‘Thank You For Tearing The Roof Off’: The Industry Remembers Keith Flint

The Prodigy Perform At O2 Academy Brixton
Simone Joyner/Getty Images
– The Prodigy Perform At O2 Academy Brixton
Keith Flint and Maxim Reality of The Prodigy perform live on stage at O2 Academy Brixton on Dec. 21, 2017 in London, England.

Keith Flint, front man of The Prodigy, died March 4 at the age of 49. His death came weeks after the band’s successful tours in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand in support of it seventh and latest album No Tourists, which hit No. 1 in the UK upon its November release. In May, The Prodigy was set to embark on the now-cancelled U.S. leg of its No Tourists tour.

“When you work with someone for 17 years, they are so much more than your clients,” Magnum PR’s Sioux Zimmerman, the band’s longtime publicist, posted on Facebook. “They become friends, and more so, family. The Prodigy will always be my extended family. … Keith, you were a genuine soul, the boldest and baddest punk rocker who will forever shine a light and make us always feel part of your jilted generation. RIP Keith Flint.”
The Prodigy
Mike Van Cleven
– The Prodigy
In the wake of Flint’s death, Pollstar reached out to some of the live professionals who most recently worked with the band.
Ron Euser, senior booker at Mojo Concerts, started working with The Prodigy 25 years ago, when the band played Rotterdam’s Metropolis Festival. “They played the second stage, open air,” said Euser. “The dancing and stomping and mayhem caused the ground to shake. It was so intense and energetic.” The set, he recalled, “blew everyone away.”
Holland became one of The Prodigy’s frequent touring destinations. The band was scheduled to headline Lowlands Festival this year, which would have marked the band’s fifth appearance at the event. “The Prodigy would have played Lowlands after 10 years of absence,” said the festival’s director Eric van Eerdenburg. “We were looking forward to it. We feel their sound and energy is legendary and still very relevant after all these years.  We are very sad about the tragic death of Keith Flint.” 
Euser, who booked the bands for Lowlands four times between 1995 and 2009, said, “They love playing [live], that’s where they get the energy, while connecting with the crowd. They stayed true to their roots. They kept that energy, the roughness. 
“I used to find them in the dressing room after shows to thank them and ask them how they liked it. It was always Keith that would come to you and show genuine interest, kind, offering you a drink and was generally grateful for what you did for them. You could always feel that it came from the heart and wasn’t just about shaking the promoter’s hand and buggering off.
“He was a gentleman. Modest, no ego, just a very nice person.”

Keith Flint
Jen Lowery / LondonFeatures.com
– Keith Flint
September 17, 1969 to March 4, 2019

Pollstar also reached out to some of the venues where The Prodigy most recently performed. “You can’t think of the ’90s without thinking of Keith,” said Lucy Fenner, commercial director of London’s Alexandra Palace, where the band played two shows in November. “He brought the spirit of punk to a new dance generation and was the ultimate frontman who defined such an exciting period in time. His live performances and electric energy is something I will never forget. Thank you for tearing the roof off Ally Pally each time you played. First class memories. RIP.”

The Prodigy’s final concert occurred Feb. 5 at The Trusts Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. “Before my role here at The Trusts Arena I toured with a number of bands, New Order, The Chemical Brothers and others,” said Mark Gosling, the venue’s chief executive. “In 2002, New Order headlined the Big Day Out with The Prodigy so I got to see them play most nights on the tour and so it was especially poignant to have them play here at my venue all those years later in 2019. They were always an awesome live band and the show a few weeks ago was no exception.
“I was shocked and saddened to hear of Keith’s passing and just reinforces how much we need to take care of those artists and crew all over the world that leave home for months at a time, putting themselves out there to entertain.”
Guy Dunstan, director of arenas at NEC Group in Birmingham, England, said: “I am deeply saddened to hear of Keith Flint’s passing. I have great memories of Keith and The Prodigy playing a number of iconic shows at Arena Birmingham, including an unforgettable performance in December 2018. Keith’s larger than life presence alone had the ability to fill the Arena – he was a unique and talented frontman and this is a tragic loss for the industry.”
Remembrances extended to social media. “The news is true , I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend, I’m shell shocked, fuckin angry, confused and heart broken…r.i.p brother Liam,” Prodigy co-founder Liam Howlett stated via Instagram.
“Devastated Keith Flint is gone,” tweeted Richard Russell, owner of the label XL Recordings, which released The Prodigy’s first four albums. “Not just a great performer. He had total integrity & an incredible sense of humour. One of the sweetest people I’ve ever worked with. What a beautiful energy. What a gentleman. Privileged to have known him. Miss u Keith.”
Zimmerman told Pollstar an anecdote that illustrated the band’s road ethos and Flint’s positive energy. “I went on endless tours with them, flew to far-away places, I worked and raved, and they even had a nickname for me: To them, I will always be known as ‘Fuzzy Sioux,'” she said. “I had a fuzzy backpack, a fuzzy CD case, a fuzzy lighter and after a night of dancing as hard as I could to their live sets, my hair even became fuzzy.
“In the mornings I’d drag myself up, after hardly any sleep the night before, pack up my fuzzy accessories, always flustered and in a mad dash, panicking that I would keep the band waiting for me at their van to go to next destination. But what put me at ease, what I adored and looked forward to most, was hearing Keith say ‘Morning Fuzz, had fun last night?’ My response: ‘Of course I did, you rock my world!’