Bill Graham Civic Auditorium - San Francisco, USA
Kick The Jams
Anthem For The Year 2000
My friends, Kean and Alex, and I left from Monterey about 3:00 and wouldn't arrive at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium at about 6:00. Sadly the line was damn long and we wouldn't be getting in the front right away.
Fenix TX would start the show and they played pretty well and the crowd was really into them. The sad thing was that 90% of this crowd was 12 year old teenies and it kind of ruined the mood. Unlike Slim's and BFD 6, this crowd sucked.
silverchair came on after a 20 minute break while their gear got set up. The Taxi Driver intro came on and the lights went down. After what seemed like 10 minutes they finally came out from the left side of the stage, Ben and Chris first, and then Daniel. Throughout the whole show the teenies' screaming would be louder than the music.
Before I was able to even take in the fact that they had gotten on stage Chris started the bass line for Israel's Son. Ben didn't have the third crash cymbol by the floor toms for some reason and you could tell it was bothering him not having it there. Daniel had a lot of energy for this song and all the guys put in a lot of effort. Throughout the whole show Chris was jumping around and head banging with more energy than I've ever seen him have. Ben was pounding the drums and Daniel was putting in some killer solos to the songs.
Immediately after the finale of Israel's Son, Ben counted off the beat to Emotion Sickness. They performed a very powerful version. Near the part before it goes into the guitar echo part thing Daniel's guitar started cutting out but it was fixed before it could amount to anything.
Without a word Daniel got his green PRS and they went into Slave. They did a great version of this song and Daniel decided to talk. "Hello San Francisco!" in his Australian accent. "Are you ready to rock San Francisco?! Are you ready to Kick Out The Mother Fuckin' Jams?!" With that they played their cover of Kick Out The Jams. This was my first time ever hearing the song and it rocked.
Bailey gave Daniel his Les Paul Custom and Daniel approached the microphone. "Last time we played here it wasn't so good. We played at Slim's and it was really small, but this is big and more free and open. Now we're going to play our radio slash TV friendly song but Bailey gave me the wrong guitar." Bailey ran out and got the Les Paul from Daniel. "We're very unprofessional. I've never been so embarrassed." Bailey brought out Daniel's SG in standard tuning for Ana's Song. The roar of little girls' screams was deafening as Daniel played the opening notes. It was a great version of the song and really heavy sounding which was great.
Daniel then get his green PRS again and started the intro to Pure Massacre. Right before the drums and bass came in Daniel stopped and yelled "GET THE FUCK UP!" and the whole band came in together. Some of the crowd sang along, but most people were there for Blink 182 so not many people knew the words. Daniel added some great solo pieces and his vocals were amazing. "Okay we're going to try something. I want all the people in the seats up there to get up. We've got to show these people down here that you are still cool and you can still rock. We've got to show them that even though you're all rich yuppies that you can still rock! Stand up or you'll make people mad. Okay you don't have to stand up, its cool, you're cool, its cool. We're going to play 3 or 4 more songs for you. 3 more songs for you now"
"Who here believes in Jesus Christ?" Not many cheers from the crowd. "Who here believes in Jesus Christ?" A big roar from the crowd to my surprise. They must have thought silverchair is some Christian rock band or something. "Who beleives in SATAN?" in a very scary voice. Little cheers. "Who here believes in mortal combat and all that fiction stuff?" One or two cheers. "Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get a hallelujah?" not many people going along. "Well it's better than last night, but you gotta be louder. Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get a halle-fuckin'-lujah?" With that Daniel began The Door, mixing up "didn't have to pretend" with "...to lock the door".
Right after The Door, Daniel began Freak. It was a great version but when Daniel stopped for the crowd to sing "Body and soul I'm a freak I'm a freak" almost no one did it. Next they would go right into the beginning of Anthem. Daniel had been trying all night to get the crowd into the show and this was his final attempt. He did the "We are the youth" trade off thing but barely anyone sang with him. They played a great version of this song with some new added stuff and then as soon as Daniel hit the last note they quickly got off stage and that was it.
The whole night the crowd sucked. There was barely any silverchair fans there, and the ones that were there only fans of Ana's Song and Miss You Love and didn't even know there are three other albums out there. Daniel seemed a lot more happy than he did previously back in June and March and Ben and Chris gave a lot of energy. The 'chair once again rocked and smoked Blink 182, who are one of the worst live bands you'll ever hear. Hopefully silverchair can rock San Francisco again in the future! Well done again guys!
It had been over two years since my last silverchair experience and after kicking myself repeatedly for several months for missing two 'chair shows here in the Bay Area, I finally get tickets to a 'chair concert...this gives me inconcievable excitement as I wait for such an event to deliver me from the mundane routine of my so called life. This much anticipated event took place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California...a venue much grander in size as compared to Slim's nightclub. On one occasion in the middle of their set, Rev. Daniel Johns expresses his appreciation for the massive size of the congregation this particular evening - "we were little then, but we are big now!" referring to the contrast between the Slim's crowd and last night's.
