State Theatre - Sydney, Australia
Photos by EMILY
The Across The Night Tour opened with Daniel going solo. Just Daniel and the keyboard, he gently crooned After All These Years, to ease into the first set of “slower” songs. The contrast between the two sets was to be heavily evident by the end of set 2. One Way Mule was one of the heaviest songs I have seen performed live in a long time, and the full sound far exceeded that of the album version. Ben hit the skins with such ferocity that even Igor Cavalera couldn’t produce. Daniel went off on his own guitar tangent, Chris and Ben smiling as they waited for their cue to rejoin the fray.
A combination of cosy and comfortable with flashy and bold made for an impressive stage set. Persian rugs were scattered on the floor and covered the drum rise. Circles of white lights and columns of lights in the rainbow Diorama colours highlighted the first set.
Three massive gilded painting frames hung above the band, on which were projected images. These were lowered in the second set to make way for three huge lighting panels. During Across The Night, the film-clip was shown, split across the three frames. However, the most effective use of these screens was during Anthem For The Year 2000. Flashing imagery, coloured red, of the current war in Iraq, George W Bush, John Howard, and anti-war protestors, cleverly interspersed with 1960s footage of “The American Adventure” brought out the anti-authority sentiments that created the song in the first place. At one point the beat was merely peripheral, as the fuzz of Daniel’s guitar seemed to mesmerisingly consume the images and words “you are being lied to” on the screen.
Daniel’s voice truly shone in Across The Night. Towards the end of the song, he sent his guitar off-stage, and seemed a little lost without the safety of his guitar, unsure of what to do with his arms. Instead, he offered the full force of his voice, arms spread wide as he belted out the words.
The first set ended with Steam Will Rise. The two keyboards on stage, together with Chris’ bass, turned it into a funked-out version. The desire to dance was completed with some damn groovy guitar from Daniel, who, turning his back on the crowd, moved his hips and butt in a manner that elicited wild screams from the female audience.
In the second set, the band also added some funk to the Door, jamming the instrumental part of the song. The glory of Daniel’s voice was once again evident during Black Tangled Heart. Do You Feel The Same was a song that was perhaps unappreciated by those present who obviously didn’t have the albums in their cd collection, but the guitar solo was delivered with that Deep Purplesque feel that pervades the song.
The crowd was hyped, and the band was hyped. Daniel professed his love for Sydney. The excitement and passion was reciprocated between band and crowd. We were thus treated to hearing both Slave and Israel’s Son, the first night these had both been played on the tour so far. The encore consisted of three songs- all of which Ben performed wearing nothing but fitted boxers, sneakers and a hat…
The boys are looking fit and well. Daniel was dressed in a light brown suit, complete with vest. Ben was sporting a hat teamed with a singlet to show off the tattoo on his right arm. Chris was casual in jeans and a shirt.
A seated venue for silverchair was very restrictive- the crowd wanted to jump! With songs like Freak, Slave and Anthem, it seemed just wrong to be sitting down. At one point during The Lever, Daniel yelled “jump!”- only we couldn’t!
Without a doubt, the sound quality at the State Theatre was outstanding. It was truly loud, just like a rock concert should be, with all the instrumental and vocal elements in balance. One more blistering and atmospheric concert to add to the silverchair list…
Photos by EMILY
A truly fantastic evening!
The State Theatre is a beautiful venue fitting for the Across the Night tour. I really appreciated the intimate, artsy, and theatrical atmosphere.
The Sleepy Jackson were really good! I thoroughly enjoyed their set. A great opening act, but the Theatre only started to fill up towards the end of their set. One of the guys started singing After All These Years, and said how lucky we were to be seeing silverchair, how good they were, and that they were going to steal some/all of their techniques- all in fun.
After much anticipation the curtain raised and it was time for Act 1. Daniel played a haunting version of After All These years. At its conclusion he appeared to let out a big "phew" as if he was relieved to get that out of the way. The set list didn't appear to be any different to previous shows on the tour. It was anything but quiet or subdued. I found myself dancing in my seat like no one was watching. Every song was a highlight in its own right but a surprise was the FUNKY revamp of Steam Will Rise! I knew it had been reworked, but this exceeded my expectations. It was a brilliant close to the first Act.
