I was so lucky to be able to attend another Prodigy gig. I never thought this day would come. At first, I didn’t think The Prodigy will be back to perform live after Keith’s death. Then, when they did go back to performing, I never thought I would go again. I felt content with seeing them 23 times.
But as the Athens date was announced, and having some credit with a low-cost airline that flies to Greece, I jumped on the opportunity to go see them for the 24th time along with my friend GL0WKiD, who is a massive fan and an all around great guy. I went with him and a small group of his friends to the show. Having more people always makes the experience better.
The show itself was amazing. The Prodigy still have it in terms of raw energy emanating from the stage and sending the crowd into a frenzy. The new stage design and light show are great. I specifically like them because Liam is now a bit more in the front of the stage and it’s easier to see him work his magic.
Now I want to go again, of course. 25 is a nice number :)
It’s been a week since the news broke that Keith Flint, the legendary front man for The Prodigy, took his own life.
It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint. A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time. pic.twitter.com/nQ3Ictjj7t
I was shocked to hear the news. Couldn’t believe it at first. Then it was confirmed by more and more news outlets and eventually by Liam of The Prodigy on the band’s Instagram account.
On the fan forums people were describing a lot of heartbreak and misery following Keith’s death. Being a big fan of The Prodigy I felt a lot of the same things. The Prodigy have been a part of my life since around 1992 when I first heard them on the radio. I previously wrote about how I started listening to them. In all the years since, The Prodigy were the soundtrack for my life. Every album is linked to a time and a place, every song comes with memories. Like when I handwrote a letter to XL Recordings asking whether there was a fan club I could join for The Prodigy (this was in the pre-Internet era). Or when I repeatedly called the local record store to see if the second album had arrived, then went to get it and just stood in my room listening to it over and over again, so excited. The third album had a midnight launch thing at Tower Records, and this was after the first time I had seen The Prodigy live, so I was again so excited. I also had no way of getting back home, but I didn’t care.
Speaking of that specific first time I saw The Prodigy, it’s also the first time I shook Keith’s hand. It was during the height of The Prodigy’s worldwide popularity. As we were waiting outside the venue, a van stopped and suddenly The Prodigy’s members were coming out of it. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s very irregular for the band to enter the venue through the fan entrance. As Keith was passing by I shouted “Keith!” and he came over, shook my hand and asked me how I was doing. I was stunned and had no words.
The second time I shook Keith’s hand was in 2009. I was waiting for the band to arrive to the venue along with some kids who had framed photos for the band to sign. The bus came around and I got a chance to say a few confused words to Keith while Liam was standing there nodding. Keith was, again, the nicest a man at his position can be.
Also from 2009, here’s my photo very happy after purchasing the album Invaders Must Die in my small room in a Hong Kong hostel:
I still remember walking around the streets of Hong Kong bobbing my head to the music and smiling.
I have many many more memories related to The Prodigy and Keith – dancing to Firestarter in a club in Haifa, dancing in all the living rooms I ever lived in, taking friends with me to shows in Europe and in Israel, bonding over the exhilarating experience that is The Prodigy’s live show. Meeting new people and friends in and around those shows. In total I saw them live 23 times, the majority of those in the past 10 years. The last time was with my wife in Madrid. I’m so glad I had a chance to go with her. Shame I wouldn’t be able to share the experience with our daughter.
The death of Keith is, I’m afraid, also the end for The Prodigy. Even though the music is always what mattered to me with The Prodigy, and even though Liam Howlett – the brain behind the music – is still alive and well, I can’t see how The Prodigy can exist without Keith. It’s always been about the live shows, and without Keith there is no live show.
Keith’s death closes a 30-year long chapter in my life. I’m lucky to have had such a great band as part of my life for so long.
This is a presentation by my friend GL0WKiD of the new album No Tourists by The Prodigy (available on all streaming platforms). A great way to listen to the new tracks mixed along with older tracks and great commentary. Check it out.