Entertainment Centre - Newcastle, Australia
All photos by CHAIRPAGE
been waiting three years to see Silverchair live in concert.
After hearing all the raving reviews, I guess it's fair to
say that I was expecting a lot. I got it and more.
I came in when support band, Sleepy Jackson, were playing their last few songs. The crowd was surprising enthusiastic (well... polite) and applauded them after each song. I thought they were ok. Under other circumstances I might have actually enjoyed their music. But the fact was that I was there to see Silverchair. So when Sleepy Jackson's vocalist announced it would be their last song (and thanked Silverchair, saying they were 'blessed' to be touring with them) my excitement stepped up a notch.
Then the house lights came back on, and Silverchair's crew went to work (I was right on the side, so I could see behind the curtain... nice) setting up their set and doing soundchecks. Meanwhile I was back in my seat chewing my lovely long nails (damn) and fidgeting, watching the second hand on my watch, all that fun stuff. But then, God bless, the lights dimmed, and the crowd began to heat up. The cheering that greeted Daniel Johns when they opened the curtains was tremendous.
The setlist followed the tour's basic structure, with a few slight variations:
After All These Years
World Upon Your Shoulders
Tuna in the Brine
Luv Your Life
Paint Pastel Princess
Petrol and Chlorine (with a highly amusing intro)
Across the Night
Miss You Love
Steam Will Rise
Do You Feel the Same
The Greatest View
Anthem For the Year 2000
One Way Mule
The crowd was rather exciteable during Daniel's rendition of 'After all These Years'. During brief pauses between lines, a whole lot of screaming ensued. It was nice for atmosphere, but a little trying to have someone screaming in your ear while you're trying to listen to the music. Not to worry, though, the music was beautiful, and Daniel's vocals and piano playing were faultless.
Next up, Daniel grabbed his guitar and was joined onstage by Ben and Chris, and they played 'World Upon Your Shoulders'. What can I say? I adore the cd version... and live it was a whole lot better. I was constantly amazed at Daniel's vocal skills throughout the night, and this song was a standout.
'Tuna in the Brine' was next, and an absolute treat. I've listened to this song from the cd probably at least a hundred times. At least. It's my favourite song on their new album. Once again, the live version was even better.
Next the trio moved into 'Luv Your Life', with Daniel singing in a voice that was almost sickeningly beautiful... though in a good way. I remember thinking at the time that the song seemed a lot more 'rock' live than on the cd.
Paint Pastel Princess followed, an all-time favourote of mine. I've heard live versions of this before, and was really looking forward to it. I'm running out of superlatives. Any will do. It was amazing.
Initially I didn't recognise the next song as Petrol and Chlorine. Due to the fact that Daniel began with a little ditty about (I forget the actual wording) getting stoned, a girl, and not seeing her again, and getting fatter... then the band kicked into the familiar melody, the smoke machine on the side of the stage working overtime.
Ever since I bought Diorama, I always wondered whether they would reproduce 'Across the Night' live. When I heard that they were playing it on their new tour, I was pleased but a little cautious. I'd fallen in love with the song, particularly the beautiful orchestral dynamics, and I had a hard time believing that they could do it justice live. All I can say is, wow. The keyboardists did a brilliant job of filling what would otherwise be gaps in the song. It sounded gorgeous. Huge and ambitious. In introducing the song, Daniel said that he'd had a dream that a man had cancer and could only be cured by music . and 'this is what (he) played him'. During the second 'act' of the song, Daniel ditched his guitar, and stood, arms open, at the microphone, getting into the music, moving his hands as if conducting.
Daniel thanked the crowd for their enthusiasm, noting that it was good to be playing in his hometown. When he introduced 'Anas Song' he said he 'had to get down on (his) knees for this one' kneeling down and playing till the vocals began. I'd also heard this live before, but Daniel's vocals have really improved over the last couple of years, and I was impressed by the version.
Daniel also showed his rather... skewed (heh) sense of humour, doing a couple of ballet moves during the slower songs, and generally mucking around, which was amusing and fun to see. It continued throughout the night, with dancing, the usual (and hopelessly funny) sarcasm, butt-shaking, and more.
During Miss You Love, he made a slight error, jumping into 'I love the way you love...' where there would usually have been 'Make room for the prey...', but the band adjusted seamlessly, and unless you knew the song inside out, it's unlikely you would notice. The three friends I was with didn't.
Then Daniel introduced a song that they hadn't played live previously, before this tour, but which was a popular addition, 'You'll like it' he assured us. I never thought 'Steam will rise' could be a sexy, swinging sort of song. Once again I was surprised. Daniel seemed to enjoy this one, grooving along, and adding a lot of improv to some of the fills, which were far longer than on the cd... far, far longer. It all built up to a pleasing climax, though, which signalled the end of the first set.
