The Stone Pony - Asbury Park, USA

Review by Mike Stramaglio (RYZA36A@prodigy.com)

[Photos by Jenna O'Brien]

Justin, Jeremy K., Jeremy D., Rich, Pete L., and myself (wow 6 MALE silverchair fans from the same town! :) all hopped out of the van at around 6:30, an hour before the show was to start. A brisk wind from the nearby ocean made the majority of the small line that had formed shiver as we waited for, god knows what reason, the Stone Pony people to let us in one by one. While we waited forever in line we noticed Gabe walk by, and, since he knew me from my web page and the previous night when I met him, we spoke with him a couple minutes. He then walked away and we resumed the former position of freezing our asses off in line. We figured it was taking so long because they were searching people.

Right before we walked in I looked to the side of the building and saw Pete Walton walking through the side entrance, ushering in (I suppose) silverchair, who had been chatting at Pete's house (on-line).

As we walked through the small entrance of the Stone Pony we were shocked. The actual venue was hardly larger than my basement, if that. The darkened bar made it difficult to see but I did notice a tall person approaching me. It was Pete Walton, and we spoke with him briefly before we took a position at the back of the crowd that had already formed in front of the stage. As I was chatting with my friends I felt something flick my ear and turned around to find Mike Amburn! We spoke with Mike for a while, telling us some rather cool silverchair information (like Daniel's awesome performance of "Abuse Me" during sound check), but he disappeared by the time Automatic had taken stage. We desperately tried to get closer to the stage (although the farthest point from the stage is probably around 50 feet) but no one would budge.

Automatic took the stage, a little later then planned (8pm, I'm guessing), and played a quick set. By this time we had managed to move pretty close to the stage but the way it was set up made it difficult to see the band. As if it weren't bad enough that I couldn't move and/or see but on top of that an extremely *obese* woman next to me kept swing her hips and forcing the ENTIRE pit to move because of her perturbations. The crowd received the pop/light punk sounds of Automatic pretty well but I did not like them at all. All of my friends thought they weren't that bad, or that they were actually pretty good, but it just sounded like any other re-hashed current pop/grunge/punk band.

By the time Local H had reached the mid-point of "Fritz's Corner," I had taken a big move backwards as a result of the moshing. I was still only about 10 feet from the band but didn't have a very good view. The mosh pit was pretty rough and Local H had incited the first crowd surfers, which had shocked me that anyone would be crazy enough to do it in such a small place (like I later did :). The ceiling was so low that people were hanging from lights and pipes that were attached to the ceiling. At one point my friends, who were still up in front, started a chant for Joe Daniels, Local H's drummer.

When Local H finished the song Joe got up to the mic and said "Who's Joe? My name's tinkerbell," allegedly. I didn't actually hear that. Scott then said "Joe just told me a joke but I don't have time to tell it right now." Local H quickly finished their set (I assume someone told Scott to rush since they had a late start) and when they were finished Scott shook hands with everyone in the front.

Gabe did his usual on-stage antics...singing, tambourine, etc. The crowd seemed to really like Local H. My friend Pete L. had told me he never heard Local H sound so good.

The circus music finally began and the trio emerged. All were wearing the same thing the had been the previous night: Daniel's yellow t and khakis, Chris's blue Split shirt with the bottle on it, and a shirtless Ben. Daniel picked up his green PRS and ripped through the opening chords of "Slave" and halted, the lights went off.

They did the next four chords, lights off, and did it the final time until Daniel began the solo/intro lick he plays. Daniel seemed agitated while he played and had a distant look in his eyes. By this time the pit was in full swing and crowd surfers were crashing over the barrier like waves at the Pipeline. When surfers were caught by the security guards and placed over the barrier they were inches away from the 'Chair! After "Slave" they went into a smooth, average version of "Roses." Daniel did the same "rock star" pose when he clutched mic. for the bass verse. They then went into an up-beat version of "Findaway" and finally started to work into a groove. Daniel seemed to be getting more into it and when someone threw a bra on stage he placed it on his head for half the song! After a great version of "Findaway" Daniel grabbed his beautiful PRS and began the warbly notes to "Abuse Me." They played the usual version of this, again with Daniel rising in pitch for the final chorus when he sang. Daniel introduced Bailey as "the guy from Black Sabbath.

Right after this song some girl near me was saying "Oh my god I wanna fuck him he's so hot." A second later you hear some guy yell "Hell I'D even fuck him!" That had to be the most hysterical moment of the night! After "Abuse Me" they played an ok version of "Pure Massacre" which caused the pit to consume more and more of the innocent bystanders because of the sheer intensity of this song...all this despite the fact that it was performed only a little better than average.

After "Pure Massacre" Daniel switched to his red standard-tuned PRS and played a really good version of "Cemetery" which held the crowd in awe. I took advantage of the then stupefied state of the crowd to escape the un-relenting pit that had finally ceased and got a drink. Following "Cemetery" the remaining 2/3 of silverchair returned and they played awesome versions of "Suicidal" and "Tomorrow." Daniel did his usual alterations of the "Tomorrow" lyrics..."The water in New Jersey is..." and "you think you can keep on going living like a slut!"

It was also around this time that Daniel took it upon himself to chat a lot. Most of what he had said between songs was unintelligible mumblings so I honestly couldn't tell you what he said.

