Roseland Ballroom - New York, USA
Kick Out The Jams
Anthem For The Year 2000
New York, New York
November 13, 1999
Review and photos by ZACK HILL
On presumeably their last visit to North America for some time, silverchair find themselves opening for Blink 182. As unfortunate as it is that the band is opening for an act of much less caliber, we do have to respect the fact that this was Blink's tour anyway. If it hadn't been for Blink's tour, silverchair wouldn't have been back in the States this year. I take a fairly biased view of the whole deal, as I am not a fan of Blink 182, as you may have guessed. All complaints aside, silverchair, even in their opening band role, performed to a level that really showed their pure rock-out talent.
First opening act, Fenix TX, was off in no time after a set of only 30 minutes. The silverchair crew members made a quick transition, and had the stage and equipment ready in short order. The house lights went out, turning the venue dark. The neon tubes around the band's equipment shined brightly, and the familiar Taxi Driver theme came blasting out of the PA. Moments later, cheers erupted from the throats of most of the people in attendence. Chris, Ben, and Daniel made their way up a rickety looking staircase at stage-left.
Chris wasted no time, and immediately the distorted bassline to Israel's Son went rumbling through the air. The guitar made its entrance, as Daniel was standing directly in front of and above me. He slammed out those palm-muted chords before going into the song's main riff. The crowd continued to cheer and be involved in the show. During the interlude in the song, Daniel seemed to touch his chest sexually, drawing screams from all the little girls, who had probably missed their Brownie-Scouts meeting to come to this show.
Emotion Sickness came directly afterwards. Ben tapped his hi-hat four times, and the band, accompanied by keyboardist Sam Holloway, were off into the six minute opening track from their latest album, Neon Ballroom. It's always a wonder to see this song performed. If you think the recorded version is good, the live version will just blow you away. The astonishing accuracy of sound, along with the emotional intensity, make this track more than amazing when performed live.
Still no ever-enlightening words from Daniel, but by this point he had fetched his green PRS that everyone likes so much, and has seen with him for years. Again there were four taps by Ben, but this time there was a much heavier result. The powerful beginning to Slave seemed to shake the house, and Daniel once again was standing right in front of me. He would come back over to center-stage as he and Chris banged out the heavy interlude. Chris, in particular, was bobbing and really showing energy as he rocked out to the music.
The popular frogstomp track, Pure Massacre, followed in normal fashion. The only difference from their normal performance is that the music paused for a moment as the soft opening riff came to an end. We were then greeted with a growl from Daniel's throat, commanding us to, "Get the fuck up!"
Finally our silverchair frontman spoke to us. It was a brief bit of commentary, basically to introduce their next song. We all knew it as their current single, Ana's Song. This song was performed with traditional grace. The band seems to come together well on this track. A powerful drum presence actually seems to take an important role in the song. It seems to give it extra backup, necessary to make it a moving song when played live.
An MC5 cover song started to make its way into the 'chair's set while they were last over in their homeland of Australia. Kick Out the Jams is an upbeat track, and all members of the band seem to enjoy playing it quite a bit. Sam adds a very cool touch on keyboards. Before playing this song, however, Daniel apparently succeeded at getting the crowd riled up. He declared it time to rock and roll. He went on to enlighten us with more talk. "We know you're all very fucking busy. We know you live on a hectic schedule, 'cuz you live in New York, where everything is very fucking hectic. But it's time...it's time. This isn't time to chill. This isn't a fucking lounge room. This isn't fucking Jerry Senifeld on the TV screen, motherfuckers. We're ready for rock and roll. So did you come here to rock? Or did you come here to feel yourselves, and watch three fucking television stars talk crap? Did you come here to rock? Did you come here to fucking rock!? New York, you fucking ready to kick out the jams, motherfucker!" The song rocked. What else can I say?
Strapping on the green PRS, Daniel once again returned to the microphone. In one of the longer speeches I've seen from him, he thanked all bands and parties involved in quite an interesting fashion. He first started by conforming that New York could rock, "Believe you me, we know rock and roll when we see it, because we play it every goddamned motherfucking night......except for nights off. Then, our manager has us doing interviews with important press people." A joke drumbeat then followed by Ben.
Figuring he had a newfound talent as a standup comic, Daniel continued. "One day a whale met the beach. The whale said, 'Hey, what's up?' The beach said, 'The tide, motherfucker, the tide.' But wait, there's more. Does anyone here believe in Jesus?" Shouts of "no" came rolling back from the crowd. This babble is interesting every time Daniel does it, as he finds a new twist to give it at every show. "Does anyone here believe in the power of the Bible?" was his next question. Again, screams of "no" erupted. Daniel next told us that, "There's always one guy saying 'The Bible fucking sucks, ma-...The Bible fucking sucks, motherfucker, the Bible fucking sucks.' So does anyone here believe in the power of Satan?" Large cheers came from the crowd.
