Wollongong University - Wollongong, Australia
By PETE WALTON
(with Israel's Son intro)
Daniel: "Thank you, yeah, thanks a lot. We're joined on stage on this song by Geraldine Fitzgerald, and she's a local in Wollongong, and she masturbates frequently, so we thought we'd get her to play a song with us. She's known in the freak shows as 'The Bearded Lady.'"
Daniel: "Shut up (directed at girls who were screaming his name). Ben's got a little thing where he likes to play little jazz bits to show you how multi-talented he is. He really is. He's quite multi-talented. A multitude of talent. Does anyone here play the harmonica? No one does, but Ben does, 'cause Ben can do anything. What are ya, Ben, what are ya? What can ya do? Anything! Ready? Ssshhh, we want ultimate silence. Don't scream, shut up, SHUT UP! Ah, don't worry about it, we won't do it. It's a little game we like to play but if you don't wanna play, you don't have to. Yeah, this song's about child abuse."
Daniel: (after girls screamed his name) "Thank you. This song's about people. You know the people I'm intending this song for. You know them very well."
Daniel: "This song's off a movie soundtrack. It's about animal liberation and being anti-insect fucking. So if you're a sick fuck, and you fuck insects, this song's a fuck-you to you. And if you don't, you have nothing to worry about. Unless you fuck animals. All right."
[NOTES: Except for the screaming teenies who were suitably addressed by Daniel, the Wollongong crowd was excellent. The band members seemed to be enjoying themselves. One of the highlights of the show was an impromptu appearance on drums by Daniel during the Freak remix. Toward the end of the song, Ben ducked under the electronic drums to avoid getting in the way of the madman Daniel who was buzzing all around him. I've never heard a better version of Nobody Came. This show was one of the best silverchair shows I've seen yet.
By ANTHONY CALVERT
The Wollongong Summer Freak Show was my first silverchair concert in over a year. Add to that fact a heap of anticipation and a helping of curiosity, and you have the mixture of something special in the making. I'd read the reports on earlier shows, I'd even heard live versions of the songs, but now it was finally time to see for myself how silverchair had grown and evolved since the release of Freak Show.
I met some good friends and fellow silverchair fans before the show, and then it was off to Wollongong University, nestled amongst many, many gum trees. There was already a large crowd at the front doors, waiting for the chance to run inside and claim a spot at the front of the stage. There seemed a pretty even mix of guys and girls, many teenagers, but also younger and older people. Like always there were the few who seemed to revel in taking the whole Daniel-worship thing to new "lowlights," but the majority seemed ready for the complete silverchair concert experience.
The first support band were Toe To Toe, and they failed to generate any great response from the growing crowd with their fast/hardcore type music. Asking the crowd to churn around in an "American-style" mosh didn't help their cause at all -- what's wrong with the Aussie "pogo" anyway? I also don't know what the lead singer was thinking when he asked people to put up their hands if they were "straight edge." Practically no one reacted and he had to explain that it means you don't drink or do drugs. After he said that I think even the few people who put their hands up the first time took them down. Magic Dirt was the second support band, as they were for all but one show on the tour. I don't think they've been the most popular support silverchair have ever played with, but at Wollongong they showed what they were capable of. Dark, moody and grinding guitars got the whole mosh pit jumping at stages, and with the lead singer praising the crowd and the city of Wollongong between nearly every song, they went down well and put on a good set.
By the time the crew came on to set up for silverchair, the place was packed. The venue could best be described as a large hall, four near even sided walls and a stage up the front. There was no seated area, but there were higher levels as you moved back from the stage, so everyone could get a decent view. The acoustics weren't the greatest, and the stage wasn't big enough to fit all 12 of the heaters, BUT there was a HUGE red curtain that hung from the rafters to the bottom of the stage behind Ben's drum kit. It looked like it had been set up especially for the concert, and the shadow of Ben's drums against this backdrop gave the perfect "Freak Show" feeling, I wish they had it for every show on the tour.
