The Prodigy – World’s on Fire DVD/CD
The Prodigy are one of the longest running and most successful electronic bands of all time. In the 1990’s thanks in part to the amazing soundtrack to the video game, Wipeout XL, the band started getting a lot more exposure and their Fat of the Land album broke the band through to a larger audience aided by the fact that the band started using heavier rock elements in their sound which was a marriage between the electronic and traditional rock elements. Although the band had some quiet years, it was their recent Invaders Must Die album and subsequent tour that thrust them back in the spotlight and showed the band still had a lot to offer.
World’s on Fire is a DVD/CD set that is part concert film and part mini tour document. The main feature is the concert film, Warriors Dance Festival. This outdoor festival saw The Prodigy playing to the largest audience I’ve even seen captured on film. The crowd shots show packed solid ground that literally goes back as far as the eye can see. If you saw the band play the last time they toured you’ll be familiar with the set list as it is very similar to the one they played on that tour. That set list pretty much the greatest hits including some of the strongest of the newer material and the songs they chose to play were excellent from start to finish. It includes: “Smack My Bitch Up,” “Breathe,” “Their Law,” “Firestarter,” “Voodoo People,” “Invaders Must Die,” Take Me to the Hospital,” and lots more.
In a live setting, The Prodigy are a high energy, high intensity band that fires on all cylinders from the moment the lights come on until the moment they are shut down for the evening. It is awe-inspiring how energetic they are and how the tag team of Maxim and Keith never hold still and are able to dance and prance about that stage for as long as a feature film without getting winded. The band also adds live drums and guitar to thicken up the sound and gives their punchy and powerful songs that much more oomph. The main feature on this disc accurately captures this with its impressive video and audio. The film was shot in high-def (and there is a Blu-Ray version of this available) and looks crystal clear which is doubly impressive considering how challenging the band is to photograph with the flashing lights and the non-stop movement. The band’s performance at this gigantic show was nothing short of spectacular and if you’ve never seen the band perform live, this is a great chance to see what you missed.
The video was edited more like a music video than a concert film. It is chock full of rapid-fire cuts, flashing and strobing images and you have to pay close attention because nothing is on the screen for more than a couple of seconds. It is chaotic and fast, much like the band’s performance and it helps sell the energetic feeling of their show and the plethora of crowd shots gives the viewer an excellent feeling of being there without the need to leave their couch. The audio is 5.1 surround and sounds studio quality with a really full sound and a clean yet punchy mix. It is worthy of being its own album which it is as a CD of this performance is included in the package. The feature runs about 90 minutes long and is very entertaining.
The other feature on this DVD is titled Invaders Alive and features footage shot on the Invaders Must Die tour. Each song (or pair of songs) was shot at a different spot on the tour and features live performance footage intertwined with backstage footage and assorted interviews and clips of the band hanging around different places on the tour. It is like a mini documentary that loosely follows that tour and was a fun way to kill the 40 minutes or so of time it ran. The video quality varies but it is all well above average and the sound is quite good as well. As an added plus one of the songs performed is “Poison” which for some reason was not performed in the other feature which is odd as it is one of their best songs.
Both features are presented in 16:9 format with 5.1 surround. The main menu is laid out like the control panel of an old video arcade game and if you poke around it the right way you’ll find a couple of hidden easter eggs in the way of bonus footage. As a fan of this band since first hearing them and having witnessed their great live show, this DVD finds a welcome spot in the collection and is highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in The Prodigy as it is one of those rare live albums that warrants many repeated listens.