The 'chair frontman then got political, yet heavy sarcasm seemed to roll through some of his speech. "We want to thank Blink 182 for letting us play on their stage. We also want to thank ourselves for...playing. Also thanks to Fenix TX. They're very cool and nice. We also want to thank our record company. And we also want to thank our sponsors, Coca-Cola. And we also want to thank anyone who has anything to do with the huge upcoming career of this brilliant young band, silverchair, Australian grunge trio." Just a bit of sarcasm in reference to some of the early critic's claim that silverchair were a grunge wannabe band. I thought the whole addition to thank the record company and Coca-Cola was hilarious, as well.
After his little speech, he turned to finish what I knew was the intro chatter to The Door, the band's fourth single from the Freak Show album. "Can I get a hallelujah!?" Screams from the crowd. "Can I get a hallelujah!?" More screams. "Can I get a halle-fucking-lujah!? Yeah!" Then he again commanded all of us to, "Get the fuck up!"
The concert finished off with the first singles from their last two albums, Freak and Anthem for the Year 2000. During Freak, Daniel belted out a wretched growl for half of the second verse. Anthem finished off the show. A few things were thrown into the song. For instance, a line in the first verse, "We are the youth, and politicians suck my dick." Before the second verse started, good ol' Mr. Johns was strutting across the stage, somewhat reminiscent of legendary AC/DC guitarist, Angus Young. The song finished off with sort of an unusual but very cool ending. For the last several bars of the chorus before the song ends, Daniel was yelling "We'll make it up!" repeatedly. It added kind of a cool twist to the song, I thought. I watched the guys walk by me, and off to their dressing rooms, fans still screaming for more. To be perfectly honest, I have seen them six times now, and they still amaze me with every show. It really is a wonder to see such a talented young group of people perform.
I apologize for my lack of Sam and Ben pictures, as I couldn't see Ben well behind his drum set, and all of my pics of Sam came out blurry. I have included some of the best pictures from the show here. Enjoy.
By Amanda Jenkins
At around 4:00pm my friends and I were trapezing around NY (Times Square actually) and I (being the most silverchair obsessed of the group) wanted to check out the venue. So we went out back to see what (or who rather) there was to see. I felt like a bit of a stalker, but we were just checking out the scene. Most notably, we saw Travis from Blink arrive and Ben's head through an upstairs window looking at us ("Who has spiky hair?!"), and what looked like Daniel's arm close another back window (skinny, jelly bracelets- who else?).
We actually got in line around 5:30 and it was already around the block. When they called us in to get our will call tickets (the ticket booth is actually in the lobby), to my shock and amazement, silverchair were in the middle of soundcheck! Specifically Emotion Sickness, so I heard from the "Get ups" to the end. I didn't want to go back outside, but they were yelling at us. The show started at 7:30 with Fenix TX, who are actually quite decent (and the guys are pretty cool, more about that later).
Luckily there was a good amount of silverchair fans so there was definitely excitement in the air as we waited for the roadies to finish, and believe it or not, hardly a screaming teeny to be seen or heard from.
silverchair opened with Israel's Son (big surprise), with Chris ripping up the bass-line, and progressed to Emotion Sickness and Slave. Emotion Sickness was sung with a great amount of passion from Daniel, especially the "Get ups" (much more so than sound check). And I can almost say for certain that he said "Starve my brain" instead of "Stop my pain", cause I know there's been some debate. The rhythm section also sounded awesome.
Slave was notable because this is where it first became apparent that Daniel must be one sexually frustrated dude (well, who isn't?). During one part he ran his hand over his chest seductively and made some very lovely wanking motions with his right hand. This was probably the biggest trend of the evening, as we were also treated to the seduction of Sam, with Daniel running his tongue over his teeth and performing some very suggestive hip movements. Not to mention him licking the microphone on several occasions and more of the grinding hip moves. But am I complaining? Oh no.
Next was a rousing rendition of Pure Massacre (where I believe the Sam-seduction took place), it inspired the crowd to mix it up a bit. After that Daniel talked to the crowd for the first time, as well as after the next tune, Ana's Song.