You could feel the excitement and anticipation grow when the lights dimmed in the minutes before the band took the stage, and I'm sure they received the same deafening roar every time they walked out. The cheering continued and rose through the opening riff of Israel's Son. I think some people were wondering (as I would've been if I hadn't read earlier reports) why they were hearing this at the start of the concert and not the end, but they would soon find out it was all part of the show. As soon as people were starting to get into Israel's Son, yellow lights lit up the entire stage and the intro to Slave blasted through the speakers.
After Slave the band went straight into a blistering version of Roses, then Daniel introduced Bailey Holloway as the second guitarist for Abuse Me. Because of the accoustics in the hall Daniel's voice sounded muffled and I don't think a lot of people could work out all of what he was saying. All I could make out was something about Bailey being a "bearded lady," but that was all before I heard the intro to Abuse Me and the crowd screamed in approval.
The crowd moshed to "throw the sailors overboard" and then erupted when they heard Pure Massacre, with Daniel shouting for them to "JUMP!" I remember he used to yell "go!" a lot in the middle of some songs, but now it's "jump!" which I like a lot better. I think it sounds cooler and there's nothing like seeing the mosh pit surge with new energy every time he yells at them to get their feet off the ground. Cemetery slowed the tempo and gave the physical side of the concert a break, but not the emotional. I'd heard live versions and even seen video of Daniel performing this, but nothing compares to actually standing there hearing him belt out those lyrics. The whole room is dark except for the spotlight on Daniel and a few lighters in the air. There are the obligatory screams from annoying girls trying in vain for any attention, but everyone else's attention is focused on Daniel, and his attention is focused on his song.
Chris and Ben descended onto the stage as the intro to Suicidal Dream wafted across the hall. The band still really get into this song, and the big finale is a good wake-up call to everyone in the pit. Ben absolutely thrashes the hell out of the drums and Chris' head rolls around and around as he hunches over his bass, pounding away. With a few exceptions, I think the Summer Freak Shows have seen the band playing the songs THEY want to play, not what they feel obliged to play. Tomorrow is one of the exceptions and although it was left out at one of the Sydney shows, in Wollongong it was the next song in the set list. I've heard Chris say that when the crowd get into the song he doesn't mind playing it, but otherwise he said it can be a bit boring after performing it so many times. I think the crowd got into it on this occasion. Looking back to when frogstomp came out, Tomorrow was a decent example of the "sound" of the album. All that has changed with the Freak Show album and the Freak Show concerts now much darker and broader in tone.
Before Nobody Came Daniel started talking to the crowd again, and I could make out parts about Daniel claiming that Ben could play the harmonica, I imagine that Ben just rolled his eyes in return. Then he told the crowd to shut up, that he wanted everyone really quiet. It worked for maybe half a second, then a few people started to scream and then others started yelling. After a little while he gave up and introduced the next song.
Nobody Came is a great live song that slowly builds up and then comes crashing down as the entire band goes crazy. There are thumping heads everywhere, on stage and in the audience. Apart from the few exceptions the Wollongong crowd was great, and I think silverchair reacted to the positive vibes they were getting, putting in an awesome and strong performance. A great thing about this concert were the people in the mosh, there was lots and lots of jumping but no violent pushing or shoving. Everyone just concentrated on the music and sending what must have been a record number of crowd surfers to the front, I swear I saw one young kid get thrown nearly vertically into the air -- he was loving it. Unfortunately there are always the meat head slime balls who think it's their right to take off their T-shirt and slime their sweat over everyone else, but these fools (along with screaming girls) are pretty much unavoidable after a band reaches a certain level of popularity. However, it was great to see many girls enjoying being in the mosh as the bigger guys were being considerate while still jumping around having a great time. I also saw one guy hit the deck after crowd surfing, and then watched as hands from all around pulled him up onto his feet, it was great. Great to be able to get physically into the music along with hundreds of other people, while also feeling part of the whole rather than one person fighting against everyone else.
The Door was next and just sent the crowd into an even greater frenzy, for me this is one of the greatest live songs ever, and I love the way Daniel sings it in concert. Faultline was next, I hadn't heard the extended ending of the song before and it was awesome. No Association followed, and like always, the band got totally into it. This is obviously one of the bands favourites live, as Ben, Chris and Daniel put their all into thrashing out this classic song.
