The 9.30 Club - Washington DC, USA
By DAVE KAHLER and BOBBY GILL
After many, many days of waiting, the day had arrived. At about 6:45 PM Bobby's father had arrived in the family van. Dave had been rushing to finish his sign which had said "Nobody knows Daniel's a lesbian" in big, bold Freak Show font. Bobby's sign read "Eat a beaver - save a tree" - a quote made by Daniel in a previous concert and on the other side, "Can I have a drumstick, Ben?" Jonathan, another fan of the almighty 'chair, had quickly scribbled "We are the youth" on the back of Dave's sign.
Driving through the "mean streets" of downtown Washington D.C., they had finally met their destination, The 9:30 Club. Wearing only t-shirts to cover their upper bodies, Dave, Bobby, and Jonathan realized it was "butt cold" outside.
Being inside after 15 minutes of shivering, Bobby and Jonathan quickly took their spots in the crowd while Dave bought a brand spankin' new Neon Ballroom t-shirt. After about an hour of mingling with other 'chair fans, Lit took the stage at 8:30.
Lit's setup was pretty good, although Jonathan loved making fun of them for their odd behavior onstage (mainly the lead singer). Lit really knew how to rock, though the singer's voice clashed with the heavy backbeat of the music. Their set lasted approximately 45 minutes.
Dave noticed John "Watto" Watson (silverchair's manager) had stepped out onto the balcony for a second while Lit was playing. Dave screamed "Watson!!!" and he actually heard him. So Dave waved to him and he (Watson) smiled back. It was pretty cool.
Finally, it was now time for silverchair! Well, not exactly. . . Danny and Bailey (roadies) came out and started setting up for silverchair. Once finished, the house lighs died out, and the neon lights lit up the stage. The lights were one color one minute and another the next. They outlined everything from mic-stands to bass drums to amps. Now, the ever-so-famous (around the 'net) music started playing with Robert DeNiro's famous line - "are you talkin' to me?" - from Taxi Driver.
Alas, silverchair took to stage! It was the event that every person in the place had been waiting for! Ben and Chris walked out and took their positions. Ben, as usual, was sporting the "sexy" shirtless look with spiked up hair. Chris had his flashy neon-orange pants (which will soon be in your local department store - hehe!) on. Everyone was already screaming, but that wasn't as loud as it would get when Daniel took the stage.
A silhouette of Daniel's body soon appeared on the left side of the stage. Now, it was loud! He hopped on stage with his black pants and sparkly silver shirt and Bailey handed him his black Les Paul which was bearing the sticker "Ban duck season. Big guns - little dicks."
The band took one quick look at the audience and then jumped right into the first song off of Neon Ballroom, "Emotion Sickness." About 3 minutes into the song, everyone thought it was over. It was just the beginning of the intensity. When fans started clapping, Dave screamed "it's not over!" Indeed it wasn't over. The intensity had just begun!
Right after Emotion sickness, Chris started the intro to "Israel's Son" and the crowd went WILD! Once Daniel started the words "Hate is what I feel for you...," the whole crowd decided to join him, Dave especially. For Daniel's little scream at the end of the song, he backed away from the mic and decided to let the crowd finish that part.
This next part was a surprise to most people. Daniel started the opening notes to "Abuse Me" and again, the crowd went wild. They joined in on the singing of this song as well.
One of the highlights of the show, for Dave at least, came up next - "Slave". silverchair delivered this classic (at least in silverchair land) with more power and enthusiasm than recorded on the album, Freak Show, itself!
Up next, the song that most 'chair-heads were waiting to hear - "Ana's Song." WOW is what the whole crowd thought (regardless of whether or not they've heard it before). Daniel sang with his eyes closed throughout the whole song and left this author in awe!
Following "Ana's Song" was "Suicidal Dream" and a couple (not many) people noticed the Ben screwed up in the beginning, but that's alright. It was still an awesome performance!
"Paint Pastel Princess" was not accepted as quickly as the other songs. Many still loved it and sang along if they knew the words.
"Madman" started massive mosh pits and these two writers ended up crawling to the walls of one of them to save their lives!
Most everyone in the club was expecting Ben and Chris to join in after the intro to "Tomorrow," but a surprise came to them - a solo version of "Tomorrow." Again, Daniel sang with extreme passion.
"Miss You Love" was taken as a love song by many fans, as anticipated by Daniel and some others. The way this song was performed, you'd have thought the whole band was in love, even Sam!
Daniel had made a comment - "American culture - hamburgers and fries. We love you!" right before "The Door" and it was rockin'! It got the whole place jumping! Dave jumped throughout the whole song and most people thought he was a freak. (He gets pretty wild at silverchair shows!)
The song that Bobby had been waiting all night to hear was next - "Pure Massacre." It got pretty rowdy. By this time, a few people had to be pulled out of the crowd because they were getting squished. Thank God for those big guys in front of the stage!
One of the best performances of "Freak" came up next. I didn't expect any moshing to happen, but there was one HUGE mosh pit right in the middle of the place that Jonathan was ballsy enough to jump into.
Neon Ballroom's first single, "Anthem," was up next. Right before they started playing Daniel asked "Can I get a Helleluhia!?" This really got the place rockin'! Of course, Daniel started a call and response to kick off the singing - Daniel: "We are the youth!" Crowd: "We are the youth!"
silverchair stepped offstage to take a break and the crowd started chanting "sil-ver-chair!" and "We want more!" followed that. Finally, the band came back on stage for the encore and everyone started cheering.
