Melbourne, Australia (Big Day Out)

My Melbourne Big Day Out Silverchair review

By Juliette Remfrey (silverchair@iprimus.com.au)

The longest 2 hours of my life, the 2 hours before the 'chair actually graced the blue stage with their presence. I'd managed to get to within 15m of Daniel, and claimed my spot from which I would not budge. Regurgitator's set flew past, then it was to be another hour before the mighty 'chair appeared in a cloud of smoke (from a few hyperactive smoke machines), with their ever familiar intro music announcing the imminent arrival. I'd watched the whole silverchair kit being unravelled, and now the 'chair finally took to their instruments.

They got straight into it, opening with Emotion Sickness. I'm not sure if it was just me, but it didn't feel like they played that many songs. Writing it down now, I realise it was the same as the Sydney Big Day Out set. Fortunately only the dedicated had waited at least half an hour in a queue to get into the mosh (no thanks to the d-barricade and security guards), so I was surrounded by a lot of 'chair fans, not just regular punters. I noticed quite a few fans sporting the new range of The Greatest View apparel, unfortunately I'd run out of money.

The two new songs, Without You and World Upon Your Shoulders were greeted with much applause. Without You, for a song written in the Neon Ballroom era, didn't remind me a Neon Ballroom-esque song. It's a heavy song, it reminded me of a less punk, more rock Satin Sheets. I can't tell you that much about it, other than that the phrase "without you" is repeated a lot. This is the song that we'd waited almost 3 years to hear. World Upon You Shoulders was very Paint Pastel Princess-esque, melodic and slow but faster and heavier in the chorus. I couldn't make out any of the lyrics to this song. One Way Mule had variations to the lyrics and musical arrangement, but still rocked harder than ever. The Greatest View was appreciated by the crowd who sang along intently (even if some had the words a little out of wack.)

What struck me is that Daniel didn't jump, talk or move around a whole lot. His excuse, as he put it, was that we'd woken him up and 6:30am to fly down to Melbourne, and that his legs weren't working. Even Chris seemed a little restrained in his usual headbanging. Daniel put to us that we'd have to make up for his lack of physical exertion by jumping, which sent the mosh a little crazy. We didn't so much jump as there was barely enough room to breathe, and the mosh started to tip like a domino threatening to fall over during the heavier 'chair songs. I managed to move back a little out of the mosh for Anthem For The Year 2000 and Freak, the finale, which sent the crowd into a frenzy.

All up, I can say that I'm sunburnt and bruised, but it was more than worth it to see the best band in the world live.

By Chris

The forecast for the Big Day Out promised rain, but for once the Melbourne weather smiled on us with a typical summer's day. Silverchair's stage was illuminated with their usual lighting displays and new every-colour-in-the-rainbow amps and drum kit, which I guess could be signs of a theme for Diorama.

The boys(all five of them) came on around 6:40pm, to some well chosen Star Wars music. I almost expected Darth Vader to appear from out of the smoke, surrounded by storm-troopers, but instead it was Jedi Johns.

Emotion Sickness kicked things off nicely, as per usual, which the crowd had no troubles joining in with. It was followed by Without You which I was eager to hear, being a new track, but unfortunately I had an inebriated fan talking my ear off and trying to hug me. Without You wasn't as heavy as I expected, which I was pleased about and sounded impressive. Paint Pastel Princes, Israel's Son and One Way Mule followed and it was clear to me from both Daniel's voice and the band as a whole that they were 'on song' tonight. Miss You Love and Ana's Song were very very fine versions, with the additions of fourth and fifth band members giving them extra depth live I felt. The crowd seemed to especially warm to the slower pace of both these Neon Ballroom singles.

Two more new songs were next - World Upon Your Shoulders and the current single The Greatest View. On first listen I was instantly inspired by the chorus of World Upon Your Shoulders and the song as a whole, especially Daniel's singing and for me it really hinted at the emotional journey the boys are going to take us on with the new album.

Daniel didn't speak all that much this evening, which was fine, maybe because the boys seemed to be tight and wanted to maintain the momentum they had, but before Slave he did invite the crowd to exert themselves more physically and apologised for not being able to assist due to his degenerated knees.

As always when played live, Slave and The Door both grooved away. Before the first verse of Anthem, the band went into 'We Will Rock You'. The crowd wasn't quick on the uptake, but they eventually sang along. The last verse of Anthem lasted longer than usual, which was a bit different, as Daniel seemed in his own little world playing but not singing.

Freak concluded the set in rocking fashion and the boys left the stage, Daniel last to go leaving behind his guitar still screaming on top of one of his amplifiers. The crowd gave them a substantial ovation, very noticable compared to some of the others bands we had witnessed. Once again, Silverchair delivered a show both captivating and refreshing.

Setlist (almost sure about the order):

Emotion Sickness
Without You
Paint Pastel Princess
Israel's Son
One Way Mule
Miss You Love
Ana's Song
World Upon Your Shoulders
The Greatest View
The Door