Before Spawn, Daniel got the crowd laughing with a speech about insect fucking. He claimed that this song was about being "anti-insect fucking" and that if you participated in the act then you were a sick fuck. Judging from the reaction for the next song, I think a lot of people were waiting to hear Freak. There was a great roar as the heaters lit up and Daniel produced the first familiar chords. Once again the whole crowd was jumping, although I don't think anyone expected the part near the end of the song where the whole band stops playing, and Daniel whispers "body and soul, I'm a freak" several times before diving head first back into the chorus.
As soon as the band left the stage the crowd was chanting for them to return, and after a short break they did with a "hard-'n'-fast" version of Minor Threat. They didn't play this the following night in Canberra, so I was glad to see it in Wollongong. I think it's cool that silverchair play a cover song, and they perform Minor Threat really well. Chris then pumped Israel's Son through the speakers. Even though this was a shorter version than the last time I heard it live, it still rocks and is a great song for the last part of the concert.
While feedback grated through the speakers Ben's second set of drums were brought out, and we heard the bass line that before that night few people had heard live. The next thing anyone knew Daniel was striding around the stage guitar-less, screaming out the lyrics to the Freak remix. In a show of many, many highlights this shone as one of the brightest. Each member of the band does their thing and it is truly amazing. Ben is able to stand up while playing the drums (they look like a cross between tom-toms and an electronic drum kit) and he doesn't waste the opportunity. He jumps around like a "madman," banging his head up and down and thrashing the drums, his mohawk is about the only thing that doesn't move. Chris is as solid as a rock and so is his bass line, hunched over his bass that sometimes comes close to touching the floor, you could almost keep time by the bobbing of his head. Then of course there is Daniel. Daniel on the speaker stack, Daniel humping the speaker stack, then jumping behind Ben's drum kit for a quick bash (seeing Ben in front of Daniel -- both of them playing the drums - is amazing), then he's between Chris and Ben, his whole body shaking. It almost looks as though he's being electrocuted, his body convulsing and his dredded hair pointing out in spikes. In between all of this the vocals come in short, screamed bursts, as the crowd either looked on in amazement and shock, or jumped around to the techno beat.
When the band walked off to a huge ovation no one wanted to leave, everyone knew they had seen something special and they wanted to hang around and see if there would be more. Unfortunately the show had to end sometime, and after a long wait the lights came on and everyone realised that it was over. I personally was amazed at the show I had just seen, the full on light show and performance from the band was a huge step up from the time I had seen them at the A.N.U. last year. All I can say is thanks to the people and the crowd who made the night possible, it left me hanging like nothing else for the show I would see at home in Canberra the next night.
By MELISSA MEWBURN
On Tuesday night I saw silverchair yet again(my fourth time) at the University of Wollongong.Since I live in Wollongong,I decided to get there early.(8:30am.......I was too excited to go to school!!!!!!)My friend Kylee and I made friends with some of the roadies.They are all really nice.We got really bored and started taking pictures of Wardie,who was asleep in the back of a Tarago.
We met Paul,the foldback engineer and Greg,the roadie and Alex,the roadie and some other roadies who I can't remember their names.The 2 roadies with dreadlocks are so nice!!!!!Anyway,Bailey told us that silverchair wouldn't be there until 5:00,so we went and played pool(I won).Then at about 4:30pm,silverchair rocked up.All of these teenies were running up to the car and screaming at it and taking photos.Daniel looked really pissed off.I decided to hang back because it looked like they didn't want to be annoyed.
They went inside for soundcheck.Greg,one of the really nice roadies,got us in to watch soundcheck.I was so stoked!They did Abuse Me,but Daniel got sick of that and they did Spawn,which was pretty good I thought,but Daniel didn't think so.Then after soundcheck,Kylee and I went outside and we sat back at the back door where we had been sitting all day.Then all of a sudden,Chris,Ben and Daniel walked out.
They were right there in front of us.Ben said hi girls,and I think Chris said hi,but I don't think Daniel said anything.I was heaps excited!!!!!!My favourite band was right in front of me!!!!!!!I took a few photos,but I felt like a photographer,and I felt heaps stupid.I mean,you don't go around taking photos of your friends,do you?I don't know,I just felt really stupid.Anyway,they got in the car and went back to their hotel.My friend,Bec,who doesn't even like silverchair was heaps excited.She couldn't believe that they just walked straight past us.It was funny.
