of a stupor wash away in the opening moments of The Prodigy’s first track, the new song World’s On Fire. Keith Flint and Maxim Reality galvanise the crowd, laying their vocals over Liam Howlett ’s punchy beats, assisted by a live drummer and guitar player. The guitar-and-drum driven Their Law turns a thousand young people into a seething, jumping, roaring mass. There’s plenty of classic Prodigy tracks tonight – Breathe gets a huge cheer, but Maxim’s mic drops out during Spitfire, although he doesn’t seem to realise until halfway through. Flint takes centre stage for the explosive Firestarter, but for some reason there’s an additional big beat added to each second bar, which throws the song out a little, and an extra little ditty at the end, which it didn’t really need. We also get a handful of new songs, including Warrior’s Dance, during which Reality calls for the moshers to swirl in a circle, but there’s just not enough room, and they end their quite-short opening set with a swaying version of Voodoo People, which gets cut strangely short at the end.
The strangeness doesn’t end there. The band come out to play a truncated version of new single Invaders Must Die, which segues into a version of Diesel Power without any of the rapping which forms that song’s core, which then segues into Smack My Bitch Up, which gets a huge crowd cheer, and is a chance for everyone to sing along. We get one more new song ( Scene of the Crash ) before they end with Out Of Space – another chance to sing along, which the crowd embraces heartily. Tonight’s set was quite short, and even though the driving, pounding beats had everyone dancing into the night, this wasn’t a champagne Prodigy show. Something felt a little askew, as though the band were still finding their feet after some time off. Of course, even a lacklustre Prodigy show can run rings around most dance acts, and tonight was no exception.
2. World’s On Fire
3. Their Law
5. Breathe (Dubstep)
7. Warrior’s Dance
10. Action Radar Link
11. Run With The Wolves
12. Voodoo People
13. Invaders Must Die
14. Diesel Power Beats
15. Smack My Bitch Up
16. Take Me To The Hospital
17. Your Love Link
18. Out Of Space