Photo by Kim Larysa
New York metallers Prong are back in town to rock the Voodoo Lounge. With the release of their latest album, Zero Days just around the corner, it will be interesting to her if they play any of the new songs alongside the ‘90s classics that the crowd know and love. There are still tickets on the door so even though the room is quite full, there is elbow room in front of the stage. It’s a relatively comfortable night in Voodoo. It is, once again, a credit to Dublin Metal Events that Prong are here. Before the emergence of this independent promoter, bands like this bypassed Ireland, North and South, on tour like this. Now it is rare for a band to play the UK and not include at least one Irish date. While the line check is taking place we take a look around at the crowd. There are not many young people here. Perhaps we can risk a jaunt into the mosh pit?
The Beg To Differ backdrop lets us know what we are in for. Veteran frontman Tommy Victor comes out smiling and briefly introduces the band. Tonight proves beyond all doubt that Prong are far superior live than on any of the their studio work. ‘Ultimate Authority’ from last year’s X-No Absolutes is more powerful live than it is on record. It comes swaggering in with a hardcore bounce. ‘Beg To Differ’ itself follows in all its glory. Prong’s recent albums have suffered from over-production but live they are raw and ferocious. Victor sounds as righteous as he ever did. He prowls the lip of the stage, posing for pictures while jutting out his jaw and his guitar into the crowd. He shakes hands and shares smiles with the fans. He even stops to ask the audience “What’s the craic?”; a sure way to win over any Irish crowd.
‘Rude Awakening’ and ‘Broken Peace’ go down particularly well but even the lesser known tunes sound great. There is not a bad song among them and the band are on fire tonight. There’s a minor stage invasion during ‘Another Worldly Device’, and ‘Whose Fist Is This Anyway?’ provokes a raucous reaction with a lot of stage diving. Their best known tune, ‘Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck’, seamlessly follows and the fun really starts. Things take a comedic turn with a bunch of middle-aged men lining up to stage dive. As impressive as the band are musically, the crowd are their match comically. The climax is during the closing number when an inebriated oul’ lad gets up on stage to take a picture of the audience and can’t work his phone. After much badgering from the crew he eventually stage dives and lands on his head. He seems to be taking the “Snap your neck” part literally.
An encore of ‘Revenge... Best Served Cold’, and ‘For Dear Life’ brings proceeding to a close with a hardcore groove. Drummer Art Cruz comes out from behind the kit and shakes the hands of everyone in the first few rows. He’s about to depart when he suggests one more to the sound engineer, then to the rest of the band. The decision invokes euphoria in the audience. After, not one but three songs they call it a night. The sweat cools on our skin on the walk down the quays. We’re gonna feel this one in the morning.