The lighting in the first act was phenomenal- those rainbow towers were brilliant!
The first four rows or so stood up for the second set. Many others tried to move down but were denied access by security. I stayed in my seat, entirely in my element- I had the air drumming happening, conducting, dancing, it was so much fun! The version of Emotion Sickness blew me away, with Daniel letting rip with a big screaming "Get Up!" Slave was also thumpin'! I was asked which song was a highlight for me. As I said they were all exceptional, but if I had to pick one I would say Without You. Awesome. Anthem had never been more potent with Daniel letting out an "Oh baby!" as he orchestrated the crowd singing. The graphics on the screens were extremely emotive.
I didn't feel cheated when I didn't hear Asylum in the encore. I was stoked to hear the opening base lines of Israel's Son! It was the perfect song for the moment. The improv in Lever was rockn' and just proves (as did the entire show) how polished and accomplished the boys are as musicians and performers.
Daniel had his own idiosyncrasies (bizarre and entertaining gestures and expressions, including a funky booty shake) as well as some rock n' roll moves like playing the guitar with his teeth, humping the amps and smashing a cymbal with his guitar. Ben was just funk-rock, powerful, passionate drumming. Chris's base lines were smooth, tight and commanding. His performance was pure coolness, and my sisters thought he was very sexy. It was everything you'd expect from a 'chair concert and much, much more! Thanks LAS for the great seats! Thankyou Silverchair for a night I will never forget!
Photo by EMILY
After All These Years
World Upon Your Shoulders
Tuna In The Brine
Luv Your Life
Paint Pastel Princess
Petrol And Chlorine
Across The Night
Miss You Love
Steam Will Rise
Black Tangled Heart
Do You Feel The Same
The Greatest View
Anthem For Y2K
One Way Mule
show was absolutely amazing, much better than the wollongong
gig, both sound and performance wise. The theatre atmosphere
was truely something special, and perfectly embellished the
themes and emotions of Diorama. The show set-wise was quite
similar to the previous shows of the tour, after the breif
orchestral opening sequence, Daniel came out solo, ready,
and poised on the piano for After All These Years. Which was
much like the nights previous performance on the panel, where
Daniel perfectly pulled off the sound from the cd, yet added
much more with his heart-wrenching vocal melodies towards
the end. Following on the rest of the silverchair crew emerged
from the back of the theatre, Ben, Chris, Stuart and Julian.
Again the large video sets were used to try and paint a visual
landscape to go with the music as distant images of the earth
and space were plastered over them throughout the first half
of World Upon Your Shoulders, until the interlude came and
the images rapidly flow through rugged terrestrial terrain.
Next was Tuna In The Brine, which at this point I should mention
the acoustics of the theatre were absolutely breathtaking,
every note was perfectly distributed throughout the venue,
much unlike the Entertainment centre gig, where I was struggling
to hear all the orchestral accompanients throughout this song,
which certainly detatched from the experience. But as i said,
every part of the song could be perfectly heard, and it was
definately one of the highlights from set one. Luv Your Life
was next which was a great crowd pleaser, and had everyone
singing at the top of their lungs. Daniel was pretty quiet
all throughout the concert besides saying thankyou alot, which
he proceeded to do after this song. As always Paint Pastel
Princess was fabulous, especially the breakdown at the end
where all the boys totally get into it. The intro for Petrol
and Chlorine this time around was much shorter and somewhat
different to what i remember from Wollongong, but again it
has a very unique sound live, especially when the drums and
bass first kick in. Daniel proceeded to say "Thankyou
.... shhh keep it down. Ok This is a song about dreams and
all nice things." The screens were lit up again and began
to play the beginning of the across the night filmclip, which
is somewhat altered from what would be seen on TV and the
DVD. What was really good about this is you could see how
much the boys were enjoying themselves, Daniel was smiling
alot while he was singing, and always turning back to Ben
and smiling and laughing. Once the interlude of Across The
Night kicked in, Daniel ditched his guitar and went solo,
using alot of arm movements and dances to compensate for the
lack of guitar. At the end of this Daniel walked back with
his SG and sang "laaaa" which was all crackled and
out of tune, he then said "Thankyou everyone, and thankyou
to all the people who have been to our shows and given me
a sore throat." Ana's song was next and was quite different
to both the cd and previous live version i had heard, Daniel
got down on his knees and began to play a melodic picking
intro (in the same chord progession as the song is) and at
the end of each chord he would fiddle with his FX deck and
create some pretty weird delay fx. After about a minute of
this he got back up and began playing the song in the same
picking matter, rather than strumming the chords. Miss You
Love was next and as always the emotion Daniel puts into this
song towards the end is amazing, you can literally hear the
passion whilst he sings the last chorus. Finally Steam Will
Rise was the denoument of the first set, and it was definately
the major highlight of set one, as once again the boys did
an amazing instrumental section at the end, Ben was fantastic
with his drum solo, and Daniel was insanely hurtling himself
around stage playing the guitar with anything he could find,
ranging from rubbing his crotch along the fret board, to doing
a very hendrix-esque rendition of playing with his teeth.
