Video of The Day: The Prodigy

This is no ordinary Video of The Day post.

Today dawned with the news that The Prodigy's Keith Flint had committed suicide. Since 1990, Flint had been the group's wild card, its spark plug, its secret weapon. In a way, I consider him the face of the group, though it was Liam Howlett whose fingers pieced together most of the beats that the group was known for. But it was Flint, with his wild horned hairdo and devious grins and unhinged dance moves, who arguably became the brightest star.

Today, I want to pay homage to the man and his larger than life onstage persona. I had the pleasure of meeting Flint and his compatriots decades ago, and they were all incredibly warm and welcoming. And that was after a show at the 9:30 Club, which will live on as one of my favorite shows ever (and the one at which I danced/sweated the most without question), when they whipped the assembled into a frenzy and demonstrated how their collective chops as performers were undeniable. The chemistry between Keith and his MC brother Maxim Reality was special, they were each other's perfect foil; Reality with his unwavering, chest-out menace and Flint with his natural showmanship were meant to share stages. They could command a room like no one's business. This duo demanded your attention and would have it by any means necessary. The Prodigy had more energy than venues could hope to contain, and even watching footage of them at large outdoor festivals in Europe it's clear how special they were. The Prodigy took their rave culture roots and made their breed of dance music sound almost punk. The two frontmen were certainly punks of a kind.

Their most recent record was a return to those stellar late 90s, and it's truly heartbreaking to say farewell to Keith Flint. It feels surreal to even be writing these words, because part of me still can't believe this is true.

I know I'm one of countless others mourning his loss today, and offer my sympathy and love to one and all. I won't speculate or comment on reasons why, that's not my business and it's not my place to do so. Instead, I want to shine a light on Flint's imposing presence, in the first music video of The Prodigy's I ever watched. This is how I'll most remember Keith Flint. Stars and stripes sweater. Thick eyeliner ringing wide, wild eyes. And those chaotic, mesmerizing moves as he and his boys wreaked havoc in disused Underground tunnels. Cheers to Keith Flint, he will be greatly missed.

And please remember, if you know someone who may be suffering, be sure you talk to them. Be a friend. Share numbers for your local suicide prevention hotline. And be kind to one another. We're all different, but we're all human. And we all need help from time to time. Love to all.    

[posted 3.4.19]


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