When I'm getting ready to go to a gig I have a habit of imagining the kind of crowd the band or artist will attract. I had guessed The Odyssey would be filled with greying middle-aged men leaving the wife, kids and goldfish at home to relive their youth for the night. In fact it seemed to be the opposite. At least half the crowd wouldn't even have been born when The Prodigy's first single 'Charly' reached No. 3 back in 1991 and the average age must have been around 18/19.
To me, this says two things...
1 - There's still enough of these young whippersnappers in the country who understand the difference between real dance music and the ear-ache provided by the likes of Basshunter, Ultrabeat, etc.
2 - The Prodigy are still as innovative and relevant as they were back in the mid 90s.
Does It Offend You, Yeah? have been providing the support on the 'Invaders Must Die' tour and were well received by a Belfast crowd who had been warmed up by the DJs from South Central. Combining rock and dance in the style of Bloc Party and Justice a number of their tracks would not have been out of place on a Daft Punk album. If you get a chance to catch the band headlining a show of their own in the next year or so check it out - apparently they are a riot in a smaller venue.
Just after 9.15 The Prodigy hit the stage and for the next two hours it was strictly standing only. I believe it has been proven that staying seated whilst having your ears pummeled with the band's greatest hits is scientifically impossible. After 'Breathe', 'Firestarter', 'Poison' and 'Warriors Dance' you start to wonder when the classics are going to run out. But they just keep on coming! 'Omen', 'Invaders Must Die', 'Voodoo People' and Belfast now holds the world record for most number of Santa Claus' in the one place dancing to 'Smack My B**ch up'!
Surely there can't be anything left for the encore - can there? Well, no - apart from 'Take Me To The Hospital', 'Out of Space' and a performance of 'No Good (start the dance) which has to be the best live song I have ever witnessed.
This was, by far, the best concert I have ever seen and from what I've been told every Prodigy performance is just as good. If you have never seen them live I cannot urge strongly enough that you need to get tickets the next time they visit The Odyssey.
If I never review another gig for Across The Line I can die old, wrinkly and happy because I witnessed one of the greatest live performances Northern Ireland has ever seen. Absolutely amazing.