Gone South Festival - Launceston, Australia


It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Lanceston and the twelve thousand people that attended "Gone South" at Inveresk Railway Yards basked in the sun and the beautiful music. My friends and I got there around 2 o'clock because we didn't really want to see the college bands. Killing Heidi were on stage around 3-3:30 and rocked the crowd into a minor frenzy. Alex Lloyd was next, and at that point I proceeded to the food stalls to wait desperately for service for an hour. Grinspoon came on after some delay and the mosh grew to sizable proportions. Powderfinger were on next and then Paul Kelly.

By the time Paul Kelly hit the stage I was so excited and anxiouse for silverchair to grace us with their presence that I pushed my way through the throngs of old, drunken bikies to secure a spot near the front. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one who was trying to secure myself a bit of a spot and a view. The crowd went crazy after Paul Kelly and people were asking to be dragged out by the bouncers a half an hour before the 'chair even hit the stage. Being the headliners of the festival and having toured Australia twice already this year without hitting Tassie lead to mass desperation amongst silverchair fans.

The lights finally went down and an intro that wasn't the Taxi Driver soundrack-thingy came on. One of my friends thought it was "Purple Sneakers" by You Am I. Anyways, the 'chair were finally there. A shirtless ben (of course), a bushy-haired Chris in his now-trademark orange trousers, and Daniel, donning purple sequined trousers (the likes of which I believe I've seen Britney Spears wearing in photos in the pink version!?!), his black sparkly shirt and black Uni t-shirt.

The band seemed to be really relaxed and having heaps of fun. They started with Isreal's Son and followed it with Emotion Sickness and Slave. From there on I don't actually remember the order, but I know the set-list was different from their previouse shows entirely. They played all the same songs, minus Paint Pastel Princess (which Daniel started but then quickly switched over to Madman (to the emusement of Chris and Ben), and Point Of View, Suicidal Dream and some more that I can't be bothered figuring out right now. They ended with Y2K and toddled off the stage only to return shortly and inform us that although they're not supposed to do an encore they would just for us because they love us (Daniel). They then played No Association before walking off stage without a glance back (always a bit disappointing).

Daniel was dancing around in his little (tight) pants, girating behind his guitar and posing ass-to-the-crowd style. He didn't say much and what he did say was muffled by the fact that I was at the barrier (poor sound) and that people's elbows were in my ears. I know he said something about Launceston being wonderful, apologizing for the fact that they haven't been here (Tassie) for two years and comparing Launy to Strahan, where his grandma lives. Launy reminds him of Strahan only Strahan is smaller and Launy is bigger.

Daniel thanked us all for coming and there was, of course, the wonderful halle-fucking-lujah before an always rocking rendition of The Door. He got the crowd to sing 'we are the youth' but didn't do it for as long as I've seen in the past. He wasn't talking to himself at all and was interactive with the crowd (unlike their show in Melbourne on March 6th). The band really seemed to be enjoying themselves and their energy level was significantly boosted after they played Kick Out The Jams (somewhere in the middle of the set list). Ben and Chris where laughing and joking around, Ben sticking out his tongue and grimacing at Chris during the heavy drum fills.

During Miss You Love, Daniel was girating and grinding his hips at Sam and both of them cracked up laughing. It's really really good to see the boys enjoying themselves. They were extremely well recieved by the crowd, most of which had pretended like they were hanging out most to see Powderfinger but ended up sacrificing life and limb for the 'chair in the mosh just to get a closer look.

It always amazes me that these three boys from beautiful Newcastle are SO incredibly famous. It's unfathomable and weird, but wonderful at the same time. They've become awesome performers and Daniel has truly adapted a confident and captivating stage-presence. The interaction I saw last night was such a great boost for the enjoyment of the crowd. This was the best silverchair concert I've seen (only my third). The fact that Daniel seemed happy and energized, the way they joked around with each other and the relaxed improvisation throughout the songs all added to the amazing experience of the 'chair in tiny little Launceston.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to make it to Homebake in Sydney do to serious lack of funds, but to anyone who has the chance to get there, DO NOT PASS UP THIS CHANCE. silverchair are taking a break next year -for an extended period of time- it'll be a while and probably a new album before they hit the stage again... and they're absolutely phenomenal. Thank you to the boys for entertaining the masses yet again.