Live Report: The Prodigy

The Prodigy @ Roseland Ballroom – New York City
Blood – Sweat – Tears
By: Jessica McMenamin


Since last October, the energy within New York City has been stricken by the horrific economic downturn. For months, no one has truly gone out like “old times.” There’s been a constant, “I should stay in and save money” which seems to be every New Yorker’s modus operandi. Even for those individuals who have a black Amex! Woe to the world, woe is me, woe to rock n’ roll.

All of this changed when The Prodigy took to the stage at Roseland Ballroom a week or so ago. New York City woke the fuck up! I haven’t seen the kind of energy in the Big Apple, from the crowd and from The Prodigy, in YEARS. We’re talking 1995 when the Meat Packing district housed transvestites and after-parties until 4 o’clock…that is 4 PM not AM. The walls moved, the floor shook and Roseland’s sound system boomed!

Beforehand around 8ish, Frenchmen and Ed Banger Records honcho, Monsieur Busy P DJed a sick set. It was just the amount of music-injection to get the crowd fully amped.

Guess what happened next? Certainly, it wasn’t the Queen of England, but her loyal subjects, a group of rowdy British boys. As stated earlier, the crowd went absolutely ballistic once Keith, Liam and Maxim slowly emerged.

It’s been five years since The Prodigy’s last studio album – Invaders Must Die, the bands latest, released only a few weeks earlier from the night of the show. No one however, by any means, forgot who The Prodigy were, or their music.

The set list sequence held strong with definite known and historic favorites: “Smack My Bitch Up”, “Firestarter”, “Voodoo People” and of course “Breathe”. Yet, what really surprised me was how everyone chanted and knew every single word of their newest single, “Omen”. Aside from the green-lantern like light show to go along with the song, “Omen” seemed one, or if not the highest, energy release from the crowd when the boys screamed into their mics.

Clearly, Keith and Maxim must be keeping fit after hours, because there’s no way in hell they’d be able to keep up the stamina for their over an hour-long show. Jumping up and down and all around the stage…to a climax plateau where Maxim jumped off the stage, over to the VIP guest area and into the crowd. Followed though, by extra tight and beefy security guards.

Sweat was everywhere, the smell of pot bellowed and I’m sure a few pills were popped by many. I’d even place money on someone fainting at some point. Truth be told, The Prodigy aren’t going anywhere and I think New York City is probably the happiest about that factor.

James Shotwell
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