If you’ve witnessed the madness that is The Prodigy live, then you know that it’s pretty difficult to remain still while Keith Flint’s on stage oozing sweat and staring into the crowd with those psychotic-looking eyes – and it’s really not much different when it’s all transferred to the silver screen.
On Thursday, ‘The Prodigy: World’s On Fire’ was screened for one night only in 70 cinemas across the UK. The Paul Dugdale-directed film is a recording of the band’s performance at the Warrior’s Dance Festival at Milton Keynes Bowl in July 2010.
There’s not much of a documentary, so if you’re looking to venture deep into the souls of The Prodigy, well, don’t look here. But what it really boils down to is some great live video footage of light shows, the 65,000-member crowd (their biggest audience ever) engaging in circle pits and looks of presumably pilled-up bliss, and the surreal experience of hearing ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ live.
And seeing it on the big screen was like being at some bizarre mini rave (sans the glowsticks), with people dancing in the aisles – a rarity at your local cinema.
With The Prodigy’s first live release due out on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray later this year, it got us thinking about our favourite live DVD’s.
Here’s what a few NME staffers had to say about their favourite live DVDs:
Rebecca Schiller, writer:
Placebo, ‘Soulmates Never Die – Live in Paris 2003′
It’s got the band in their original line-up (with Steve Hewitt on drums), Stefan Olsdal’s awkward on-stage dancing, Brian Molko (before he shaved his head for an unfortunate period of time) speaking to the crowd in French and exuding his raw androgynous charm, and a guest appearance from Black Francis of The Pixies. I’ve watched it plenty of times, jealously wishing I was at that one.
Luke Lewis, Editor, NME.COM:
Radiohead, ‘Meeting People Is Easy’
Yes, it’s whiny and relentlessly downbeat – and manages to make touring the world and selling millions of albums look about as fun as chiseling your own kneecaps off – but there’s something about the sombre mood and fast-cut cinematography that means Grant Gee’s tour doc is the perfect accompaniment to ‘OK Computer’, and stays with you in a way that most concert DVDs simply don’t.
Paul Stokes, Associate Editor:
Oasis, ‘Lord Don’t Slow Me Down’
The Gallagher brother’s on the road film enjoys some unique backstage access as Oasis tour through the UK, USA, Japan and Australia, but it really comes into its own when you listen to the ‘directors’ commentary on the DVD. Noel and Liam’s verbal jousting (refereed by an ever-patient Colin Murray) over secret dressing room dancing, killer cabs and just exactly what a ‘typical Oasis fan’ looks like is priceless.
Alan Woodhouse, Senior Sub Editor:
Shot in Super-8 on the band’s 1989 ‘Green World Tour’, it captured a band at the peak of their powers when I was most in love with them. I can’t forgive Michael Stipe’s appalling haircut though.
Laura Snapes, Assistant Reviews Editor
The National, ‘A Skin, A Night’
Although it’s for the most part a documentary of the making of The National’s fourth album, ‘Boxer’, the odd live clip is interspersed between footage of them looking extremely dour in the studio. And it’s no cheesy fixed camera footage either – instead shot by the venerable director Vincent Moon, who pioneered the art of special sessions with his website, La Blogotheque. ‘A Skin, A Night’ broods in black and white, the perfect visual accompaniment to The National’s bittersweet look behind the rosy facade of day to day survival.
Dan Martin, writer
The Cribs – ‘Live At The Brudenell Social Club’
From when they did their three-night stand of the first three albums a few Christmases ago. It made me sad that I didn’t go so it made me happy when they all came out as a boxset. The backstage footage that edits it all together is vintage Cribs hilariousness also.
Hamish MacBain, Assistant Editor
Led Zeppelin – ‘The Song Remains The Same’
Robert Plant called it “a load of old bollocks”, John Paul Jones had to wear a wig in some reshoots and it’s far from a definitive Zep live document, but it’s ace just for ridiculous fantasy scenes at the start, and Peter Grant attacking bootleg merch sellers and all that.
What are your favourite live DVDs?