When I first heard about this tour, I had my doubts when it was announced that silverchair would be opening for Blink 182...I think it's an unjustifiable travesty for a band of silverchair's calibre to be playing secondary to a 3-chord, pseudo-punk novelty like Blink. In spite of my mild disappointment, I was determined to be present...all the while hoping Daniel, Ben, and Chris would not be reduced to some half-ass set.
The night began w/ some obscure San Diego act called Fenix-tx...four guys, one drumset, three guitars, one chord. My friend Gmoney and I impatiently sat through their monotonous set list. They did a short punk rendition of a Ricky Martin cover (these guys are certainly livin' la vida loca)...and for one solitary moment, I really wanted to shake my bon bon. Then they were finished, and then I was happy.
silverchair's entrance onto the stage was welcomed with much delight from the crowd and an overwhelming sense of glee from me. As my friend Gmoney and I look at each other to share a quick second of momentous merriment, the 'chair rips the place apart with Israel's Son. Seeing them for the first time in over two years was like drinking a glass of Heineken and having an anaphylactic reaction, which was sort of what happened to me last night. Not to say that silverchair and their music is bad for the system, I just liken the experience to the idea of one's body being aroused and stimulated by some foreign antigen...I would break out in hives every month just to see these guys play.
As I stare intently onto the stage occupied by three charismatic musicians, my friend hollers into my ear, "Dannyboy is like a diva up there!" she says. For a moment I wondered why she said that, was she making some frivolous gay reference?...but then I knew what she meant. Daniel Johns possesses stage presence and exudes ethereal magnetism like no other. This man does not merely work the stage, he owns it.
I was not at all surprised by the togetherness of silverchair's performance. Chris and Ben of the rhythm section produced bad-ass vibrations that emanated throughout the hall and penetrated into my heart...(this review is really not meant to be sappy). Meanwhile, Daniel of guitars and vocals was amazing me, and I suppose many others, with how controlled his performance was. His voice has definitely gotten better with age...only one of the few guys I've heard who can hit a worthy falsetto.
Throughout the duration of silverchair's set, my eyes and ears were fixed upon one place only. One way to tell if a band gave you your money's worth is if they captivate you and for an hour or so, your tired little soul willingly loses itself in their music. And to that, I say Cheers and Halelujiah!
A half hour later, Blink 182 proceeded onto the stage and I proceeded into the women's restroom.
After a 100-mile jouney to San Francisco, we arrived at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium to find a line stretched around the block. We only had to wait about 15 minutes for the doors to open, and the line moved fairly quickly to get inside. To our complete horror, upon entering the venue, we found nearly every square inch packed with scarily primped teenies. However, during Fenix TX’s set, many promptly left the front area, leaving a little more room for real fans.
Fenix TX started their short set at around 7:10, and I thought their music was pretty good, although when they talked they were a bit annoying and immature. This seemed to be a trend that night, at least among Fenix TX and Blink 182. After their set was over, we sat around for a torturously long wait, which in reality was about 25 minutes. The neon tube lighting came on around Ben’s kit, Sam’s keyboard, Daniel’s mic, and all the amps.
FINALLY, all the lights dimmed and the familiar “Taxi Driver” entrance music came on. Chris, wearing his uniform of the spiffy orange pants and a black shirt, walked across the stage from Daniel’s side, causing the entire crowd to erupt into one huge deafening scream. Ben, shirtless as usual, followed him a few seconds later, then Daniel, who was wearing black pants, his “University of Akron” t-shirt, and his glitter shirt unbuttoned. Sam came out for the next song, wearing black pants, and a short-sleeve, button-up black shirt.
Most of us expected to hear “Emotion Sickness” first, but we were first treated to “Israel’s Son.” In plain words, it just ROCKED! Halfway through this song, I looked back at the mixing board to see John Watson standing there, smiling and looking like a proud dad, admiring the ‘chair. Now as most of my close friends know, I’m a bit of a ummm, Watson groupie. In my excited shock, I screamed to Dan and Kean “JOHN WATSON’S BACK THERE!” They convinced me to go talk to him, and I’m proud to say I didn’t wimp it; I went over and talked to him for a few minutes [complete with a handshake, which made me a little too excited]. That totally made my night, as it’s been a dream of mine to meet him for about 4 years now! Anyway, back to the ‘chair...
After “Israel’s Son,” which got a great response from the crowd, they kicked into “Emotion Sickness.” Being able to witness this song live is such a priveledge, and this has to have been one of the most powerful, touching versions I’ve ever heard. Daniel was singing his heart out, especially during the last three “GET UP’s,” and the whole band just put so much energy into each note. After an amazing six minutes, Daniel got his Green PRS from Bailey, and, not saying a word to the audience yet, ripped into “Slave.” During the “lost my soul, lost my confidence in me” part where Daniel just sings and doesn’t play guitar towards the end, he made some fake wankin’ motions with his guitar, which was absolutely hilarious, but drew even MORE squeals and screeches by lustful teenies attendance.
