The Electric Factory - Philadelphia, USA
Lie To Me
Anthem For The Year 2000
By LAURENCE GEORGE
The Philly show rocked! It was very different from my last 'chair show in NJ. OK OK - Here we go... We will skip the outdoors yadda, yadda - "Why are there so many people here? - I'm sooo cold - How come all 4,000 of us cannot go backstage? - Damn, I gotta climb these stairs again - Tickets cost money?" Haha. Just a few highlights. Regardless, inside everyone went. It was quite orderly overall. The equipment was up and sound checks complete. This club is in the city, seems old as hell, but there is something charming about it! Very roomy and two levels to boot. Cool painted walls and coloured lights. Tonight was - Fenix TX, silverchair, Blink 182.
First band Fenix, started at 8PM, playing their 30 min. pop/punk type set. They left and the theme to "Taxi Driver" soon spilled from the PA speakers. It was minutes before 9PM - and this was the silverchair entrance tune. Ben walking up, stage right to back this time around, shirtless as he normally plays. Here comes Chris from the right, in his bright Orange pants and black tee shirt. Daniel enters seconds later, from right to center left, wearing his black slacks, tee shirt, & long sleeved glitter shirt over top. The crowd was excited and it showed. Seemed to be many 'chair fans in Philly tonight.
Nice "Neon Lights Theme" used on stage, as applied to the 'chairs equipment. Liked that extra touch. It's always there, but I previously forgot to mention it. Chris started the evening with his cool, steady, creeping bass line. This was the first tune - Israel's Son. I think it's an excellent song and a solid opener for the crowd. It's a good "Shot in the arm" - gets everyone going. This song seemed to be played a bit slow in tempo. Intentionally so. I loved the groove. Ben and Chris were, as always, rock solid and full of force. Quite honestly, Ben hits those drums like he wants to hurt them badly, while Chris plucks his bass notes as if his last. It shows, you can hear it in the speakers and feel it in your bones!
Along with the rhythm, Daniel was kicking in with some drama. I loved this, and if he ever gives up music....hmmm. Movies? (Kidding) Hehe. He did the strum and point thing. Left/center/right. This got a favorable response from all the screaming crowd. Mostly teens, but a decent amount of adults as well. How refreshing! silverchair's music is that mature indeed. Interesting note, Israel's Son slowed down to a near halt at one point near its end. Then things were quickly sped back up at Ben's lead in, with Daniel jumping straight up and down, Chris doing his manic rooster type move! Lots of interesting tempo variation on this tune. Very strong vocals.
Emotion Sickness was next, and received a warm welcome. This song seems to be very well liked. It's one of my personal favorite 'chair songs for sure. Really something else to hear live. It was played differently than I heard at their last show. Again, very unique tempo variations seemed to be used throughout nearly every song. I loved it! Daniel certainly mixed it up with his vocal performance. He actually hit some real high notes that I have not heard live before. There were some excellent guitar fills and bends as well. Daniel managed to make me emotional during the next to last verse with his, "get up...get up!" The last two of which, you could see his entire body shaking with passion. He sings from the heart and from looking around the room, it had much effect on people!
Emotion Sickness had alot going on. Sam Holloway on keys doing an excellent job. Sam looks so damn focused and into his craft! He's having fun. Go Sam! I noticed some great little drum parts that were not apparent to me on the studio cut. Crafty little nuances and accents from Ben. His drum kit sounded great. Chris used a pick during this song for a percussive, clean sound. Very nice. Many electric bass players use a pick during studio recording, for this very purpose. Chris also seems to use a somewhat dry and mid setting on his amp(s). It's a cool sound and seems to provide a unique edge to the 'chair. You know that 'chair - "Crunch!" Daniel's guitars always sound amazing as well! Gotta love tubes. The ending was strong and the crowd roared!
Next was Slave. I love the "Drive" of this song. It's a no frills rock tune really. Clean, steady, and strong. Somewhere along the way, Daniel touching his chest and falling down in his crotch area to be met with some shrieks from the crowd. The music softened a bit during last "break" to end. The feel was jagged with a "trotting pace." Daniel then shouting "Go" - the tempo speeds up to a powerful ending.
The band went right into Pure Massacre next, and as always, a crowd favorite. This song was packed with energy. The crowd went full swing from a - cheering and movement standpoint, with a bit of crowd surfing. Moshing was near impossible due to a packed floor and no room for travel. Philly does not seem to surf as much as NJ! I again enjoyed the different "feel" of music and vocals here! silverchair is truly a "Rock Band." They do things like a band of 20 years ago may have done. This is what "Live" is all about. Hallelujah! Hmmm, did I just give someone his "hallelujah"? Daniel did some point and strum. He ran to his speaker stacks at one point and made some interesting feedback. All I know is - Ben, Chris, and Daniel, moved together on this song, like a fucking million pound freight train! Solid and anchored, beginning to end.