I did manage to decipher when he said "New Jersey is good for cultivating basil" like he had said in New York the previous night. During one of Daniel's rants some guy said "You don't know what the fuck you're talking about" so Daniel said "I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about so I'll shut up now." After "Tomorrow" Daniel went back to his green PRS and began "The Door." Daniel was really starting to get into the song and the pit had seemed to turn up a couple notches. Despite the venues small size and low ceiling, I couldn't resist the urge of crowd-surfing any longer. I finally got someone's help to hoist me up and floated on the crowd. After the guards had caught me and placed me down I paused to watch Daniel in mid-song, screaming. I thought to myself how ironic it was that I should be that close to him and have contributed so much time towards promoting the band and he had no idea...I was just another crowd surfer to them.

I quickly crossed beneath the yellow tape and returned back to my spot in the pit. After that song I crowd surfed so many times I lost count... and wasn't dropped once (well...I'm only like 120 lbs, anyway). After an awesome, adrenaline-packed version of "The Door" they played "Faultline." silverchair seemed to be getting into each song more and more, feeding off the energy of the exuberant crowd. "Faultline" was normal as far as structure goes, but was awesome. They did the usual "Helmet" type ending and right before it ended some crowd surfer had smashed his head on the ground when a guard failed to catch him. Supposedly there was a pool of blood and he was carried away but I couldn't see. Daniel asked the crowd to move back so they can get the guy and tells the crowd they don't do requests. Daniel then stalled a little more by improvising a song about masturbation that goes like this (thanks to Mike Amburn for transcribing this!):

sometimes when I'm lonely
I like to pull my own dick
because I'm so bored
I like to lift up my stick
oh baby, I love to masturbate
it's real great
I like to make it inflate

The crowd laughed it up and some guy said "Yeah so do I!" After the whole crowd surfer incident they played an awesome version of "No Association." I keep replaying this one image in my head of Daniel during this song...between verses for a palm mute he strummed his guitar in the manner someone loaded a shot gun. The evil look on his face made it look so awesome when he did this...with the dripping make-up coming down his face and the lighting...it was so cool! Wish my friend hadn't wasted all my film during "Slave"! Following "No Association" they played one of the best versions of "Freak" I've heard (well...at least it seemed that way. I can't recall for sure since I crowd-surfed like five times during this song). Of course, they didn't have the usual "oven" lighting since it couldn't fit in the tiny venue, but nevertheless it still kicked ass.

The crowd was really revved now and it seemed that everyone had at one time or another crowd surfed. The interaction between silverchair and the crowd was amazing! The energy of the pit seemed to be driving silverchair to play each song more intense then the last! After "Freak" they played a usual version of "Madman" and skipped the "Minor Threat" encore...presumably because Jeremy wasn't their to do sing but I heard they did it somewhere else without Jeremy. I know that Daniel used to sing it when they covered it...I wonder why he didn't that night? Anyway, Daniel switched back to his silver PRS and they played an awesome version of "Israel's Son." Jeremy Deeks crowd-surfed so many times during this song it was unbelievable. Seemed every time I hoisted him up he was back in less then a second.

The song ended with Daniel screaming "Fuck You!" which incited the crowd to start a "fuck! you! fuck! you!" chant which could even be heard outside, according to Justin's father.

Here's silverchair's set list (same as previous night, minus "Minor Threat"):

[green PRS]
[silver PRS]
Abuse Me
Pure Massacre
[red/orange PRS]
Suicidal Dream
[green PRS]
The Door
No Association
[Silver PRS]
Israel's Son

The song ended with Daniel screaming "Fuck You!" which incited the crowd to start a "fuck! you! fuck! you!" chant which could even be heard outside, according to Justin's father.

After the show we bid our good-byes to Pete, Laura, and Mike Amburn and left the trashed venue. All in all the show was one of the best I've seen (and that's compared to 3 previous sc shows, Tool, KoRn, etc). My initial impression was that the Stone Pony was a hole in the wall dump but after the crowd started to get into it I realized that the smaller the venue (no matter how small) the better! Everyone seemed to be within grasp of silverchair!

The crowd didn't seem to harbor many teeny boppers and was really psyched, which Daniel fed off well! The show was quicker than the previous night, but, in my opinion, better!


Review by Mike Amburn (pip@onramp.net)

The place was tiny and not well laid out... there was no backstage area, so the band had to walk from the tour buses through the bar and then through some of the crowd to get to the side stage. the ceiling was INCREDIBLY low, so low that crowd surfers kept hanging on pipes that were hanging from it. They also kept knocking out the lighting as they were being pulled out, which completely pissed off Watson, who wasn't happy to be playing the venue anyway.

Basic setlist, some interesting tidbits:

slave (slow)
abuse me
pure mass (ben seems to be playing slow, it's starting to drag...)
cemetery (daniel's monitor goes out)
the door
faultline (someone crowd surfing gets to the cage and lands on the floor head first, busts their head open and blood pours everywhere...) (daniel asks everyone to move back away from the door so they can get him out... announces they're not going to play requests because they're waiting to get this guy out of the pit, so he adlibs a short song about masturbation:

sometimes when i'm lonely
i like to pull my own dick
because i'm so bored
i like to lift up my stick
oh baby, i love to masturbate
it's real great
i like to make it inflate
no association
freak (no heaters, but daniel does the thing anyway)
madman (no long jamming)
israel's son
(that's right, very short encore because it was so hot)