After “Slave” was “Pure Massacre,” and during the transition from the intro into the verse when Ben taps his cymbal 4 times, Daniel screamed “GET THE FUCK UP!” which had an immediate effect on the audience. “Pure Massacre” is just such a rad live song, everyone seemed to enjoy it, even though the audience was a little mellow that night.
After “Pure Massacre,” Daniel spoke to the audience for the first time, doing his typical “Thank you, San Fran-cis-co!” Then followed with a comment that MANY people, including myself, disagreed with. “Last time we played in San Francisco, it wasn’t so good. We played at a place called...Slim’s. And it was tiny. But this is big, and more free and open. That was small, this is big. This is big and more rock. But I’m just fantasizing ‘cos this isn’t our show,” referring to the fact that Blink 182 was headling this tour. “OK, now we’re gonna play our number one radio-slash-TV hit.” Right as he said this, Bailey came over and touched Daniel’s guitar, then said something to Daniel. Daniel started laughing and gave the audience a huge smile, then said “except Bailey gave me the wrong guitar!” Bailey hustled over and gave Daniel the right guitar, his SG, and Daniel continued laughing and smiling, and said “I’ve never been so embarrassed in ALL MY LIFE!! I’m sorry, we’re VERY unprofessional.” Then the opening vocals and guitar of “Ana’s Song” poured through the amps, followed by a roar of recognition from the crowd. Due to this song’s recent success on MTV and radio, many people sang along.
After this song, Daniel talked to the audience again. “OK, we’re gonna play a cover of MC5 now. This song is called ‘Kick the Jams,’ so everyone fucking jump.” Then he cupped his hands around his mouth and the mic, and in his deep, throaty, growly voice, yelled “KICK THE FUCKING JAMS, MOTHERFUCKERS!” I’d been waiting to hear this song since silverchair’s August tour of Australia and hearing so many positive things about this cover. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. This song just kicks ass, and silverchair played it with so much energy, everyone was having a great time jumping around to it.
After “Kick the Jams,” Daniel spoke to the audience for the last time. "Okay we're going to try something. I want all the people in the seats up there to get up. We've got to show these people down here that you are still cool and you can still rock. We've got to show them that you’re not all rich, yuppie kids. Stand up or you'll make people mad. Okay you don't have to stand up, its cool, you're cool, its cool, everyone down here, standing up, they all know you’re cool, so it’s OK. We're going to play 3 or 4....3 more songs for you, so everyone has to rock.” Then he conducted a mini-survey.
"Who here believes in Jesus Christ?" Not very many people made noise, so he tried again, this time screaming it. "Who here believes in Jesus Christ?" A huge response from the crowd this time, then "Who believes in SATAN?" in the above mentioned deep, throaty, growly voice. “Who here believes in Mortal Kombat, the great video game, and all that fiction stuff?” Again, a minimal response from the crowd, while I was laughing hysterically. "Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get a hallelujah?" While Dan, Kean and I were screaming it back to Daniel, not many people were with us on this one. So Daniel said, “OK, we’ve got one thing we want you to do, and if you participate, we will rock out for you. If you don’t participate, Blink will not play for you. Because Blink loves these little surveys. CAN I GET A HALLELUJAH?!” This time, the crowd FINALLY responded, so Daniel repeated himself three more times, then finally the familiar “CAN I GET A HALLE-FUCKING-LUJAH?!” then broke into “The Door.”
During this song, he messed up the lyrics, singing “didn’t have to pretend” instead of “lock the door.” This rockin’ song resulted in the breakout of a mini-moshpit near where we were standing. Next we rocked out to a kicking version of “Freak,” complete with the break where Daniel sings “body and soul, I’m a freak, I’m a freak” a capella a few times, the last time letting the audience sing it. After “Freak,” we knew we had only one more song to enjoy, and we were very excited for it to be “Anthem.” This is just a brilliant live song, and Daniel did the whole “WE ARE THE YOUTH” thing, with minimal audience participation, although Dan, Kean, and I were screaming it at the top of our lungs. After this song, all four guys quickly left the stage, but Ben took a huge mouthful of water and sprayed it everywhere before he departed.
In all, it was an amazing, amazing set, and although the common refrain was “silverchair should have played longer!” The 9-song set we had the honor of enjoying was truly awesome. All the guys were playing with more energy than I’ve ever seen, just tearing it up there onstage. Daniel was in much better spirits compared to the other shows I’ve seen this year, which was nice to see, and, as expected, they just plain rocked. I wish silverchair an awesome, fun rest of tour, and I hope they have a great time playing New Zealand and Australia in the months to come. Great job, guys!