The curtains closed and that was the end of set one.
As soon as set two started alot of people ran up to the front of the stage, and I couldnt see very well so I decided to go up too. It was right infront of Daniel (who was now supporting a half finished bottle of vodka), and it was a bit daunting being less than 1m from him. Set two began with Emotion Sickness, which i must say is the best version I have ever heard live. The song was much the same up until the get up part, where Daniel sang "get up" normally the first 2 times, and then out of nowhere, Daniel started shrilly screaming for the rest of the part of the song. The ending interlude was extended much longer, than both the CD, and from what i remember previously, where Daniel played for a while, then started humming the guitar part, and then finally finishing with the usually ending. Next was Without You, sporting a new extended intro, otherwise quite similar to the CD. Daniel came out next and said "Do you want to hear what it would sound like when a Dinosaur had a really big itch and he needed to scratch it ... hang on .... <puts cord in guitar> no .. no .. thats not right ... <fiddles with fx> ... ok this is it." and a loud feedback and delay sound came out. "Ok this song is a good song to ... err .. its just good ok" They played Black Tangled Heart, which is my favorite song of Neon Ballroom, and is absolutely amazing live. Another favorite from Neon Ballroom was next - Do You Feel The Same, the guitar solo in this was perfect. Next was slave which has taken on a new appearance, compared to the CD version, it was quite similar to the Rio version, where the little guitar licks after the chorus were extended. At the end in the breakdown, Daniel started screaming in a shrill voice again and the guys all got into it jumping around and headbanging. The Greatest View as usual got everyone going especially with the killer opening guitar riff, which daniel mimiced with his voice while playing it. Daniel said at the end of the song "Thankyou sydney, thanks to everyone that bought tickets thanks for selling the shows out ... err ... im being serious, i know it sounds very insincere, but just believe me, im being serious." The Door was next which daniel again screamed so loud, and not in his usual death metal sort of growl, GET THE FUCK UP, throughout the song ben kept a funky drumbeat going where daniel was dancing around and playing some funky guitar solo and riffs. Daniel again said "Thankyou sydney, this is our favorite place in the whole wide universe ... shhh keep it down." By this time i think Daniel was pretty much gone, his bottle of vodka was just about empty, but needless to say it didnt affect his performance, it was still kept at a high standard, and besides his actions, you would never have known. The lights went dim, and the screens came down, the well-known "heaters" were plastered over the video screen, and everyone immediately knew what was coming. After a long feedback style solo, daniel started the opening riff to freak, he looked back at Ben, expecting the drums to kick in and Ben just laughed at him and shook his head, and made him play for a while longer before they got into it. There was alot of that throughout the concert with the two of them playing around like that. Daniel did the usual high to low voice throughout the song, however his he continues the falsetto voice throughout most of the second half of the song. Anthem was next and the strong anti-war message Daniel has been trying to get across was again plastered over all the 3 screens, quoting such things as "Democra$y". "You are a product of your television". "I say Jump. I Say How High" - Pictures of Bush and Howard. and "No War". The images are very vivid and a very stark testament to the pointless morale of war. Finally There was One Way Mule a crowd pleaser to say the least.
