A Triumphant Return

When The Prodigy made their Download debut back in 2006 many deemed them too close to a dance act to fit the metal bill but their triumphant set instantly earned them the respect of the Download faithful and as such their second stage headline slot was one that has been greatly anticipated. As such it was a shame to discover that they would be up against Slipknot, and whilst pre festival promises of there only being a slight overlap silenced some grumbles, on the actual day things just don’t go to plan.

Thankfully this year the second stage has remained an open affair, any attempts to have crammed The Prodigy’s crowd into a tent would have been futile and hazardous as swarms of people flock to catch the Essex band, leaving you to wonder if anyone is actually watching the other three stages at all. Bottle fights ensue during the lengthy build up that follows but when The Prodigy finally take to the stage it is to a roar of jubilation as ‘World’s On Fire’ sends the crowd into a jumping mess before ‘Breathe’ pummels all with ferociousness. Stalking the stage with intense menace, Keith Flint and Maxim Reality make for a fierce and vibrant double act, relentlessly igniting the crowd into a frenzy as incessant beats of ‘Omen’ break only for the surging exuberance of ‘Warriors Dance’ that effortlessly holds its own alongside the classic rage of ‘Firestarter’ that guarantees not a single foot is left on the ground, pounding the last drops of energy from the crowd.

By the time ‘Voodoo People’ makes its entrance there are huge gaps in the crowd, the allure of Slipknot’s headline slot too strong, leaving people unwillingly heading to the main stage admit moans about the clash. Those who remain are treated to an encore complete with ‘Invaders Must Die’ and ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ but the immense crowd The Prodigy originally had is depleted.

Undoubtedly a triumphant return for the band originally deemed lacking the metal credentials to please Downloaders, this time the only complaints stemmed from putting them up against Slipknot.