Notable quotes (from what I can decipher and remember from his completely non-sensical stage patter (which we all know and love): "Do we suck? We suck, yeah we do suck, but on frequent occasions we do play good rock and roll, and BELIEVE YOU ME, we know good rock and roll, we play it every GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKIN' DAY!" Or something along those lines. Okay so I can only remember one thing specfically, it's 5:40 in the morning okay?
After Ana's Song, Daniel went on about New York and how the people were always so busy and I believed he thanked us for takigng time out of our busy lifestyles to rock, and he mentioned life in NY as it pertained to Seinfeld. Some moron threw a shirt onstage during Ana's Song, and where did it land? Right on Daniel's mic stand. It startled him enough that he missed like 2 lines of the song.
"Are you ready to kick out the jams MOTHERFUCKERS?" Oh I was definitely ready. I'm so glad that they decided to continue to play this in concert again. It rocked, the music and lyrics perfect for silverchair, and the singing style different for Daniel, which was very cool to hear.
Daniel chatted again for a bit before The Door (again, big surprise). He mentioned that silverchair were the "new brilliant young grunge trio from Australia." He also seemed to fancy himself a bit of a stand-up comedian, telling us a joke about a whale and the beach (something about the tiding being "what was up") and Ben did the ba-da-ba thing on his drums, making Daniel and Chris laugh, were was really good to see. "Oh it only gets better," Daniel laughed. Who believes in Jesus? Who believes in Satan? You know the drill. And the congregation definitely answered The Reverend Daniel back with some rousing Hallelujahs. They launched into The Door, and it was quite possibly the best I've ever heard it (six concerts is a bit hard to keep track of). Daniel really did some splendid things with the vocals.
As I said before there were quite a few silverchair supporters in the crowd. (I'd say more than half, even if they were mainly Blink fans), so Freak was pulled off quite nicely with crowd interaction, as was the closer Anthem. It always amazed me when the death metal growl comes out of Daniel's throat, but it did during Freak, and sounded fantastic at that (cause sometimes it doesn't).Anthem was a definite crowd pleaser and rocked as much as we all know it can. Fourty-five minutes of incredible music was over without so much a parting word or a glance from the 'chair (which is their style), but the evening was not.
Blink 182 played a solid set, with a fantastic light show (silverchair's was not too shabby either), although Mark and Tom talked almost as much as they played. If you want to be entertained, go for Blink, if you want to ROCK, go for silverchair.
After the show was over, we once again acted the roles of stalkers, although I wasn't feeling too good about it. We waited outside for an hour and a half and witnessed:
1. Mark from Blink running out of the building (literally) and dragging his girlfriend with him. The security guards (or whomever) tried to go after him but he got away (on his second attempt).
2. Chris with an entire entourage pratically, complete with John Watson, just waltzed down the sidewalk and back into the back door of the venue, completely untouched. It was a huge surprise and no one reacted in time (which was probably a good thing) to accost him or even shout.
3. John Watson pretty much hanging out the window above for a good 20+ minutes. He seemd to be checking out the scene below, maybe a possible means of escape. Sam was also visible next to him for awhile. I seemed to be the only who knew who they were, I thought about shouting to Watson, but that seemed like too much of a crazed stalker thing to do.
4. Adam, the bass player of Fenix TX, hung out and chatted with everyone for a good hour or so, so did a couple of his bandmates. They all were really cool guys.
5. Roadies loading up the truck in the middle of a two lane crowded NY City street, it was a bit of a commuter nightmare. A charter bus almost took out Fenix's traveling Winnabago type vehicle (tiny compared to Blink's huge tour bus "182 Express") while trying to fit next to the truck.
And that was about it. The crew told us that all the band members had left already after we had been waiting for almost 2 hours. Drat, foiled again by some secret exit. Which is probably a good thing actually. But all I wanted to do was to finally see our boys up close and in a "real" life setting, if only for a minute. Maybe next time. This was just not our night (or morning for that matter).
One last thing, for those of you who are concerned with Daniel's health- he honestly looks healthier, if only a bit. He was wearing long sleeves and pants, but he didn't look quite as thin as earlier this year. His face still looks a bit angular though, although that may have been exaggerated by the stage lighting. He was smiling and laughing with Ben and Chris which I haven't seen in a long time in concert. Yet, it sometimes seems like they're not having a good deal of fun, compared to bands like Fenix TX or Blink who make it very obvious. Then again silverchair's songs are pretty serious, and not light-weight fun songs.
Well, it is now 6:20 am and we're almost at our train stop in New Jersey. I only have one thing to say, this has been one fucking unbelievable night, but was entirely worth it to see silverchair, one fucking unbelievable live band in New York City (home to the falafel and vegan bakeries, yum!), even for a fourth time this year.