Melbourne was alive with music on a mild Friday night as a mix of music fans made their way to the Melbourne Park precinct.
With Slash at Rod Laver Arena and Phil Collins across the road at AAMI Stadium, the ravers heading to Melbourne Arena to party with The Prodigy stood out.
But such is the longevity of The Prodigy that middle-aged fans you’d expect to cross the road were instead mingling with young dance fans.
Some had brought their kids along to share an experience many had last enjoyed when The Prodigy kicked arse on the Big Day Out circuit in 1997.
The British electro punks were back in Australia touring their seventh album No Tourists. A planned tour in 2016 was put on ice when the festival they were to appear on was canceled.
Enschway and ShockOne started the party early as the rave set warmed up for the main course. Free hugs were given out from loved-up strangers as the stadium filled with eager fans.
After almost 30 years together and pushing 50 years of age, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect The Prodigy to have slowed down. Wrong. Opening with Breathe the energy exploded. The floor was bouncing with sweaty bodies as Keith Flint and Maxim danced up a storm on stage and lights and lasers shook the senses.
An 85-minute set lit up Melbourne Arena as The Prodigy pumped out hits from three decades of dance-punk tunes as the heaving mass threatened to break through the floor.
Heading back to the early days from Music From the Jilted Generation the crowd shook the ground to Voodoo People, but the album that really put them on the map Fat of the Land always had the biggest responses. Firestarter is as great now as when it was released 23 years ago.
Omen and Warriors Dance off 2009’s Invaders Must Die and Light Up The Sky and Timebomb Zone off No Tourists reinforced Prodigy’s energy.
No Prodigy concert is complete without the crowd’s dance circle and We Live Forever saw a whirlpool of bodies in the middle of the audience that threatened to sweep up all around it.
There were times through the show where the lull between songs lost momentum when sliding into the next hit would keep the party going, but it only took a moment before the place was again pumping.
The best was indeed saved for last. Maxim called it the anthem and there was no doubt what was coming. “Here’s some bass!” and with that Smack My Bitch Up punched a hole through the audience to take home ringing ears and sore feet.
The Prodigy celebrates 30 years next year. Based on their live show there’s plenty more ahead of them.
Review Contributed by Daron Jacks