Flashback to when the Prodigy Ignited Phoenix Festival with “Firestarter” in 1996

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Flashback to when the Prodigy Ignited Phoenix Festival with “Firestarter” in 1996

keith flint
Keith Flint at Phoenix Festival in 1996. Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty Images.

It’s been 25 years since the Prodigy hit No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with “Firestarter.”  The first single from The Fat of the Land stayed up there for three weeks and either topped or cracked the Top 10 in over a dozen other countries around the world. It wasn’t the first taste of commercial success for the genre-bending electro-punks, all but one of their singles since 1991 had landed inside the Top 15 in the U.K., but it was the first taste of their own stadium-sized potential. 

Perhaps it was the subliminal familiarity of “Firestarter” that resonated so loudly. The song’s commanding siren guitar riff was sampled from The Breeders' 1993 Last Splash instrumental, “S.O.S.”; the drums sampled from a remix of Ten City’s 1989 club hit,  "Devotion”; and the "hey" vocal sample taken from Art Of Noise’s 1984 song “Close (To The Edit)” which is a tapestry of samples within itself. 

Perhaps it was because, rather than posturing for adoration, the band’s maniacal vocalist/hypeman, Keith Flint’s twisted, snarling persona dared you to watch without flinching – like the hair-raising grip of a great horror movie. “Firestarter” proved to be more than a single, it was like a cultural wave through the dark and gritty underbelly that ushered in an edgy era of films like Fight Club and The Matrix

Marking a quarter-century since the “Firestarter” was first unleashed, we’re taking you back to when it was still brand new with this blazing performance at Phoenix Festival in 1996. 

The Prodigy | “Firestarter” [Phoenix Festival, 1996]

Keith was on fire. 

We also can’t go past the much-missed frontman’s terrifically-terrifying performance in the song’s official music video! 

The Prodigy | “Firestarter”

You can watch the Prodigy’s full set from the 1996 Phoenix Festival below. 

The Prodigy [Phoenix Festival, 1996]



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