Homebake Festival - Sydney, Australia
Miss You Love
Advance Australia Fair
Anthem For The Year 2000
Photos by CHRIS OWEN
Review by SARAH WARD
The final show of silverchair's 1999 Neon Ballroom tour was definitely a 'must see' event. Headlining the annual Homebake festival's second and final show in Sydney's picturesque Domain was a hell of a way to end what had been a tremendous (and no doubt tiring) year for the band.
Bands such as Frenzal Rhomb, Jebediah, Grinspoon and Powderfinger were among the many who rocked the main stage and hyped up the already enthusiastic crowd during the day in the seemingly unmerciful heat of the sun.
Finally, at approximately 9:30pm the moment for which I had been eagerly waiting arrived. The "Taxi-Driver" theme, which is now very well known amongst 'chair fans, sounded through the PA. One by one, the various band members saunted onto the stage, met with a roar from the crowd which was around 25,000 strong. There were a couple of confused sounding mutters of "what the hell?" as people turned their eyes towards Daniel's purple mirror-ball suit, followed by some good-humoured chuckles and confessions of "oh how cool."
Unlike many of the other silverchair sets played previously in the year, the opening song was not "Emotion Sickness", but Chris' extremely familiar (and highly famous) bass intro for "Israel's Son". As soon as Daniel strummed those muted chords, the crowd surged forward and began screaming out the words (painfully out of tune might I add!). As always, everyone put their hands in the air and the mosh truly came alive towards the end of the song. As the band went immediately into "Emotion Sickness," there were many exclamations from punters around me of "fuck yeah, this is bloody fantastic," often from those who before were whinging about silverchair and giving them less than charming reviews.
"Emotion Sickness" never ceases to amaze. It's one of those songs that no matter how many times you hear it live, it still manages to touch deep inside and bring out emotions which never seemed to exist beforehand. The fantastic stage setup and lighting (yay Hugh!!) really makes an atmosphere like no other, enabling the fans to not only hear the songs, but to actually experience them.
Getting the crowd up for a bit of a heavy thrash around in the pit, "Slave" and "Pure Massacre" really got everyone moving. "Pure Massacre" sported quite a sing-along, though all the pauses and little changes in the timing of the lyrics threw everyone off a bit.
As Daniel was changing guitars to his SG, he proceeded to yell at someone who was talking, saying that it was pissing him off. He also said "thanks Sydney for not throwing too many projectiles". Next the opening chords of "Ana's Song (Open Fire)" caused everyone to cheer and sing-along again. As usual, it was a particularly beautiful version of the song followed by an equally moving "Miss You Love," giving everyone a chance to slow down and catch their breath.
"Advance Australia Fair" was next, met with a few chuckles from the crowd who were firstly a bit shocked to hear it, and secondly amused by Daniel's interesting parody of it, which wasn't what you would exactly call 'perfect'. Somewhere around this part of the show, Daniel thanked their management and crew saying that he loved them very much and that it was nice having them around to kiss arse.
A fantastically energetic version of "Satin Sheets" came next followed by "Madman," which was absolutely outstanding. Like in most of the other songs, there were many pauses of varying durations which really added to the excitement, as well as parts where just the bass and drums were playing without the guitar part as Daniel prowled each side of the stage in turn, touching himself and lifting up his shirt at one point. "Madman" had to have been one of the most intense moments of the entire show, with each person letting go and getting into the music.
As done in Perth (5/12), Daniel entertained the crowd with his renditions of "Mambo #5" and "Genie In A Bottle," sounding very seductive during the later, causing many a female fan to blush and scream out their undying love for him. "Can I get a hallelujah" came next which caused some puzzled looks at first, but by the "can I get a halle-fuckin-lujah," everyone had caught on. They ripped into "The Door," triggering off the merciless mosh pit once again. With "Freak" next, the mosh didn't stop until the short "body and soul, I'm a freak" crowd-participation moment, allowing a quick breather before it started up again.
I was hoping to hear "Kick Out The Jams" somewhere around this point in the set, but when Ben began the intro for "Anthem for the Year 2000," I knew that the end was sadly very near. There were grins all around as Daniel began the familiar "we are the youth" chant with the entire audience participating and singing it back to him on request.
