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introKönig-Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany
6th November 2015
The Prodigy & Public Enemy

A while ago I had the pleasure to review the new album ‘The day is my enemy‘ and therefor I was very much looking forward to see THE PRODIGY finally live. And on the occasion of the release of this album the band is currently doing an extended tour. As this show happened on a Friday night the people were in a party mood. The venue is conveniently located close to the motorway A40 and so, it was no wonder that lots of fans came also from the Netherlands and Belgium.


Public Enemy

The US Hip Hop formation was founded in the early eighties by Chuck D, but after releasing two albums at the end of the eighties, it already belonged to the most influential bands of this genre. The symbol on the cover of its first album - a black man in a hairline cross became a trademark of the band. Several albums reached gold and platinum status and entered the US charts. PUBLIC ENEMY is one of the first Hip Hop bands touring worldwide and thus it is no wonder that this band is also very much appreciated across the pond. The lyrics are about social critical topics mixed with personal bad experiences. Quite extraordinary are the live performances as there are not only singer, rapper and a DJ but also guitar players and a drummer. Until now, 12 studio albums, 4 compilation albums, 3 live albums, 1 remix album, 4 video albums, 19 singles and also a soundtrack album were launched. The line-up changed several times. The current one consists of: Chuck D (rapping), Flavor Flav (vocals), Professor Griff (rapping), DJ Lord (Dj), The S1W (dancing, background singer). http://www.publicenemy.com / https://www.facebook.com/publicenemy

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Music & Performance
A quite scary looking clown entered the stage, making funny moves, asking the crowd “Is Hip Hop in the house?” before the rest of the band entered the stage and the show began. At the second song, the clown, who danced around and invited the audience to party with them, undressed and unveiled the singer Flavor Flav. Despite the awful sound in the beginning with too heavy bass vibrations that almost hurt, the performance was so powerful and energetic that the band got the crowd going in no time and you could watch people dancing, moving and waving their arms in the typical Hip Hop style. With all the musicians and the martially looking dancers the stage looked really crowded. The dancers with their military like moves gave the impression that they aren’t clubbable persons. But of course their appearance underlined the lyrics about the fight against injustice, discrimination and racism. When DJ Lord had his solo with samples of WHITE STRIPES’ ‘Seven nation army‘ and NIRVANA’s ‘Smells like teen spirit‘ the crowds almost freaked out of joy.

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Before the band left the stage Chuck D thanked the audience and addressed to them with some last words that he hates racism and separation and that we have to fight it. Furthermore he wished us peace and good luck in everything we do. Definitely a fantastic warm up show!

Setlist
01. Miuzi Weighs a Ton
02. Rebel Without a Pause
03. 911 Is a Joke
04. Welcome to the Terrordome
05. Lost in Space Music
06. Show 'Em Whatcha Got
07. Bring the Noise
08. Don't Believe the Hype
09. Can't Truss It
10. He Got Game
11. Man Plans God Laughs
12. Fight the Power
13. DJ Lord Solo
14. 31 Flavors
15. Shut 'Em Down
16. Harder Than You Think

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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The Prodigy

In 1990, Liam Howlett (DJ, keyboard, programming), Keith Flint (vocals) and Maxim (MC, vocals) got together to form THE PRODIGY. Musical head of this band is Liam who worked as a DJ and bought later a Moog-Prodigy Synthesizer in order to work on his own ideas and songs. So this instrument was the eponym for the band. In the beginning the band had also Leeroy Thornhill (dancing, keyboard) and Sharky (dancing, vocals) on board but the latter left just one year later when a record contract was signed. Leeroy left in 2000 but Maxim who performed intermittently with the band, became a regular member later on. The second album, ‘Music for the jilted Generation‘, sold 1 Mio. copies and reached N° 1 in the British charts. The band toured the world and furthermore won the MTV award “Best Dance Act” in 1995.

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At the end of 1997 the video for ‘Smack my bitch up‘ aroused an outcry for visualising drugs, sex and violence excesses and the video was banned in the USA, the UK and some other countries. Liam then announced that no fourth album will be released. This announcement lasted 5 years where the band members worked on their solo projects. Fortunately in 2004 a new - the fourth- album - was launched. Though it sold quite well it was not critically acclaimed. The following album was more successful again. Characteristically for the sound is an exciting blend of all kind of styles like Techno, Rave, Breakbeat, Acid House, Electro Punk, as well as Trip Hop, Drum and Bass and others making it suitable for the dance floors. http://www.theprodigy.com / https://www.facebook.com/theprodigyofficial

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Music & Performance
The rebuilding took quite a while but when the band finally appeared and the first tunes of ‘Breathe‘ were played, hell broke loose. People were cheering, dancing and singing, animated by the repetitive question “All my Prodigy people here! All my party people here!”, and garnished with the extended use of some f-words. With the fast changing lights and the also fast moving guys the photographers surely had a hard time to get some decent pics. But I have to say the light show was really extraordinary, perfectly fitting to the music and giving it all even more energy. Keith and MC Maxim had neon coloured glowing microphones which looked quite funny but in a way quite useful, especially when MC Maxim joined the crowds in order to keep sure that all the party people in Oberhausen rock the house properly. Already quite in the beginning a kind of pogo pit had formed in the middle of the crowd, close to the stage. The setlist contained a good choice of songs from the new as well the hit singles from the former albums.

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All up-tempo songs gave the audience but the band as well no rest - sweat inducing for both sides. The band tried to make sure that the dancing audience is good by throwing some bottles of water into the crowd or squirting water at it. So after 14 songs, demanding lots of energy from everybody, the concert ended. Nevertheless the fans shouted vehemently for an encore and so the band returned to perform further three songs. But before the guys started with the encore MC Maxim asked the audience “Let me see a circle in the middle! Make a f… circle! Make it go around!” and of course the fans formed a moving and dancing circle which looked quite impressive from my viewpoint. Unfortunately the fourth song - ‘Out of space’ - which I would have loved to hear in full length was only played as an outro via playback. And from the reaction of the audience it was not only me who was disappointed by this. Anyway it was a fantastic energetic show from beginning to the end.

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Setlist
01. Breathe
02. Nasty
03. Omen
04. Wild frontier
05. Firestarter
06. Roadblox
07. The day is my enemy
08. Weather experience
09. Voodoo people
10. Get your fight on
11. Run with the wolves
12. Invaders must die
13. Night is my friend (premiere of Liam remix of the TDIME track)
14. Smack my bitch up
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15. Their law
16. Wall of death
17. Take me to the hospital
18. Outro: Out of space (only from playback)

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 10
Total: 9.8 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)


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