The Encore was changed somewhat as it didnt include asylum, but was replaced by Israels Son, i believe this was due to the fact there were some problems with Daniel's keyboard. Finally Daniel said "I Hope everyone has enjoyed themselves very much, and if you havent, you can just wait til the end of this fucking song." They played the Lever, then the instrumental jam session at the end. As always the instrumental was absolutely amazing, and purely cements silverchair's reputation as one of the best live bands. Daniel did everything from dancing, to playing the guitar with his teeth, to humping his amps (which the roadies had to hold upright), to smashing his guitar across bens cymbals. Daniel started singing something about a bong (i think it was hard to understand what he was gibbering on about - by this time i think he was really drunk) It sounded pretty funny anyway the voices he was using, then he sped up the singing and started screaming. They ended with daniel smashing his guitar down on the ground and walking off, leaving the feedback to resonate throughout the theater.
Silverchair's show at the State theatre last night was by far the best I have ever seen, in n real life & on screen. I copied down most of the songs after the show but I may be a little muddled.
It was the happiest I have seen Daniel, he danced & played around, he has come a long way from having to reside in bed for most of the days during his arthritic flare up period.
After (what it seemed) a great effort by the Sleepy Jacksons (“we’re not country, we swear”), there was a brief wait until the curtain was lifted to show a great stage with magnificent lighting, not yet illuminating any particular object. Daniel walked out to a huge applause, played After All These Years beautifully, walked back out, the piano was wheeled over to the side of the stage & the 1st act began. I’m not sure the order in which Silverchair played these songs, but they were: World Upon Your Shoulders, (at that point Daniel took off his tailored jacket, dancing as he shrugged it off his arms), Tuna In The Brine, Luv Your Life, Paint Pastel Princess (during the end of the song Daniel had his eyes closed and was grinding his teeth or moving his mouth in a way reminiscent of the taped show Silverchair played in 1999, at Melbourne Park), Petrol and Chlorine, Across The Night, Ana's Song Miss You Love, and steam Will Rise (Ben was literally shining with sweat by now).
Chris was smiling, trading winks & grins to Ben, who was dressed in nothing but a pair of Black bonds shorts/undies and the hat he wore in the Across the Night video clip. You know, the trumpet player! It was beautifully lighted, passionate, the two keyboardists doing an excellent job filling in for the orchestra that played on Diorama. While Daniel was singing he twitched with his fingers and hips, no doubt thrilled to be able to move around without great amounts of pain. He seemed almost high. On drugs, god’s love, the idea of this being the last tour, I don’t know, I don’t care. The intensity the band played with was awesome.
Near the end of Across the Night, Daniel gave his guitar to a roadie/minder & sang, “So let us be married.. And have another baby.. “ Etc etc without any instruments bar his vocals. He swung around & was smiling as something in the keyboard caught a glitch. Just a side note, Daniel was incredibly phallic for a couple of the songs through out the show, stroking his guitar & thrusting in no intentional direction. His vocal capabilities astound me. Really. I think it was during Without You that this incredible calm went through my body, I forgot about the HSC and the idea of walking out of the State with $5 in my pocket & wet feet from the past rainy day. I didn’t care.
Silverchair has once again burst through whatever metaphorical roof you want to apply life and musical standards and expectations. It was just brilliant.
The intermission was short, ten minutes- enough for James brown to sing a few songs over the loudspeakers (Ben’s choice of music?). The boys came back on stage, Chris with a new shirt & this time one keyboardist, Julian, had moved to the left side of the stage, in the first act the two were on the right (stage left?). By this time the people around me were almost physically and/or mentally exhausted, I have never felt like emotionally charged during a performance yet this is the first sit down Silverchair concert I have attended!