The band then walked off the stage for a short period of time during which the usual "we want more" and "sil-ver-chair" were called in hopes that the mighty 'chair would do an encore. Low and behold, they wandered back on stage with Daniel declaring that they weren't supposed to do an encore and that they probably weren't going to get their money now. He also thanked all of his friends and said that he wanted to kiss them. As suspected by most fans, "Spawn Again" was the final song full of energy, enthusiasm, emotion, anger, passion and feedback. Daniel's guitar stuffed up a little bit at one point, but that was quickly fixed by Bailey and pretty much went unnoticed as the bass, drums and keyboard were so strong.
Homebake was an awesome event, and although I'm now in debt due to the airfare from Melbourne to Sydney and I'm nursing sunburnt shoulders, I would do it all over again in a second. Saturday's show was a totally spectacular farewell to not only a wonderful year and the Neon Ballroom era of silverchair's career, but also for the 20th Century. I hope that the band members have a very merry Christmas and enjoy their well-deserved break in the New Year.
By CHRIS OWEN
This was probably the last rock event of the millenium so I was really looking forward to it. It was very hot, unlike Gold Coast were it rained, but there was shade in the front few rows from about 3 o'clock onwards, although it may have been better to have been burned than to have spent 7 hours in the mosh pit!
After amazing sets from Grinspoon and Powderfinger, silverchair finally came on at about 9.30. After the intro of "Taxi-driver," Ben and Chris came onstage. Chris was wearing orange trousers and using his gold glittered bass. Daniel came on stage wearing that amazing suit of giant purple sequins and his red space shoes, and launched straight into "Israels Son." "Emotion Sickness" went down really well with the crowd after which Daniel removed his jacket, although most people around me were shouting "keep going!" They then played "Slave," "Pure Massacre," and a heavier than album version of "Ana's Song." Sam Holloway really helps in the new songs like this and "Miss You Love" which was next. Daniel played a solo at this point in the show, which was "Advance Australia Fair." They then played"Satin Sheets," the heaviest song in the set, with its Sepultura-esque riff at the end and some growling by Daniel, and then "Madman." At the end of the song, Ben was going mental on the drums and Daniel said, "That's 150 pounds of Gillies." Chris was headbanging like a lunatic!
For some reason Daniel started to sing a bit of "Mambo No.5," and then "Genie In A Bottle," before a bit of crowd participation. "Does anyone here believe in God? No, Sydney is not where religious people live, does anyone believe in Satan?" This was followed with the Hallelujah bit before going into "The Door" and then "Freak."
During "Freak," the spotlight was on Sam for a quick solo which was cool! One of the knobs on Daniels Green PRS guitar came off, but he said "We can still rock!" Sam then started up the synth noises for "Anthem For The Year 2000" The crowd responded by chanting "We are the youth" along with Daniel.
They left the stage for a few minutes and then returned to play the massive "Spawn Again." Before playing the song, Daniel said "we're not really allowed to do an encore and we will probably get in trouble!" I was hoping they'd say goodbye, seeing it was probably their last gig in what seems like forever, but I still went home happy.
By JOANNA COOPER
Homebake was sick! It was really good and I had heaps of fun. Jebadiah, Grinspoon and Something for Kate were particularly cool, but I am sure you only want to know about silverchair!
They were tops. I have seen them 5 times now, and everytime they have been good. They seemed to have a bit of sound trouble during "Israel's Son" and "Emotion Sickness." Daniel was not very talkative, and when he did talk he had his usual array of swearing in there.
During the show Daniel did his little bit of singing "Mambo #5" and "Genie in a Bottle," which was pretty funny. When he was singing "Freak," he sped up when singing "seems it's in fashion". In between one of the songs, Ben did this little thing on the drums and Daniel said something like "154 kg's of glory, ah yes, Ben Gillies." He was also saying "stop talking it is pissing me off... just be quiet!"
The last song the chair played was "The Door" and everyone started to leave the mosh after it was over. Because I have been to see the chair twice this year already, I knew they would come back to play "Spawn Again," so it gave my friend and I a good chance to get closer to the front. When they returned to the stage, Daniel said "we are not supposed to do an encore we'll probably get our arses kicked." This was followed by a totally rocking version of "Spawn Again."
During the show, Daniel did the usual chant of "we are the youth" before "Anthem" Daniel improvised the lyrics in "Freak" by saying "You're the freaks." He also did the thing on religion, and saying can I get a "halle-fuckin-lujah" and talking about God and Satan.
Daniel was wearing a purple sequined shirt, I didn't see his legs much. Chris was wearing pants and a shirt, I can't remember what colours, and his hair has gone really Ben was wearing his custom no shirt and a pair of shorts.
I thought they played really well, and I can't wait to see them again!