I got to talking with a lady behind me during the interval, she was slightly drunk, and loving the show (to be honest, I don't think there was a person in the house who wasn't enjoying it). She seemed impressed by how 'into' the music Daniel seemed to get. I'm inclined to agree.
The second set opened with 'emotion sickness', another of my favourites from Neon Ballroom. I expected this one to blow me away. It did.
'Without You' got a huge response from the crowd, and it was during this song that the mood really shifted into an energetic excitement. When slave came on, everyone (well, except for the weird, tall-looking guy in front me... but man, I don't know what was with that dude) was moving in their seat. Daniel told everyone to get up, and we were more than happy to oblige.
Next up was 'Isreal's Son'. It's one of my all-time favourotes, and when I heard that they weren't playing it on some dates during the tour, I crossed my fingers hoping they'd play it. So when the bassline came on, I was yelling my gratitude with the best of them.
Next up, Daniel introduced a 'good rock song', one that if you were there with 'your girlfriend slash boyfriend you can cuddle up' and enjoy the song. Then he started playing 'Do You Feel the Same', with a guitar solo better than the album.
Daniel mentioned that he dedicated the next song to people who he used to be friends with... but who he doesn't call anymore. The song was 'The Greatest View', which the crowd sang along to. I was lucky in that the area I was sitting in was probably the most enthusiastic in the place. Everyone was still on their feet, grooving to the music, and applauding whenever a song came to an end.
Before kicking into 'The Door', Daniel pointed at our section and thanked us all for the 'claps and screams', plus another section on the other side of the venue. He said he'd play a guitar solo for us, one for each of the two sections. It was very cool, and everyone loved it when he did just that, I don't think there was a single person around me that wasn't up, with their hands in the air.
'Freak' was next, and the crowd sang along more to this song than any other, which was rather lucky seeing that Daniel had a little coughing fit during one of the choruses (he cracked up, shook his head, then came back with a monster scream).
Anthem for the Year 2000 started with the traditional crowd/Daniel 'We are the Youth' chant, with Daniel proclaiming 'I love this town!'. Also something that I found interesting during this song was the three screens behind the band. During the concert, these displayed colours, graphics and clips relative to each song. I'd read previously in road notes that during Athem there were some George Bush/John Howard images, and so looked out for it. 'We are being lied to' and 'When I say jump... how high' accompied the images, and I applauded extra loud for them on that one for having the courage to speak their mind about such a controversial issue.
One Way Mule rounded up their set, one Daniel dedicated to 'his baby sister'. I knew this would be a great one to see live, simply because it's a good, heavy, rocking song. I wasn't disapponted. The band left the stage, but everyone knew they'd be back. We all sat down, stamped our feet and waited for the encore.
Daniel came back, sat at the piano and thanked the crowd. Then he started 'Asylum', yet another favourite of mine. I'd read that he usually played this as the first encore, so it was great, even if it wasn't a surprise. I don't think too many people knew this one, but they appreciated it anyway. Then Daniel thanked the crowd again, this time holding his guitar, and joined by Ben and Chris.
Daniel said that they had an eleven o'clock curfue, and that this next song usually took a while, so they'd take the best parts and give it to us. Well, it went for a long, long time, and the antics were absolutely hilarious. The song was 'The Lever', but it was altered, and a little different (a whole lot longer) and Daniel added some of his own lyrics. He went off on a little bit of a rant, saying that they don't need a curfue, they're a rock band, and they can do whatever the fuck they want (this raised a whole lot of cheering) ...they can rock all night! I forget a lot of it, but he repeated 'This is our town, and we love it' (using one of Newcastle TV's most popular phrases, btw).
It all ended with a huge build-up, and Daniel throwing his guitar in the air, catching it, then throwing it higher again. He pretended to smash his guitar, and jump into the drum set, before eventually setting it down very carefully, and walking offstage, leaving a raptous crowd wanting more. I know I did.
By JENNY, JACK, ELIZABETH, CATHERINE and NICHOLAS
What a total fucking knock-out concert boys!!!!!
No point beating around the beach.
As long-time fans, we believe ourselves to be THE originals (at least since Acid Rain), and as multi-concert goers our qualifications to critique the show have to be pretty good. Still the majority of the fans there last night were probably about 6 years old when Silverchair (aka Innocent Criminals) started up. (Including our own daughters 16 and 13, and nephew 15.) Always have been able to pick talent, especially when it's staring you in the ears. LOL :)).
Dynamic, heart-stopping, melodious, deep, emotional, varied, chest-thumping rock and lights, the full panorama of Silverchair's depth of talent. Just words, but the memory.......... never can fade.
Daniel was sooooo relaxed. Was it the home-town feel-good crowd? Well maybe not as Daniel reminded the audience.... the Pantera concert of long ago. Still as he pointed out to Ben and Chris, 'we are a lot more popular now'. Howls of laughter and applause accompanied this gross understatement. And it MUST feel great to have "The Greatest View".
