Electric Ballroom - London, England
By DANIEL YOUNG
Wow! That's all that I can really say about silverchair's triumphant return to London. We got to the Electric Ballroom for about 7:00pm and started to queue, and straight outside Camden Town station which had to have it's doors locked, due to the amount of people stuck out in the street. My friends and me quickly joined the queue and proceeded to take as many of the free Neon Ballroom flyers as possible from the people handing them out. At about 7:30pm the doors opened and the queue started to move. We got inside the venue, which was a little weird to say the least. It has big squares hanging from the ceiling, neon lights, and a giant sound mixer in the middle of the dance floor. The venue was much bigger than I had expected. It also had an upstairs gallery and mirrors each side of the stage.
No sooner had we got in then CAY had started to play, we was too far down the back to get a really good glimpse of the band, they were kinda like a mix of pop/punk, very Hole sounding band, they were ok.
Next band on was NOJAHODA. This was a band that had totally been ripped to shreds in the music press, with their poor trashy music, to quote one magazine. They were quite appalling and had not much tune whatsoever. They did have some good songs though, but they just seemed a bit out of place.
After NOJAHODA had finished, we started to push our way to the front. The roadies started to set up the equipment. I could already see Ben Gillies drum kit, which had been there since CAY finished. It had the new silverchair logo on the front of the bass drum, and what looked like a neon strip around the bass drum also.
Next Daniel's microphone and stand was moved out which also had a big neon strip all the way up it. I saw Bailey Holloway again doing the usual of testing Dan's green PRS and his Gibson's. After the roadies had finished the lights went down and an eerie blue light bathed the stage. At the back of the stage also were disco glitter balls and neon light strips everywhere. Some weird music started playing of which the only thing I could make out in it was the famous line "Are you talking to me?" Then the set started flickering and out came the band.
It was quite a funny sight at first. Daniel was wearing a slivery/greenish ballroom shirt complete with sequins, and Chris had giant orange trousers on, very much like Hip-Hop style, with a white stripe down the side. He also had a Bass guitar that was gold with sparkles on it, it was very funny.
Immediately they launched into 'Slave'. It was amazing and everyone just went mental and started moshing. It was quite a crush. I quite had expected them to play Israel's Son first from looking at the reviews of the two previous concerts, but 'Slave' it was.
Next without saying a word they leapt straight into 'Pure Massacre', again another very powerful song. After the song had finished Daniel spoke and said thanks for everyone for coming. He next said that they were going to play a new song, the one I had waited for.
Daniel introduced 'Emotion Sickness', I don't think words can describe how moving that song was, and I was desperately trying to see how Daniel was playing it. This was also the first time I got to glimpse Sam Holloway. He was positioned next to Daniel's amps. He made the song sound really beautiful as his keyboard sounded very much like violins. Although the song was brilliant it didn't seem like six minutes long, maybe I was enjoying it too much.
Here's the songs played (Should be correct):
Ana's Song (Open Fire)
All The Same To Me
Leave Me Out
Miss You Love
Anthem For The Year 2000
I also during the set noticed the new sticker on Daniel's guitar. It said 'Ban Duck Season: Big Guns, Little Dicks', which we all thought was quite good. Daniel introduced another new song called 'Ana's Song (Open Fire)', which was again quite mellow then started to get kinda heavy near the end. Also, when he played it, it had one part that reminded me of 'Untitled' i.e. soft then heavy, then back to soft again. It worked very well and the song was really beautiful. It also had in my opinion anyway, a kinda Radiohead sounding part, where Daniel sung high but very melodic.
Israel's son came really early on in the set which was quite a surprise but again the crowd went mental and Daniel strung out the song and screamed extra parts to it to make it more interesting. Daniel then during halfway through the set stood alone and we knew that the 'Cemetery' solo had arrived. Once again, a large spotlight was placed on Daniel and he sung his heart out, it was pretty amazing.
Another new song I was keen to hear live, or even hear for that matter was 'All The Same To Me'. I couldn't figure out what song they were playing Daniel started to sing the all the same to me lyric nearer the middle/end of the song. Again, this song was really good and melodic.
I noticed how silverchair's playing style has improved over time, especially with the new songs. The drum beats, bass lines, and especially the way Daniel plays some of the songs, chords wise. The chords were quite complicated in some areas from what I could see and it looked like the band had been very experimental with them, which is in my opinion not a bad thing, as they all sounded great. It was just nice to see the band evolving and again trying new things.
During the set, Daniel had quite a lot to say to the crowd, which was really nice to see. At the end of one song he said to the crowd that, you know how like certain bands have like their own certain characters, or image? A bit like the Spice Girls have Posh, Sporty etc. He then said well we have our own image as well. There is the member of the band that loves partying and getting drunk and that's Ben. We call him 'Wild Chair'. And then there is the person that is strong and goes to the gym and buffs up, well Chris is 'Sporty Chair', Sam is the new guy so I guess he can be 'Baby Chair', and me well I'm really arrogant and I love myself so I am 'Posh Chair', you lot though can be 'Ginger Chair' cos all you guys are gonna leave at the end. Someone in the crowd shouted out something, Daniel turned around and said, oh no, I am now known as lesbian wanker, and everyone laughed. It was really funny to see. They weren't his exact words but it was something along those lines.