Now Daniel spoke - "Thank you Philadelphia." He said more which I could not make out. He was clear I'm sure, like the other show I attended. Unfortunately, from my location with all the crowd noise, I could not get it all. I'd rather leave this blank than misquote. Although, this next quote is nearly right on the money. Daniel said - "This is our television, slash - radio song." Ana's Song it was. The band did a very nice job here and the vocals soared! Very well received.
Satin Sheets was next. More fast paced then studio version. Daniel let out a graphic scream on this tune. As Ben and Chris worked the foundation into a thunder, Daniel came out in front of the stage for a few seconds of soloing. This was on a small platform type - stage extension, but was not part of the stage. This platform can land someone feet from the "pit" area. Daniel headed for the speaker stacks afterwards for some feedback action. Nicely done. silverchair really improvised well all night long. They seem to "know" one another so damn well, and move seamlessly from part to part, without even glancing towards one another at times. They improvise briefly but effectively. So nuance added, yet no drawn out nonsense. Although, I bet they can "Jam" for hours if left to do so.
Hear is a powerhouse tune. Lie To Me! Just get it the fuck out. No apologies here. It started with "Go" from guess who? AND, continued with - punchy/manic rhythm, feedback from Daniel's axe, and at the very end, a scream... People - a SCREAM, that I never heard come out of another person's body before! I kid you not. I wouldn't ask Daniel Johns to try and top this, for fear of him landing in the hospital with a ruptured diaphragm! I am serious. This scream was during the last of - "Lie To Me" phrase and was totally unexpected. All the folks over 20 on the upper level, where I was, literally stopped breathing. Daniel shook like an enraged animal, nearly losing his balance as he pulled away from the microphone and spun around towards Ben's kit and the speaker stacks. I thought he was going down. I heard a very serious "Holy Shit" from another nearby spectator. Rock -n- Roll!
Seconds later, Daniel talking to us. He quickly rambled a bunch off. I again had trouble hearing it. It was frustrating as hell. It sounded like he was reciting a poem. Sounded interesting! I did make out most of the end. After the, (poem?) he kind of paused and said something like - "The next (sliverchair) record will be far superior to anything we have done before." He may have called it a "break dance on road record." He looked over towards Chris's area of stage, and broke into a half smile. Kind of looked as though he couldn't hold back the laughter. Ben and Chris were grinning already! This was nice to see. Ben did a little drum roll as if Daniel was doing stand up.
Soon this led to a very funny "Rap" type of routine. Silly music from the band, and Daniel was hysterical with his vocal improvisation. In summary, it was a rendition of life on the road, and a mock of all the "superficial" things people put importance on. This, in addition to "rock star" stereotypes. I apologize again for lack of quotes. But to give an idea - "Ben, Chris and Danny (say) hellooo. Their having so much fun. All the pretty girls, all the money, drugs and fun..." Things of this nature. We all know how glamorous something may seem, until we have to do it ourselves! Right? Human nature. All I can say is this little rap style bit, whatever you label it, was extremely hilarious and the crowd loved it. I saw most everyone looking at the band, then towards whomever they were with, while cracking up all the way. This led into the Jesus and Satan Q&A. But Daniel also asked, "Who believes in the power of rock?!" Lastly, "Can I get a hallelujah?" Hell Yeah!
Daniel yells, "Mother Fucker!" and into The Door we go. Very nice live version here. Chris and Ben seemed to mix it up a bit in area of "feel." Just felt different. Softer but more diverse. Lot's of cool riffing, fills, vocal variation. Daniel points to Sam Holloway at one point shouting "Sample." Ends with a very high, "Makes no sense to me."
"Get the motherfucker up!" screamed Daniel. "Freak" fires up and a most enjoyable performance. It was funny, Daniel seemed to sing the "Body & soul....I'm a freak" in basically what we call a - "girly" voice in the states! Cracks me up! Sarcasm noted. Great mini solo again. Many brief solo's through the night during this show. Some walking around as well during this tune. One point for this whole evening was the use of a lot of "bright" lighting. Never noticed this at previous shows. Maybe an "electric" factory condition, oh how fitting...
Last song of evening - Anthem For The Year 2000. Seemed to be played "spitefully" slow at one point. It was unique and effective. A positive slowness. Daniel pointed and wailed "We are" getting the crowd to sing on "We are the youth!" It was a nice response overall and much better than the NJ show I attended. You really had a sense of the 'chairs "togetherness" here in Philly. A nice touch at end Daniel singing "Philadelphia we'll make it up to you!" and he sounded so sincere. The 'chair rocked through the remainder of this powerful "Anthem" and left the stage abruptly leaving the crowd hungry. Hope we can see them again in the future. "silverchair" - Say the name once and say it again. Let it sink in. This honestly, may be the very last true - "rock" band we will know for many years to come...Post Script: As I left this club, I glanced towards my left, near the exit door and was very shocked but pleased to see a Vegan/Animal Rights - education type display. Just a friendly young man in a small booth like you would see at a county fair. We all know Daniel is Vegan, and what a tactful way to share! You could walk up quietly, get your free pamphlets to take home and read later. No advertising. No preaching from the guy in glitter! See that... We can think for ourselves and make choices. How 'bout that people?