As soon as the amps started to whine the first 3 or 4 rows from the bottom stalls got up and crowded to the stage. Emotion Sickness was the first song to be played, and it went for longer than 6 minutes. I am really mixed up with the order of the songs, forgive me, Without You, Slave, Black Tangled Heart (before the song Daniel said to the audience, I like this song. It’s good. I don’t know why. It just is.”), Do You Feel The Same, The Door, Freak, and Anthem for the Year 2000. The 3 screens were hanging above the band, showing crazy bursts of incomplete scenes (“You were lied to”) of war coverage and untelevised footage, the Bush and Howard attack (“When I say jump, I say how high”). I looked around and there were a couple of people brushing away tears. There was no “NO WAR” chant at the beginning, but we were asked to sing the first line, it was loud and clear, Daniel commented, “Oh baby” and exploded into the rest of the song. Daniel then went for the bottle of water at his feet, commenting, “Don’t worry, its just water”. Now I didn’t understand that last night, but today I read a little article in the paper about how at the Perth (?) show, Daniel stopped to band to drink vodka shots, bla bla bla media whatever. So yeah, he took a drink and without a care tossed the bottle over his shoulder as he started to sing another song.
One Way Mule was just excellent. When Daniel put the guitar to his mouth and without a single mistake played a little ad-lib with his teeth, people were stunned for a couple of seconds, then started to clap. My hands were sore by the end of it, my voice a little scratchy with all the applause. Before a song Daniel talked about how they had asked the crowd in Adelaide to imagine an itchy dinosaur. He said, imagine an itchy dinosaur. “Now imagine it scratching an itch, itching a scratch, whatever the fuck you want…” then proceeded to fiddle with something on his guitar amp and this high pitched crackling and whining came out of the speakers. After about 6 seconds of this insane sound he stopped and said, “thankyou.” It was so random. They played the Door, Daniel screaming, “GET THE FUCK UP!” (Perhaps forgetting we were in the state theatre and dancing was “strictly prohibited” (thanks to the man over the speakers as we were entering the heritage listed building. Oh yeah, I had to give in my camera as well. :/ So no photos.)
Encore time. Apparently Asylum was played.. But I didn’t hear it. Israel’s Son was so intense. When “PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR” was growled/yelled/screamed, it was funny seeing the older fans gingerly putting their hands up and looking around. I didn’t start yelling until The Lever was played.. During the song Daniel ran into the microphone and said, “just one more time..” putting the guitar near his face and playing with his teeth again. Then without skipping a beat another song was played, not a Silverchair song, something about calling up a friend, one thirty in the morning, somebody, anyone, anybody, something, something, just crazy… Daniel ran up to the speakers and jumped on it, struggled around like he was being electrocuted.
I am terrified I'm going to forget everything that happened last night. It was the longest I have ever seen Silverchair play, 1 hour and fifty minutes. And the best. The applause didn’t finish until the heavy red wine curtain brushed the wooden floor of the stage.
Strange. Great. Unreal. Amazing. Here my second show of Across the Night tour is gone. Sydney show was so different from Perth, it was so different from any previous shows I have seen.
Sydney was in no way a usual Silverchair Show.
You remembered these shows during Freak Show or Neon Ballroom period, where the kids were jumping around; when the kids used to get dressed like Daniel… When the mosh pit was the best place in the world to be… When you were sweating and singing along with the band.
Forget all that!
Yesterday night was close to the opposite. It looked like it was the place to be for the upper class or people trying to belong to the upper class.. Obviously there were some Silverchair fans, but there was also family: parents with their kids and sometimes you were wondering which one is the fan.
But the public wasn’t the only unusual thing.
The place certainly was different: the State Theatre, historic heritage as the staff reminds us.
The show itself was something else: the colors, the lights, and the songs….
It was so great. The show was really well done. It was a real show and not just a live version of the album. The lights were doing some amazing effects with the music. It’s even impossible to describe, it was so well done, you need to have seen it to understand..
Silverchair sang the expected songs for this tour. But the songs were no way similar to the ones you can find in their albums and that was so wonderful, rediscovering each single songs and just find out which part has been modified.
It was a great experience. You realise how Silverchair became more mature, they can know for sure be called the best performer ever. Maybe the only thing that could be disappointed: not enough people singing along with Daniel, which in a way gives usually an interesting, exalting atmosphere… But it’s true it was an unusual concert….
It was the best concert ever. Please do not stop here!!