Daniel, so glad you are well enough to play again. Listen man, don't ever stop. Forget feelings of feeling like a phony rock star when you're on stage. You are a natural boy!
Not since the Page and Plant concert in Sydney February 1996 (we went to both nights) has the crowd experience impressed us as much with the power of music and its' fans.
Last night i was extremly lucky enough to witness Silverchair's final concert in Australia in their home town. After not sleeping the night before and making my own personalised Silverchair t-shirt just a few hours ago I was extremly excited and nervous!
As soon as the lights went down the crowd clapped and screamed! On came the Sleepy Jackson and played 7 songs! I just sat there trying to enjoy the music, but i was almost crying of excitment to see the boys. So finally of the went the Sleepy Jackson and on came the lights! Aargh! When were they coming?
But all my prayers were answered when again the lights went out. I felt so happy right then and there. I had excellent seats, excellent friends arounds me and the moment i had been wating for since December when i missed out on tickets to the first shows, was just seconds away.
Daniel played a stunning randition of "After All These Years" on the piano and then out of the darkness came Ben and Chris. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as i watched Chris gear up to play and then they began to play "World upon your shoulders". After that i have no idea what order the songs were in. I knew every word to every song but i just cant remember and its so frustrating.
It was something like:
Across the Night (So much better in concert than on cd)
Luv your Life
Petrol and Chlorine(beautiful)
Tuna in the Brine
Do You Feel the Same
Paint Pastell Princess (which sounded so amazing in concert. I love this song and when they played it, it was stunning).
Do You feel the Same
Ana's Song (which Daniel told us we wouldn't like but it was sensational! The whole crowd errupted when they began to play)
Miss you Love ( the song I had been waiting for and it rocked)
They finished with Steam will Rise and it was an extended, extended version. Most of the crowd stood for this song because it was the last song of the first set. Then the lights came back on and we had to wait 15 minutes to see them again!
It was worth the wait because the blasted back onto the stage with Emotion Sickness I think. I was just so excited I wasnt paying attention to the names of the songs just the music. It was so ABSOLUTLY loud that it shook the whole place. I could feel in my neck and chest and it was heavy and fast.
The next set definitly went off and Daniel had the crowd in the palm of his hand. He says he doesnt like the whole rockstar thing but he can get away with it no problems.
The next set went like this, I think:
Slave! (and everyone went off! I jumped out of my seat as soon as i heard the first few riffs, and Chris jumped about 5 metres in the air! it was an excellent song and it set the pace for what was to come) Ben really showed his stuff on the drums, he did quite a few drum solos that were spectacualr and he never missed a beat. Trully a talented musician (and alright with his shirt off too).
Israels song ( and the extension buliding when Chris played the first few riffs of that song were unbelievable. Its a classic song and definitly a highlight of the evening. It had everyone give a standing ovation to the boys)
The Door (had everyone up and singing and the extended version was cool. It went for like 15 minutes and the boys loved every minute of it. It was like they were in a world of their own, it was like the corwd wasnt even there)
Then up on the screens came the unforgettable heat amps and i dont think there wasnt perosn in that theatre that didnt recognise them. The crowd just absolutly exploded and from then on the screaming didnt stop! Freak was definitly the highlight of the show for me, its my favourite song and the boys played it exceptionally well and the atmosphere was deafening!
The Anthem of the Year 2000 (was next and the screens displayed images of the War with Iraq) It was an audience participation song, we all cheered the lyrics and at one stage eryone was just screaming "We are the Youth" for about 5 minutes.
One way Mule
And then Chris and Ben left Daniel to do his thing on stage. It was far out some of the things he did that night! I think others have illustrated that to us in the other road reports but it was so funny. Hes a funny guy. He also told us not to take him seriously and I wasnt.
They came back for an Encore soon after. The people in the stands were stamping their feet and everyone was revved up for more. Daniel played Asylum on piano which was cool. Ive never heard it before but i knew what it was. Then Daniel said they had a curfew so they werent going to play the extended length of the next song just the "really juicy bits". Chris and Ben agreed and with that they launched into their final song "THE LEVER!"
Daniel then started to scream "We are a rock band and this is our city and we'll do whatever the f*** we want! F*** the curfew" which again had everyone screaming and jumping around. Then they were gone. Ben threw his drumsticks and waterbottle into the crowd and then they were gone again but this time for good. The crowd screamed and clapped and cheared and whistled!
It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen and they didn't disappoint they lived up to every expectation and I couldnt have asked for more( except maybe a wave from Chris! Nah Im so happy!) I took about a zillion photos and was standing juat 10 metres infront of Chris practically the whole night, except when he jammed with Ben near the drums! Chris put on an excellent show and is an unbleievable bass player.
Thank you Chris, Ben and Daniel you were beyond words and I hope your home crowd didnt disappoint either. WE LOVE YOU CHRIS.