Prodigy

Prodigy (Mayan Theatre; 1,500 capacity; $ 20) Produced by Bill Silva Presents. Band: Keith Flint, Liam Howlett, Leeroy Thornhill, Maxim Reality, Gizz Butt. Reviewed May 28, 1997. Using live frontmen and a rock guitarist, Prodigy delivers more of a spectacle than faceless electronic brethren like the Orb or the Chemical Brothers. The band lived up to the prodigious hype as they set a sold-out house ablaze with their 70-minute mix of techno and never-too-serious punk fury. The second date of their first, inexplicably postponed U.S. tour precedes the release of the U.K. pop stars' perpetually delayed third LP, "The Fat of the Land" (Maverick), which is now due in July and is touted as the work that could blow open the doors for techno in this country. Amid smoke machine haze, hypeman/dancer Maxim Reality (bare-chested and in velvet kilt) and ghoulish vocalist/dancer Keith Flint (sporting heavy mascara and a red and blue double mohawk) shouted out simple lyrical phrases --- "I roll and rock, rock and roll," for example --- over the house-leveling beats. Whirling and writhing like a man possessed, Flint verged on self-parody when he affected cartoonishly demonic expressions. He rolled out his pierced tongue a la Gene Simmons, spit water on fans and occasionally broke techno-punk character to flash a smile and let fans know he was having fun. Guitarist Gizz Butt and a third dancer added to the onstage carnival on several cuts; group founder/producer Liam Howlett, housed in a fortress of electronic equipment, frantically punched buttons to manipulate programmed tracks. New material didn't deter the mainstream-heavy audience from a workout on the dancefloor, though the group's Stateside hit, "Firestarter," which has shipped close to 600,000 units domestically, sparked the biggest frenzy of the night. After a fierce, major-label bidding war last year that secured them a landmark, multimillion-dollar contract, Prodigy has become an industry barometer for electronica's potential. If fans can take their techno with a wink and a nod, the band --- with its embrace of conventional rock performance elements --- could indeed be mainstream firestarters for the genre.

Prodigy (Mayan Theatre; 1,500 capacity; $ 20) Produced by Bill Silva Presents. Band: Keith Flint, Liam Howlett, Leeroy Thornhill, Maxim Reality, Gizz Butt. Reviewed May 28, 1997. Using live frontmen and a rock guitarist, Prodigy delivers more of a spectacle than faceless electronic brethren like the Orb or the Chemical Brothers. The band lived up to the prodigious hype as they set a sold-out house ablaze with their 70-minute mix of techno and never-too-serious punk fury. The second date of their first, inexplicably postponed U.S. tour precedes the release of the U.K. pop stars’ perpetually delayed third LP, “The Fat of the Land” (Maverick), which is now due in July and is touted as the work that could blow open the doors for techno in this country. Amid smoke machine haze, hypeman/dancer Maxim Reality (bare-chested and in velvet kilt) and ghoulish vocalist/dancer Keith Flint (sporting heavy mascara and a red and blue double mohawk) shouted out simple lyrical phrases — “I roll and rock, rock and roll,” for example — over the house-leveling beats. Whirling and writhing like a man possessed, Flint verged on self-parody when he affected cartoonishly demonic expressions. He rolled out his pierced tongue a la Gene Simmons, spit water on fans and occasionally broke techno-punk character to flash a smile and let fans know he was having fun. Guitarist Gizz Butt and a third dancer added to the onstage carnival on several cuts; group founder/producer Liam Howlett, housed in a fortress of electronic equipment, frantically punched buttons to manipulate programmed tracks. New material didn’t deter the mainstream-heavy audience from a workout on the dancefloor, though the group’s Stateside hit, “Firestarter,” which has shipped close to 600,000 units domestically, sparked the biggest frenzy of the night. After a fierce, major-label bidding war last year that secured them a landmark, multimillion-dollar contract, Prodigy has become an industry barometer for electronica’s potential. If fans can take their techno with a wink and a nod, the band — with its embrace of conventional rock performance elements — could indeed be mainstream firestarters for the genre.

Prodigy

Mayan Theatre; 1,500 capacity; $20

Production: Produced by Bill Silva Presents. Band: Keith Flint, Liam Howlett, Leeroy Thornhill, Maxim Reality, Gizz Butt.

Creative: Reviewed May 28, 1997

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