Closing the first season of live bands from The Hard Rock Hotel were The Prodigy last Friday, which was held in the larger-capacity sister venue Ushuaïa. When I arrived, just before 10pm, the venue was already packed with excited punters listening to tunes spun by Jaguar Skills. The Prodigy have been playing a lot on the European festival circuit this summer so there was no excuse for them not having a polished show to perform, and that’s exactly what we got.
They came onstage just after 10.30pm and from the word go when they launched into hit single ‘Breathe’, the entire venue erupted and there was a barrage of loud, pumping music coming from the stage accompanied by a stunning lightshow. Frontman Maxim did a great job of whooping up the crowd and singer Keith was dancing manically all over the stage when he wasn’t sneering into the microphone.
They didn’t disappoint, and played pretty much everything I wanted to hear, including ‘Voodoo people’, ‘Omen’, Poison’, ‘Firestarter’ ‘Run with the wolves’. For ‘World’s on fire’ the laser light show kicked in, sending out canopies of green lights over the crowd, so that when the first bars of ‘Invaders must die’ rang out (a personal favourite) the atmosphere was at fever pitch. After playing ‘Smack my bitch up’ which Maxim dedicated to former All Saint singer Mel Blatt they left the stage with a forthright “thank you”. Whilst we were waiting for the inevitable encore the nightly British Airways plane from Gatwick flew over the stage and a large cheer rang out around me, evidence enough that their were a lot of English punters in the crowd.
Returning to the stage for an encore beginning with ‘Take me to the Hospital’, they finished with their pure rave hit ‘Out of space’ which saw the whole venue dancing all over the place, leaving the stage at 11.50pm having played for well over an hour. As everyone piled out of the venue, we were left with ‘Stand up’ playing through the PA system, the instrumental final track off their last album. They had played tracks spanning their entire 20-odd-year career, put on a fantastic show and everyone was happy, if a little hot and sweaty.
The Prodigy were a perfect choice of closing act for the Hard Rock Hotel’s first year in Ibiza, with their blend of guitar-heavy, rock-infused dance music. It’s just a shame that I couldn’t get a good view of their performance – Ushuaïa is a terrible venue for getting a good view of a live performance when it’s busy, as the large swimming pool and VIP areas in front of the stage take up too much valuable space. But it sounded great and the light show was amazing.
This summer has flown by – it doesn’t seem 5 minutes since Chic played at the opening party at the Hard Rock Hotel and opened the venue in style. The acts booked have been a bit of a mixed bag musically and lacking in rock bands ironically, but having another venue on the island putting on live acts has to be a good thing. Let’s see who next year’s program will bring us.