An unexpected song came up next - "Satin Sheets." Everyone thought oh cool, there's a punk song on this album as well. The crowd enjoyed this and surprisingly, a few people in the club knew the lyrics.
The last song of the night had finally come - "No Association." It was kinda sad, but it had to happen sooner or later. This was a rockin' song as well! A crowdsurfer came along and kicked Bobby in the nose, Jonathan in the eye, and was dropped on Dave's head. A few 9:30 Club employees came over to see if Jonathan was alright and it turned out that he had a "mild concussion." Bobby went with Jonathan to get some water while Dave stayed for the remainder of the song.
After the concert, Bobby and Dave went up to the stage and asked Danny, one of silverchair's roadies if they could have a drum stick. Danny had made their day!
Later on, everyone (Jonathan, Bobby, and Dave) met up with Dave's brother, Pete (no, not Pete Walton) for the ride home. It was still "butt-cold" outside!
It was a cold breeze night, but I was pumped. A little strung out from the long car ride. But I was excited, we were about to walk into a small clube to see a huge band, "silverchair"! When I entered the club, I immediately headed to the balcony to get the best seat possible. It was about 20 ft. up, no obstructions from my point of view. "Lit" and punk band was the opening act. They totally rocked in my opinion, but they went not the main reason I was there. After a high intensity set from them the lights dimmed and the roadies started clearing the stage. The high light of Silverchairs stage set up was the neon lights out-lining the speakers, kick drum and mic., it was spectacular. Then the lights went out completly and Ben, shirtless as usual, Chris with his big bright orange pants, and Daniel with his sparkle shirt and black pants walked on stage.
Immediatly they opened with "Emotion Sickness" which I do have to say was very mature. "Israel's Son" followed as the mosh pit went into a frenzy. Another old favorite from Freak Show, "Abuse Me" with a key board part which made it sound great!
My personal favorite from Freak Show was next, "Slave". Followed by a great new song, "Ana's Song (Open Fire)" possibly Silverchairs second single off of Neon Ballroom. "Suicidal Dream" was next followed by "Paint Pastel Princess" and "Madman". Ben, and Chris then exited the stage leaving Daniel alone. "Tomorrow" with a new twist was next. I really liked it, yet i do like the old version better.
"Miss You Love" another song from Neon Ballroom was excellent. Then "JUMP" Daniel says to get the crowd going for their next song, "The Door" which was the best I have ever heard of The Door was a great song to play live. another song from Frogstomp, "Pure Massacre" was great as usual and "Freak". "WE ARE THE YOUTH" Daniel reapeaded several times before they played their first single from Neon ballroom, "Anthem For The Year 2000".
The band briefly left the stage before returning fo an euncore of "Satin Sheets" and "No Association" which sounded great as well. I was a little disapointed that they didn't play "Spawn Again". All in all it was a night to remember.
Last night I saw silverchair for the third time (2nd at the 9:30 club) and they were amazing. I arrived at the club an hour early (around 6:30), and there were about 100 or so people in line, more than half seemed to be guys. I'm not sure that they gave the CD sampler to the first 100 people because I didn't see anybody with one.
At about 8:45 Lit came on and played for about 45 minutes. They were alright, but I'm pretty much convinced that if you're from Orange County they automatically give you a record deal no matter how bad you are. My biggest gripe was that they were too loud, much louder than silverchair.
At about 10:00 silverchair came on and immediately played Emotion Sickness, which is much heavier live. The only thing I didn't like was the effects on Daniel's voice, it really didn't sound like him at all. The rest of the show went pretty much exactly the same as the Atlanta show, with Daniel doing the same gestures and the songs in pretty much the same order.
Daniel didn't talk very much, but he did say he liked the big guys in the mosh pit and would probably get in there by the end of the gig, and if we tried to beat him up, we would be shot. He also said the usual 'Washington rocks!' and 'America is our second home.'
I basically knew what songs they'd play but I was a bit surprised Daniel played Miss You Love, and solo at that (although Chris may have been playing too because he was on stage). Miss You was right after solo Tomorrow, which was amazing, Daniel changed the notes of the vocals a lot, and it sounded great. I was also surprised they didn't play Spawn Again, but that has to be hard on Dan's voice, so I understand. All the songs off of Frogstomp had new life and sounded awesome.
I can not believe the progress silverchair has made in the last year, it's astonishing. It's almost impossible to describe unless you've been lucky enough to see them this tour. They are so much more musical. Maybe it's because I was standing in front of him, but it really seemed to be Daniel's show. The change in him alone is amazing. This boy can sing, and I mean really sing. It was so obvious how much the music means to him, especially the new songs. You can honestly tell it comes from his heart and soul. Most of the time he sang with his eyes closed. Before a couple of songs, Ana's Song was one of them, he actually closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
On quite a few occasions, Daniel talked to himself in the intros, almost psyching himself up a couple times. He seemed very confident about the new songs, but also kind of vulnerable, as if he was afraid we wouldn't like them. Like I said before it's almost impossible to comprehend unless you've seen them this tour. It really is astonishing, they're almost like a different band. And they are probably the most talented, dedicated group of guys I have ever seen.
After the show ended with No Association, my friend and I stood next to the stage because the roadies were handing out stuff. Here's the setlist in the correct order:
Paint Pastel Princess
Miss You Love
Anthem for the Year 2000