The Vic Theatre - Chicago, USA
Ana's Song (Open Fire)
Paint Pastel Princess
Miss You Love
Anthem for the Year 2000
After two days off in Chicago during the early days of their March march across North America in support of Neon Ballroom, silverchair were well rested and ready to rock the Vic Theatre and a worldwide audience via RollingStone.com on the Internet. A capacity crowd was ready as well, some of them lining up at the doors hours before the show was scheduled to start.
The triple bill led off with fellow Australians Grinspoon, and the Grinners' arrival in the Windy City prompted a reunion of old friends. Before the show, silverchair's Daniel Johns and Grinspoon lead singer Phil Jamieson shared some memories of a hotel-room party in Sydney after an ARIA awards ceremony.
Apparently, the party was not approrpriate for the faint of heart.
After spirited sets from Grinspoon and Lit, silverchair took control of the audience which responded enthusiastically to six songs from Neon Ballroom and 10 from the band's first two albums frogstomp and Freak Show.
"Are you ready to jump?" Johns asked the crowd during the opening song, Israel's Son. The crowd was ready indeed, and continued to jump during Emotion Sickness, Abuse Me and Slave which followed. The pace of the show was nicely mixed as the band moved through Ana's Song, Suicidal Dream, Paint Pastel Princess and the frantic instrumental Madman.
"Chicago -- rock and roll city," Johns said to a reply of screams and cheers. "This is my favourite city in the whole world. Favourite people, favourite neon lights, favourite balconies, favourite people on balconies... Hi to all the people on computers. Computers, digital, silverchair and rock."
Johns was left alone on stage for a solo rendition of silverchair's modern rock classic Tomorrow (featuring stark but spectacular lighting by Hugh Taranto before beinmg rejoined by drummer Ben Gillies, bassist Chris Joannou and tour keyboardist Sam Holloway for the edgy "non-love song" Miss You Love from Neon Ballroom.
After announcing that "rock and roll is not dead where we come from," Johns asked the crowd, "Who's here to fucking rock? All you people fucking jump and rock and display yourselves. You're all on display -- this venue is a display case and we're here to see you. So move and jump and rock and roll, and all the people at home by their little pad things, they're pressing their little keys, just keep being smart and you can also introduce rock and roll into your lifestyle. You ready?" Commanding the crowd to "Jump!" Johns and his bandmates launched into the rowdy rocker The Door from Freak Show, followed by Pure Massacre, Freak and the first single from Neon Ballroom, Anthem For The Year 2000, which was enthusiastically welcomed by the crowd thanks to frequent radio airplay on Chicago's Q-101.
The band left the stage and instead of waiting quietly for the expected encore, the audience cheered and chanted before silverchair returned to close out the night with Satin Sheets and No Association.
The show was done but the night wasn't over as many in the crowd headed down Clark Street to Tower Records, where silverchair signed copies of the just released Neon Ballroom. The lineup at the music store had to be cut off minutes after midnight because of the number of people who showed up for the event.
I arrived in Chicago with my friends Matt and Ginny and my brother and his girlfriend at about 2 p.m. The doors were supposed to be opened at 6:30, and people were already lined up outside. My friends and I decided to go and walk around downtown for a little bit and came back to the Vic Theatre at about 5 p.m. and got in line. I wanted to see if I could see inside to see silverchair, but could only hear the soundcheck a bit. I heard a few screams and looked to see what everyone was looking at, and this guy, Andrew, who I talked to later that night, told me Daniel had gotten out of a cab and went into the Vic.
I saw all this equipment outside near the entrance, and asked an Australian guy if it was silverchair's. He responded that it was his, and introduced himself as Joe, the bassist of Grinspoon, and gave me a 5-track CD of theirs. He was really cool and said to get up in front for their set and I said I would and would cheer him on.
At 6:30 they started to let everyone in, and I was heaps excited to hear that cameras were allowed in, so I wouldn't have to hide mine and I'd be able to take pictures freely. Grinspoon came on first and they played a rad show. The singer was drunk or gone on something the whole time, but put on a great show, and I screamed to Joe the bassist and he smiled at me. Ben and Chris were also watching from a top balcony.
After Grinspoon's performance, Lit came on stage. They had one good song and the rest sucked. I personally didn't like them. After Lit left, a chick next to me saw Daniel in the wings of the stage and started screaming to him. I felt bad for him, the poor guy wasn't even on stage yet and she was screaming at him already which of course encouraged other teenies to do the same. And yes, the teenies are still existent in the silverchair following.
silverchair finally came on stage, Dan looked quite glitter rock-ish, Chris had these bright orange pants on, and Ben in his usual shorts attire. They played an amazing set including a lot of the new songs and many of the old songs too. One of my personal favorites was the solo Dan did on Tomorrow, it sounded amazing! Miss You Love is also a major favorite of mine. He also did his "Y" gesture during the "we are the youth" part in Anthem For The Year 2000, his stage presence was great too! He really got into his playing and did these jerking movements which were awesome.
Daniel was quiet at first but later talked to the audience. I couldn't hear much of what he said, but he did say something about how Chicago is his "favorite place, that has his favorite venues, favorite buildings, favorite people," and how we were gonna rock while everyone at home was watching on their "punchy-typing things," referring to the internet broadcast of the show that night. He also introduced themselves as "silverchair from Newcastle, NSW, Australia."
The mosh pit was awesome! Very hard core, and gave me heaps of bruises, caused by all the people who were ordered to "JUMP!" by Daniel. My friend Ginny had to be pulled out of the mosh because she was about to faint. I don't know how all those teenies managed to stay in the pit longer than three songs. After the show they went to Tower Records in Chicago to sign copies of Neon Ballroom because it came out that night at midnight. I got in line, waited a bit, bought the CD and got up to the table where they were.
