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The Prodigy @ The National Bowl, Milton Keynes – 24/7/2010

Guest Blogger: Tina Hart

Stage and screen @ The Prodigy gig There were ants everywhere – representing the current signature logo of The Prodigy of course, as I went to witness one of the recommended ‘50 Bands To See Before You Die’ at their biggest ever gig on Saturday night.

Alongside 64,999 others, I packed into the open-air Milton Keynes National Bowl for the Warrior’s Dance Festival and you could smell the anticipation in the air, as someone in a fan forum so elegantly put it prior to the event ‘can’t wait, 65,000 nutters avin it’. Indeed.

Not just your average concert, punters were treated to a whole day of music with several support acts across the main stage and secondary Boneyard area. DJ Zane Lowe hyped up the willing crowd before the headlining act took to the stage, saying it was the best festival he’d ever played to.

Smashing the set open with World’s On Fire the crowd went mad, hands in the air, jumping up and down, as the Essex electronic dance gods hit the stage. Ambulances were hung around the set in keeping with the Take Me to the Hospital (the name of their record label) theme and the amazing light show kicked into action illuminating the Bowl. 

Glow in the dark ambulances on stage @ The Prodigy gigThe moshing started front stage as they moved into my favourite Prodigy classic, Breathe followed by the anthem that is Omen. Without being flung into the nearby mosh pit, I shouted along with my fellow ravers as the ambulances began to glow in the dark and Maxim Reality and Keith Flint egged on the audience with their familiar expletive-strewn narrative.

View from the bank @ The Prodigy gig The bassline of Poison and Thunder dubstep remix reverberated right to my core and after affectionately getting pelted with plastic bottles from the other revellers including many a topless male, we took to the bank to soak up the atmosphere from further across the bowl, where we got to appreciate the spectacular laser display that accompanied Warrior’s Dance.

Taking us through their hits spawning two decades and five successful albums, fans ranging from freakishly young to surprisingly old, relentlessly kept the energy levels up for the hour and a half set, singing (shouting) along, dancing (raving) throughout and obediently reciting everything they were told by the two front men whilst production mastermind Liam Howlett looked on over his keyboard at the brilliant mayhem unfolding in front of him.

After Take Me to the Hospital, during the encore we were treated to some proper old school Prodigy including Everybody in the Place, No Good (Start the Dance) and Charly which went down a storm.

The main stage in all its glory @ The Prodigy gigRebellious Their Law led into the humongous finale that was Out of Space. We had been a ‘wicked crowd’ apparently, for which Maxim gave ‘Pure respek from the heart’ and said it was the best… night of his life. What a sweetie.

It’s not difficult to see why The Prodigy have been crowned the most influential act of their genre in a recent poll. A gig of this magnitude continues to prove why they are still held in such high regard in dance music twenty years after they first came to our attention. There’s clearly still life in the old dogs yet as Liam revealed in a recent interview with Zane Lowe that they were heading back into the studio soon to record some new material. Roll on album number six. And long live The Prodigy.

* Watch: The Prodigy interview


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