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Last time Welsh heroes Lost Prophets performed in Cardiff’s Motorpoint arena was two years ago, supporting the release of The Betrayed. Two years later and the charismatic leaders are back, performing to a sold out audience of a strong 10,000.

Prophets have become known for being pioneers of live shows and have previously headlined arenas around the country and festivals including download. The awaited triumphant homecoming show was always going to be a memorable occasion for the band; however, the announcement that the band will be playing first album ‘Start Something’ in full for this show made it an unmissable experience for any fans of the band.

Kicking off the show is Modestep who brought a unique blend of electro vibing dubstep that dominated the arena. The bands energetic stage presence managed to get the sold out venue riled up and ready for the Welsh sextet. Storming through their set, toe tingling bass tore through the floor of the Motorpoint arena and seemed to energise a heavily masculine audience into a wild frenzy. With acts such as Chase and Status and Sub Focus breaking bounds by headlining the rockier festivals, it’s certainly obvious that Modestep won’t be a support band for much longer.

As the lights go down, the atmosphere was electric and Lostprophets couldn’t have been disappointed with the response echoing through the arena. Speakers blasted an introduction as green digits ran down a retro style screen along with a countdown from 10 to one anticipating the much awaited arrival of the band. When frontman Ian Watkins and co took to the stage the response was thunderous, bursting into latest single ‘Bring em’ Down’ entailed an arena sized sing a long and explosive opening from the band. ‘it’s Not The End Of The World’, ‘Can’t Catch Tomorrow ‘ and ‘A Town Called Hypocrisy’ are played straight after each other leaving no chance to gasp a quick breather.

It doesn’t take long for the audience to sense that something just isn’t quite right with Ian Watkins this evening. Only a few songs into the set, it’s more than obvious that the usually energetic and charismatic front man isn’t all there, to say the least. He’s missing notes. Out of time. Failing the high notes. Worst of all, he’s completely vacant. When the front man isn’t at his microphone, he has his back to the crowd, completely despondent to the music and hometown audience that fills the room around him. It’s a sad issue that defines this entire set. However if it wasn’t for the bold efforts of keyboardist Jamie, the show could have been a disaster. The rest of the band are performing excellently too and dominate the entire stage. Guitarists Mike Lewis and Lee Gaze tear through songs like ’Where We Belong’ and ‘If You Bring a Gun We’ll Bring An Arsenal’.

A few nights ago, Watkins was reportedly in hospital getting treated for problems with his ribs and this would have explained his overall distance from the show until an unexpected stage dive during ‘Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja’ would have argued otherwise. As the band leaves the stage, they returned to play as promised the much loved Start Something album in its entirety. The band thanked the Welsh audience for always coming out in force, and celebrated the end of the night by displaying a giant Welsh flag with the Lostprophets across the flag.

Words and photos: Mike Lewis