When I got up there, I looked at Ben and told him how I had a picture of my friend Christine and how she met him in '97 and asked if he would sign it for her, and he said how he remembered meeting her. He passed it down to Chris and Dan and they signed it too, which was really nice. They signed my Neon Ballroom inside cover, and I shook all of their hands, and said they put on a great show. Ben said something like he liked my spider web-fishnet gloves, and I smiled.
They were really nice guys, and I'm so glad I had the chance to meet them. I'm sure they were tired, it was late in the morning and it was after their show, so it was cool that they put up with the crowd and signed everything for us. If you haven't seen silverchair live, you should! They are an amazing band! If they ever read this, you guys put on a great show and please come back to Chicago soon! We love you here!
I arrived at the Vic Theater with my friend Miguel at around 6:15 p.m. Little did I know the line was a bitch. We stood in line but it wasn't too bad. Afterwards we got checked, and we went inside. The atmosphere was sort of "mellow" at first. Then I noticed my friend Sam from school, with my other friends Kristine, and Megan, we hung out for a while and chilled. Sam and I were going up the wall, because we so badly wanted to see each other at the concert, I was going for sure, but wasn't sure if he was going, but he bought the ticket the last second. Then I noticed out of no where my girlfriend shows up, a huge Daniel Johns obsessor, but it was OK. The first band up was Grinspoon. I knew who they were because in August I had heard a song from them off a Korn extra Family Values CD. They were pretty good, not what I expected, but they were OK. Hardly anyone was actually "into" Grinspoon.
There was a half an hour break in between bands so I decided to get a Sprite with my friend. We went came back, and chilled some more, anxiously waiting for Lit. They came out, they were pretty good, but I guess they are a one-song based band as everyone seems to know them as the ones who sing My Own Worst Enemy, but all in all they were pretty decent.
My friends, girlfriend and her friends both went under the railing and we tried to get as close as possible to see the 'chair. Once they came out, they opened up with my personal favorite Israel's Son, then we heard the bass, and my friend Sam and I got crazy in the pit, it totally rocked ass. When Daniel mentioned "put your hands in the air," everyone went crazy. The next song was Emotion Sickness, it totally rocked, we went crazy once again in the pit. Abuse Me was next, that's the song that got me personally in check, and ready for anything, I got nuts, I pushed everyone to try to get in front, I almost succeeded, but at the end everyone was pushing off and bodysurfing and everything. I was about five feet away from them at one point, it was totally awesome.
It was such a rush and a high when that song ended, I love the chorus "Throw the sailors overboard," those lyrics totally rule. Then Slave came on, another one off Freak Show. That's when I started going beyond moshing, it was more like "who gives a rat's ass what happens." After that song was over my girlfriend and I decided to leave the pit, and go up to the balcony. That's when Ana's Song began playing, another one off their new album, then I just got close with my girlfriend, and we mended together.
Then when Suicidal Dream came on, my eyes sort of swelled up with tears, because that song means so much, those lyrics are just so compelling, I mean I am a guy and all, but still that song was emotional as hell. Then 'chair played some other cool song, I apologize for not knowing the title, I definitely know it's off their new album.
After Suicidal Dream, Madman started to play, and that's when my friend Samuel started bodysurfing with no shirt on. My girlfriend and I even saw him from the balcony, it was so cool. Another song that I truly love is Tomorrow, and the solo by Daniel was dynamite! It was another emotional song as well for me. Then they got into another new one from Neon Ballroom, entitled Miss You Love. That song was truly more great work of silverchair's. The Door and then another one off frogstomp entitled Pure Massacre was playing. That's another emotional song that I loved.
The best song of the night in my opinion was Freak. That song made me cry, luckily we were in the dark, otherwise my girlfriend would have noticed it, and I didn't want to see her sad, I was all chocked up. "Body and soul I'm a freak, I'm a freak," when I heard that, I felt chills up my spine. When I heard the intro to the next song, I was like "all right, finally" the long awaited single from there new album. Everytime Daniel got into the chorus and said "we are the youth," he pointed the mic outwards towards the crowd, while sticking his middle finger up... TOTALLY AWESOME!
silverchair left the stage after Anthem and people started to chant "silverchair, silverchair, silverchair." I knew the show wasn't over, for one, all the other reviews I read previous to this show, the 'chair ended with the song No Association, so I knew we were in for at least a couple of more tunes.
Then they came back on and played Satin Sheets, and finally ended as I thought they would with No Association, both songs rocked the house. During Ana's Song, all the way through No Association, my girlfriend Viv and I sang along to almost every song, it was sort of a romantic/mellow/sad/heavy/funny concert all in one. Romantic because I spent it with the girl I truly love... mellow because some of the song's had that tone into them... sad because some songs had the depressing/personal realistic life being involved in them, and heavy for such songs as Israel's Son, and Madman.
After No Association, my girlfriend and I went downstairs, and I waited for my friends and left. Unfortunately I wasn't that lucky to meet them at Tower Records, but I guess there will be other opportunities. I personally loved Chris' appearance with the bright orange pants, and Ben like always topless, and Daniel had a silver top on that rocked ass!
When I also heard from my friends Miguel, Megan, Kristine and Sam that we were live on the Internet I said out loud, "You gotta be sh*tting me!" All in all the concert was a blast, it sort of reminded me of seeing Nirvana on Video, a little grunge background, but silverchair live totally rocks fu*king ASS!!!