Rock City - Nottingham, UK
By CHRIS STRAW
This was my second time of seeing silverchair this year, having witnessed their knockout show in London just two months before. The run up to the show was going to be extra special for me, I am the music programmer for Sheffield based commercial radio station Hallam FM and a self-confessed 'chair "freak." Through Sony I had arranged a 30 minute one to one interview with Daniel for use on the radio station at a later date.
I arrived at Rock City in good time for my 6pm appointment with my rock hero. A group of around 30 people was already waiting on the steps as I got there. Some had obviously come a long way, I overheard someone with an American accent describing how there were never any fans on silverchair's flights.
My Sony representative, Glenn, met me at the door and took me inside the venue. He explained that the guys had just finished soundchecking and that I could more or less get straight down to the interview. He took me backstage and went off to find Daniel.
Moments later they returned, Glenn introduced us to each other and Daniel greeted me with a handshake and a "Hi." I've read several reviews lately where people have criticised Daniel's "arrogant" attitude. Let me be the first to come to his defence, in my job you meet dozens of rock performers and I'm well qualified to say that Daniel is the nicest you will ever meet. Any "attitude" he gives onstage is part of something rare these days, being a real rock performer. Just think how dull it would be if he stood motionless, didn't make gestures or those sometimes bemusing little speeches. Offstage, he's a very quiet, friendly and extremely likeable person.
We chatted about a variety of subjects including the new songs, playing live, animal liberation and of course, Sweep. He wore a shy little grin all the way through the interview and gave open and considered answers to all my questions. I purposely didn't tell him I was a huge fan as I didn't want to come across that way to him, although by the depth of questioning he must have suspected! At the end of our chat I asked him to sign a few things including my new Anthem t-shirt which had arrived from the L.A.S that very morning. After that, we shook hands again, said goodbye and I went away feeling so pleased that my rock hero had more than lived up to my expectations. Meeting rock performers is so often a very disappointing experience.
After the interview I met up with more people from Sony and we went back to the venue in time to see the first support band Fungus. I don't envy any band the job of supporting the 'chair as the fans are there for one purpose alone, to see Daniel, Ben and Chris. Having said that, Fungus were well received as were Fuel 238 who put in a great performance of their up and coming single Shimmer.
About 30 minutes after Fuel 238 left the stage the lights went down revealing the neon tubes around silverchair's equipment. The familiar Taxi Driver intro played over the P.A. and the guys appeared going straight into Emotion Sickness. A pillar blocked my fist views of Chris and Ben, but I could see that Daniel was wearing his now familiar ballroom shirt and silver tie. From Emotion Sickness they went into a blinding version of Israel's Son, with the crowd obeying Daniel's pleas to "put your hands in the air."
During Pure Massacre the guys had to stop mid-song after one of the security guards appeared to kick a crowd surfer who had managed to get onto the stage. I'm afraid I can't shed any more light on what happened than Terry Pitt has done already except to underline how brilliantly they got back into the song, if it was a recording you could have edited out the pause and not heard the join.
I first played Ana's Song on the radio before it had been officially promoted as the new single, judging by the enthusiastic live response it got in Nottingham it was a good move, this track has the potential to be a huge hit. Come on 'chair fans, harass your local radio station and let's get it played!
Along with the new songs it was great to hear a good splattering of classics from the previous albums, Pure Massacre, Suicidal Dream and Slave are still among my favourites and the 'chair gave full on versions of all three. Daniel's solo version of Tomorrow put a new slant on the old favourite, but I did miss hearing Cemetery, still, they can't play every song every time I guess.
Overall Daniel didn't say a great deal except for how Nottingham is a city that rocks, he kept saying "we love you" over and over and made the usual request for "a hallelujah" which was enthusiastically responded to by the crowd.
I think Pete Walton summed it up perfectly in a recent review when he said silverchair are "a class act." Here are three guys who give 100% every time, the only contemporary band who can stir huge emotions in one song and rock your balls off with the next. All Australians should feel proud that their country is home to the finest rock act in the world.
Finally, thanks to Glenn and Catherine at Sony for securing the interview and special thanks to Daniel, "yer a top lad" as we say in Yorkshire.
Point of View
Paint Pastel Princess
Miss You Love
Anthem for the Year 2000
By TERRY PITT
Ever since I first heard singles off Frogstomp back in ' 95 (I think !) I've been a keen silverchair fan. The first time I saw Silverchair was two years ago at this very same venue. Then Daniel had the 'flu' and because of this the gig didn't go as well as it should have done ( although still great ! ). This time I was expecting better and I surely was not disappointed. The band put on a truly excellent performance. I've read a few of the reviews from the other gigs, notably Dusseldorf and Glasgow, and it seems that they didn't go down too well. This wasn't the case at Rock City and I rate this as the best gig I've ever been to.
The content of the gig surprised me as I expected most of the stuff from Neon Ballroom first. It was a well-balanced content of new and old that kept the show rocking from start to end (good planning dudes!) Beforehand I had wondered how a live version of Emotion Sickness would work because of all the orchestral back up on the album. When they kicked off with this I found out, I was really surprised it was excellent ! While they were playing this I decided to make my way down to the front to get a better view of the stage. I managed to get about two rows away and then couldn't get any further because it was solid with girlies armed with cameras !
It was halfway through Pure Massacre that 'an incident' occurred. Some guy had managed somehow to get onto the stage and then dived into the crowd. I couldn't quite see what went off from my point of view but apparently as the guy came down one of the security guys kicked him. Daniel stopped singing and started saying "hey what the fuck do you think you're doing man, you don't go kicking people like that." The rest of the band ground to a halt and Daniel proceeded to bollock the guy along with much jeering from us in the crowd. Then amazingly Daniel said to the rest of the band "okay we'll pick it up from chorus 1" and they launched straight back into it as if nothing had happened! It was like pausing the track on your CD then pressing play again; totally amazing, are these guys good or what!
Freak was a little slower than normal, Daniel's solo rendition of Tomorrow was excellent (sorry for all the excellents!) After Anthem there was a short respite while the band went offstage so that ' casualties ' could be removed from the crowd, two people had passed out (probably girlies! ouch!)
After this they came on and did the encore and I tell you the whole place was jumping up and down to No Association. I know that I didn't put it on the set list at top but they might have done Spawn Again during the encore, but my memory isn't certain due to a beer haze !!
After it was all over I was drenched with sweat, it was red hot in there, and had a black eye courtesy of a crowd surfer! marks out of 10 - 20!
Thanks guys you made mine and a whole lot of other peoples' night!