Then Magic Dirt came.We went up to Adalita and Dean and we got their signatures and we had our photos with them.They are so nice!!!!!!!!!
By this time it was nearly 7:00pm,and the doors were about to open,so we went around to the front and went inside.I bought a Summer Freak Shows tour t-shirt and then we went into the hall.There was quite a few people there.We went up the front Toe To Toe started playing.
They are so cool.They are a good band to get the crowd going (if it wasn't an all teeny crowd).They were really good to mosh to.I took a few photos,cause they have a really good presence about them on stage.
After Toe To Toe,Magic Dirt came on.They were awesome.They were heaps better than at the Horden on Saturday night.Adalita was saying something about the crowd getting into the action,it's not just the band,it's both.She is my idol.I love her.They rocked.Then something happened to their guitars,they had to tune them,and she was saying we were lucky because we got to witness the first stuff up on the tour.I took heaps of photos,and halfway through,I had to change the film.
Then,the lights went out and everyone was screaming in my ear(I made the mistake of standing on Daniel's side of the stage-teeny fest).Then after about two minutes,they decided to come on stage.They played the opening chords for Israel's Son and then went straight into an awesome version of Slave.
They played really well all night.The light show was awesome too.The fact that Daniel was pissed off in soundcheck didn't show in their performance that night.It was awesome.So much better than at the Horden Pavillion on Saturday.During the first couple of songs,I was right up the front on Daniel's side of the stage and I took a lot of photos.But I got sick of the teenies screaming out that they want to fuck Daniel,so I went up the back.During Cemetery(which is my favourite),I was standing behind Adalita and Dean.I took so many photos during Cemetery.He plays it so well.You can almost feel the way he's feeling through it.It's awesome.It always makes me cry.I feel so sorry for Daniel.He get's put through so much shit.
They played Suicidal Dream after Cemetery,and that's my second favourite,so I was happy.They played Tomorrow,which I don't really like,but it's all right.They didn't play it on Saturday.And they also played Nobody Came.I've never heard them play that live before.It was really good.They should do it more often.What annoyed me was they didn't play Madman.I love that.It's the best mosh song.Awesome.Bailey played Abuse Me with them.Daniel yelled out "Every motherfucker jump!!!!!" just before the end bit.They played Freak really well too.
Then they went off.People,dumb people,started to leave.It was all right though because I had made my way down the front again and some of the teenies had left,so I got about two rows behind the barrier.They came back on and played Minor Threat,which is a sick song and I was going crazy.Then Chris started playing the intro for Israel's Son and everyone screamed as loud as they could and the mosh went wild.It was probably one of the best versions of Israel's Son I've heard.They played an extended version and it went for ages.Then they got out Ben's second drum kit and the Freak remix came on.Daniel grabbed the mic and went mental.He was moaning and groaning and making all sorts of other noises.He climbed the speaker stack,which was right in front of me,and was lying on top of it making orgasmic sounds.His leg was dangling off and all of the teenies were trying to grab it,but they couldn't quite reach(ha,ha!).Then he jumped off and they were having a great time.Just before they finished,I ran outside to see if I could see them again,but when I got out there,I saw them drive off.Oh,well.I ran back inside to find my friends and I bought a programme and I went to try and find my nose ring (which I lost in the first song-I found it too!!),and then as I was running out,Wardie stopped me and said "Oi,here you go" and he gave me one of Ben's drum sticks!!!! I felt sooooo special!!!!!
I had the best night!!!!!!I want to say thanks to silverchair and Magic Dirt and Toe To Toe,for making me have such a good night,thanks to Greg,the roadie,who let us watch soundcheck and thanks to Wardie for the drum stick!!!!!!!!!!!I also found out that Daniel has a boyfriend called Lindsay.Good on ya,Dan.Maybe you'll get all the teenies off your back now!
Tuesday, December 9th, 1997, will be one day that I certainly won't forget!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!