'Abuse Me' came on and by this time Daniel seemed a little pissed off with some of the crowd. Someone had thrown a bottle at him and he proceeded to stick his finger up at everyone. During the set people were screaming at him for water, as it was unbearable in the pit. He said, "You want water? Nah don't have any", but he said he would get us some water in a couple of songs. He got the water and said "If I give you this water you gotta drink it and pass it on. Don't throw it back, I don't want it. Water and electricity together, bad". I thought it was quite reasonable, but of course, there were still some idiots in the crowd.
The final new track for the first set came in the form of 'Anthem For The Year 2000'. I was keen to hear how they would do the sirens and noises at the start, as in would they play a tape or just leave that part out. Daniel nodded and a tape of the start was played. Daniel got everyone to clap his hands and making them sing "We are the youth". He then launched into the song, which was really good live, much better than I had hoped.
Next silverchair performed another personal and crowd favourite 'Freak', also by adding the finger in the "cool as all of f**cking you bit.
They then left the stage and the lights went down. This is when a really cool effect came on. All the neon strips started flickering and changing color. It looked really amazing. The crowd started chanting "silverchair, silverchair" to which the lonesome figure of Daniel Johns came out and proceeded to play a really good version of Tomorrow. It was refreshing to hear it without the drums and bass. And at the end, Daniel thanked the crowd. Chris and Ben came back to the stage and they started to play 'No Association', although it was hard to tell at first as Daniel had changed the opening riff. It was probably the best song of the night, the sound was amazing and the way Ben was drumming was brilliant. He just pounded the drums as hard as they could. Many times we thought the sticker on the front of the drum was gonna blow off. It looked like it already had previously by the tape stuck on it. Last song of the night was then 'Spawn Again' a song I had never heard live before. It was again excellent, very heavy, very angry and played by the band with so much passion. As soon as the last chord was hit all the lights faded and silverchair were no more, the only sounds I could hear were feedback and a tape that played a sound of a car speeding past.
There was hardly anything I could find fault with this gig whatsoever, Usually a song sounds bad or the PA and mixer is wrong etc. But all of us agreed it was the best concert we had ever been to, the sound was just so amazing and the band entertained more than ever with chatting and interacting with the crowd. The only bad things I could find with was that in many songs I could hardly ever hear Sam playing, in fact the only song I could was in 'Emotion Sickness'. Secondly the pit area was really small and hot, lots of fainting people. Lastly my biggest regret was not being able to catch one of Dan's plectrums, I tried and I tried but I missed them, oh well there's still April to have another go.
By Tom Brandon
After the crowd had been waiting around for two hours and witnessed two ok performances from support bands Cay and Nojahoda, neon lights, disco balls and cool lighting effects began to appear on stage. The sound checks and stuff took nearly twenty minutes, every one of which the crowd was convinced the band were about to go on. Chants of 'SILVERCHAIR! SILVERCHAIR!' filled the room, and although it took a while, when they came on, they didn't disappoint.
They went straight into 'Slave', sending the mosh, and the whole room in general ballistic, followed immediately by 'Pure Massacre' which caused more commotion than the first. After this Daniel began to speak:
"Hi! We're Silverchair from Newcastle, Australia. Thanks London, for coming to the Royal concert" He took a sip of water from a bottle, which caused chants of 'WATER! WATER!' "Water?" Daniel said "No, I don't have any. But after a few songs we'll get water for everyone, a bottle each. This is a new song, it's called 'Emotion Sickness'"
I'm not sure how the crowd reacted on the whole to the song, I thought it was fantastic! The keyboards blended in really well and it convinced me that 'Neon Ballroom' will be brilliant. The lighting effects during this song were especially impressive. No one really moshed during it, but stood there with their arms in the air. It's quite hard to take in new songs in that situation. After 'Emotion Sickness', they went straight into 'Israel's Son'. Everyone recognised the bass intro and went mad, I always wondered what it would be like in the crowd at the end of that song, people went crazy, crowd surfers flying everywhere, and during the lyrics "Put your hands in the air!" Everyone did just that!
After this Daniel talked for the longest time during the whole gig. He introduced Sam, the new keyboardist: "This is Sam, he plays keyboards for us." Then launched into a really funny talk about boy bands and their stereotypical personalities: "There's alway's a wild one, and girls like that 'cause they think wild and sexy". After this he started talking about the Spice Girls, and said that tonight, instead of having Ginger Spice etc, we'd have Ginger 'Chair. : "So Sam would be like, Baby 'Chair 'cause he's new. Chris goes to the gym and pumps iron, that's why he's so buff, so he's like, Sporty 'Chair. I'm really arrogant and think I'm like, really good, so I'm, like Posh 'Chair. And you (points to the audience) you're all like Ginger 'Chair because you're going to leave at the end of the show.
