01:00 The Prodigy
22:55 System Of A Down
19:15 The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
Review by neko:
It’s Friday morning and I land in Lisbon. Today is apparently about 31 degrees in London and the ‘hottest end of May tempereature since over 50 years’, whereas I’m of course today in Lisbon where it is cloudy and quite a bit colder. Wasn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Typical.
Anyways, I’ve never actually been here or anywhere else in Portugal so want to get to see the whole city properly and end up wandering around and looking at stuff and shopping all day long. So by the evening am quite tired already but get to the festival about 10 -11pm, just in time for System of Down. I got into them as a live band when they played Big Day Out with Prodigy in 2002, but haven’t really listened to much by them since. They’re just a great live band though, very intense. I watch them from the back going through tracks like Chop Suey, Toixicity and Aerials. It’s great stuff and the kids here are going absolutely mad to them. For my taste the gig is a bit long though and I don’t like all tracks as much as others.
12.30 then they finish and the stage gets changed over for Prodigy. yeah, not long to go, it’s been a whole 2 weeks since I’ve seen them. They also actually played a gig in Austria the night before, which I didn’t make it to unfortunately. Heard it was very good though, or maybe certain people were just rubbing it in, because I didnt go, hmmmm!
So anyways, I really dont remember exact times but I think about 1am or so The Prodigy start their set with the usual Wake Up Intro. With the intro everyone (Kieron’s back on drums of course) enters the stage and the show starts with an amazing Their Law. I like this as the first track of the set. It’s my favourite and just totally gets the place going. The first thing that hits me today though is that, oh my god, have they turned up the guitar, just a bit? haha. I can actually hear it now and that’s a first in about 5 years or so, wahey.
The place is still so crowded with people, all wanting to see Prodigy now, many of them wearing the band T-shirts and even the ‘firestarter’ haircuts. It’s quite intense here, lots of people going very mad. I’m a bit old for all that, so staying out of it a little at the side. Wake Up is next now. Of course it seems a bit weird with it being the second track after the Wake Up intro, but for some reason it works. Warning then is next, sounding good as usual and I like it. At the last two shows I had seen i thought they’d turned up the music a bit and mixed it differently and you couldn’t hear the vocals so well anymore, so it sounded quite different overall, now it is all good again.
But it’s only with Breathe that they get full audience reaction again. It’s a typical festival, where there’s lots of people who recognise the ‘hits’, but not so much the other album tracks or new ones. The band are great, Maxim and Keith are full-on, doing their usual confrontational bit. Spitfire then really rocks, I like this track more and more, the more I see it live.
But now it gets interesting, a new track is played, and as some clever people on my forum have already spotted, it’s indeed Razor, a track originally by Flint. Or, as Liam later that evening tells, a “Howlett production” of that track, which is now even likely to appear on the ‘best of’ album.
So, what does it sound like then? To be perfectly honest, I only heard it once now, so can’t really tell you yet. In the original Flint track I really liked the guitars, but these don’t really stand out here. Instead the first part of the track here sounds almost like a bit too many different sounds at once, as well as Keith and Maxim both doing vocals, so you can’t really hear any of it clearly. This may well be due to the sound at this particular festival, but I’m not that much into the beginning of it. Later a bit a more electronic instrumental part comes in and I like that bit, but all in all I’m not 100% convinced with it yet. It’s not a bad track, but with the incredibly great new tracks like back to school, dead ken beats and warning it’s going to be difficult to top that! So, all in all I’d say I’m keen to hear it again at this point but not sure what to think of it yet. Oh, and Rob smashes his guitar at the end of it, very rock n’ roll.
The track links really nicely into the next one actually, perfect start for Back to School. This is an amazing track, totally love it, but with it being the second new unreleased one in a row, the audience here goes a bit flat, which is a bit a shame. Maxim does the ‘1-2-3-4’ a bit early at some point again (before the actual beats he’s counting to come in) but don’t think many people notice.
Firestarter then is of course the big audience pleaser especially at a festival like here. After all I’ve said about Firestarter lately, I think I have to admit that tonight it sounds really good, somehow totally works and I love it. This fades into the Action Radar link nicely, with Keith doing some vocals along to ‘a little action is all i need’ for a bit. It’s still a definite favourite of every set for me and now links directly into Mindfields. Maxim performs to this as usual, really great tonight actually. Keith is also back on stage and as they all leave he remains and keeps entertaining the audience while they are shouting for ‘more’. Good fun to watch.
The rest of the band then return for an excellent Poison, fading into Release Yo’delf. Another highlight of the gig then is Smack My Bitch Up (featuring that new Kool Keith sample once again). Throughout the show both Maxim and Keith frequently go down to the front rows and of course the audience love that.
My personal favourite of the set is Dead Ken Beats though, just soooo good! I’m pretty sure it has a couple of new vocals by Maxim tonight as well, making it even better than it already is. The audience though isn’t as much into it here as at other shows, again probably due to it being new, bit of a shame. As final track then, Out Of Space, very much loved by the audience and great ending to a great show.
All in all a really good gig, personally i think it was the best one since Coachella, very nice!
1. Wake Up Intro
2. Their Law
3. Wake Up Call
8. Back 2 Skool
10. Action Radar Link
13. Method Beats
14. Smack My Bitch Up
15. Dead Ken Beats
16. Out Of Space