State Sports Centre - Sydney, Australia

silverchair ended a 12-day blitz across Australia with a sold-out show at the State Sports Centre in Sydney.

The 'chair and the American band Everclear, who shared the bill on six of eight recent dates, joined up for a final encore of Black Sabbath's Paranoid, as well as an on-stage free-for-all Monday night.

According to Andrew McDougall, a Sydney correspondent for silverchair's official home page, "the stage was positively trashed -- a powder fight, rolls of toilet paper and a mass 'brawl' on stage between the two bands, ending with Ben mooning the crowd again, and Daniel left shirtless with trousers 'round his knees."

The show began with Slave, one of the 13 songs on the band's forthcoming new album and ended with an encore featuring two cover songs, Surfin' Bird and Paranoid. Throughout the evening, guitarist/vocalist Daniel Johns continued to demonstrate a more confident stage presence, as he did on the rest of the recent tour.

"It rained water bottles on Daniel but he handled it well," McDougall said. "I think I was more pissed about it than he was. Daniel is really getting to be a mature performer, handling the crowd just the way they deserve."

McDougall said the show five nights earlier at Sydney's Metro was "more intimate" while he felt more like a spectator in the larger venue at Homebush. But, he said, "it was amazing -- again!"

"Cemetery was great again, and The Door was a killer, as was Pop Song for Us Rejects," McDougall said. "They have Freak down to fine art."

"I wish they played more often," he concluded.

Kerrang! magazine

The closing night of one of the hottest tours to hit Australia in a long time is a huge success. Over the last 18 months, silverchair have taken the world's charts by storm, and this short series of dates has been nothing less than triumphant.

Everclear, as big as they are in America, are in the peculiar position of having to play second fiddle to a trio half their collective age. Unfortunately, they do sound better in soundcheck than they do onstage. A pointless tendency to protract songs with endless jams kills off all the glorious dynamics of two great albums' worth of material. Ironically, things only get fired up after a version of AC/DC's Sin City.

Of course, the headliners are heroes here in their native country. And with the follow-up to frogstomp already in the can and due for release early next year, the trio's stock is set to rise and rise.

On show tonight are a string of new songs from that as-yet-untitled second album. The bleak, reflective Cemetery sees singer Daniel Johns alone onstage; Freak and The Door possess both style and crunch, their crushing dynamics proving that the band are no freakish phenomenon. Both Israel's Son and Tomorrow work the crowd up into a state of frenzy, with bottles of water raining down from all sides. As the umpteenth airborne missile hits the stage, Johns is forced to take action.

"The girls don't think you're cool," he admonishes the guilty parties with a smile. "The girls think Ben's cool." The bottles stop.

Then things start to get silly. They manage to power their way through the first verse of a cover of The Trashmen's Surfin' Bird (as recorded for the recent MOM surf benefit compilation) before inviting Everclear onstage to join in a version of Black Sabbath's Paranoid. But that doesn't last too long either. As toilet rolls fly across the stage, Everclear's Art Alexakis pins Johns to the stage floor in an attempt to wrestle the youngster's guitar from him, drummer Ben Gillies is covered in flour and has his kit trashed around him, and bassist Chris Joannou lies helpless and prone in the middle of a massive scrum.

A fitting end to a great show.

MOST ROCKING MOMENT: Chaos at the end of the show.
LEAST ROCKING MOMENT: The sight of Daniel Johns wandering offstage in just his boxer shorts.
BEST ONSTAGE QUOTE: "Cheers." Hmm...
VERDICT: There's no stopping the youth of today.