This is a another new song, called 'Ana's Song'" I thought this was great too, I really loved the chorus. At this point I sort of lost track of the order of the songs, I only remembered the first five before things got too mental and I couldn't be bothered to keep track. I do know, however, all the other songs played that night, which were, in no particular order: 'Faultline', 'Madman', 'Tomorrow', 'Leave Me Out', 'Cemetery', 'The Door', 'Anthem For The Year 2000', 'No Association', 'Miss You Love', 'Freak', 'Abuse Me' and 'Spawn Again' (really heavy, it ruled).
Daniel spoke quite a few more times, not long after he promised water for the whole crowd, he got one bottle and said: "I'll give you this if you promise not to throw it back. Water and electricity, not good man." He threw the bottle into the crowd: "Pass it 'round, all have a sip" He then peeled something, I think it was a plaster from his thumb, and threw it into the crowd: "That's yours, you can keep that."
He also had a habit of shouting "Jump! FUCKING JUMP!" during songs (which always got people going), and changed a few of the lyrics, in 'Pure Massacre' for example, he sang "People crying for freedom, no one hear's a, NO ONE HEAR'S A FUCKING SOUND!"
About half way thorough, Daniel said "Thank you London, I've just officially been crowned Lesbian Wanker!" and stuck his finger up at the crowd. He did 'Cemetery' as a solo while the others took a quick break, which was really nice. Before 'Anthem For The Year 2000' Daniel got everyone to clap their hands and shout 'WE ARE THE YOUTH!', again, it got everyone going and the song was great, the first time I'd heard it, can't wait until it comes out. Everyone sang along with the old songs and moshed with most of the new.
Towards the end of the gig Daniel kept sticking his finger up at the crowd, and throughout the whole thing he adopted various poses and knew how to move everyone. I saw him spit into the mosh pit once (luckily I was well clear). I was quite surprised to see Daniel wearing a Shiny silver shirt, but the rest of them were dressed pretty normally. Chris was wearing a navy blue shirt while Ben had once again opted for the shirtless, spiky haired look. I couldn't really see what Sam was wearing, pretty plain, dark stuff anyway.
The encore was 'Tomorrow' (Daniel stopped in the opening verse, leaving the crowd to sing "The water out of the tap is very, hard to drink, very hard to drink") They closed with 'Spawn Again' which lasted for ages and sent the mosh mad. Without a word, they went off, and that was it! I think people were a little disappointed they didn't say goodnight or anything, but hey, you can't have everything. Everyone poured out, nackered, steam flying out of the entrance and off people as it had snowed while we were inside, very unusual for London.
It was the first time I'd seen Silverchair play live and I thought they were great. They sound brilliant live, almost exactly like on the CD's. Which is refreshing as some bands can really lose it live. I can't wait for 'Neon Ballroom', and I'm going to try and get tickets for the Astoria gig. Fanatstic!
By JASON GENTLES
Silverchair played the first show of their world tour in this small venue packed full of excited people eagerly awaiting the new songs silverchair had to offer. The first support 'Cay' were good. The second support 'Nojahoda' started off with a nice melodic number sung by the lead guitarist. After this song the lead singer came out from no wearing a balaclava and started screaming down the microphone, after that they just got heavier and heavier.
After a long wait silverchair finally came out, Daniel Johns had gone through his phase of having short hair and had once again grown it long. As expected silverchair started off with 'Slave'. This was pretty much the standard album version but it was louder than any other band I have ever seen. After this they went straight into 'Pure Massacre' which everyone seemed to approve of.
After this Daniel Johns introuced the first new song 'Emotion Sickness' This was for me a really powerful and moving song with alot of variation from quiet bits to really loud and strong parts. After about 5 minutes of this amazing song everything went quiet and the crowd started cheering and clapping only for silverchair to fool them and come crashing back in with another 2 heavy minutes.
Mid way through the concert there was an interlude where Daniel threw a bottle of water into the crowd and said 'You can have that as long as you don't throw it back at me. Water and electricity don't mix man'. He then went on to explain that silverchair were a lot like the spice girls. Chris was 'crazy chair', Sam was 'Baby Chair', Ben was 'Sporty Chair and Daniel was 'Posh Chair'.
Other new songs that silverchair played (that I can remember) were 'Miss you Love', 'Anthem for the year 2000', 'Spawn Again', 'Paint Pastel Princess' and 'Dearest Helpless'.
Also played were really good versions of 'Suicidal Dream', 'Leave me out' and ' and 'Abuse me' as well as a really heavy version of 'Madman' which sent the crowd wild.
silverchair disappeared briefly only for Daniel to return on his own to play a completely un-distorted version of 'Tomorrow' minus the solo but it was really good. Ben, Chris and Sam returned to finish off the night with 'Spawn Again', 'Freak' and 'No Association'.
Overall it was a really good night empahasising silverchair's growing maturity in their new songs. Also Daniel's singing voice is very noticiably improving. This was the best I've ever heard Daniel sing and silverchair play in general.