Japanese and Western bands unite for the annual urban bash
The Prodigy brought the first day of Tokyo‘s Summer Sonic festival to a close tonight (August 8), playing a blistering set that culminated in both Maxim and Keith Flint running loose through the crowd under a sky of fireworks.
Both dressed in customised suits, Maxim‘s black with a white trim, Flint in red and white stripes with ‘My Dogs Will Kill You’ daubed across the back, the dance three-piece (completed by producer Liam Howlett) played a greatest hit set including the likes of ‘Breathe’, ‘Voodoo People’ and a remixed and extended version of 1996 UK Number One single ‘Firestarter’, that represented almost all stages of their development as a band. Only material from their 1992 debut, ‘Experience’, was ignored. They performed against an apocalyptic backdrop that included demon-like robot eyes watching over the crowd.
Taking place at the Chiba Marine Stadium and neighbouring Makuhari Messe, the international festival also saw performances from Sex Pistols, The Verve, Santogold and a host of Japanese bands. A sister festival with a rotating line-up takes place in Osaka simultaneously.
Earlier in the day, French electro-riot queen Yelle forced security to close off entry to the Dance Stage where she was performing, as the venue filled to capacity. Wearing a blue sequinned top and neon leggings, she backed her bassy electronics with live percussion, sending the crowd into a dynamic dance frenzy.
Japanese bands, including the eccentric thrash metal of Maximum The Hormone and Eastern-infused surf poppers Go!Go!7188, drew in huge crowds as they performed on home turf, both spending much of their performances regaling the crowds with lengthy anecdotes in Japanese between playing songs.
Before The Prodigy, The Verve serenaded the audience of the Chiba Marine Stadium with a sundown set that included ‘Lucky Man’, ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ new single ‘Love Is Noise’ and a jubilantly received ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’.
A full photo gallery of Summer Sonic 2008 can also be viewed online.