You’ll remember back in February I posted a story titled ‘ Everything You Should Know About Sliverchair…and now I want you to forget everything I told you..they’re a completely different entity now!!
Here we are 3 months on and back at The Basement in Belconnen, Canberra for the second installment of the Sliverchair journey. There’s a large crowd and not much room to move when your wedged up against the safety barrier but where else would you want to be but right in front.
The stage plot is different tonight. There’s a microphone missing and the microphone for the lead is centered on the stage where before it was to the right. So it’s obvious the guys have been honing in on there performance aspects and are trialing something a little different on the punters. One vocalist and no backing vocals.
We’ve already seen to other cover bands give their tribute to the great Aussie Icons – The Divinyls and INXS and the crowd are restless in anticipation of the onslaught to come. After a short transition phase the wait was over!
Straight out of the gates with ‘Pure Massacre’ the crowd erupting and the hair began to get flicked around by the head bobbling of the person standing in close proximity to you. It matters not because they aren’t alone. This was followed in quick succession by ‘Freak’ and ‘Emotion Sickness’ building the frenzy as they went.
Then came a surprise addition ‘ Without You’ from the Diorama album. Although this is a well known single from the album it’s not what I would term a ‘must have’ when taking us through the decades of Silverchair’s greatest. That being said this was a ballsy risk to take as it could have so easily dropped the game and disgruntled fans. WRONG!! … It showed me just what these boys have been doing of late as the delivery was slick and raunchy and lead vocalist Hutcho nailed it!!
A few more well known hits – ‘Miss You Love’, ‘Ana’s Song’ and ‘Greatest View’ before taking on another challenge both vocally and instrumentally.
‘Straight Lines’ from the 2007 album Young Modern. For Silverchair this was their first number one hit since 1997 with ‘Freak’. I thought this to be a bigger risk than ‘Without You’ simply because of Hutcho’s tone and range and wondered how he would take us to the heights of the song. Not perfectly but easily that’s how he did it! There’s a few tweaks needed for this one but in his defense it’s hard to teach a crowd of circa 150ish to sing ‘Ooooo Ooooo Oooo Oo Oo’ in the right key!
By this time Sliverchair had reached Silverchair status among the punters. We had no reason not to think we were in front of the original band. Hutcho’s vocals standing the test, James’s drumming insane and fierce and that bassist affectionately known as NooF well he was having a whale of a time covering ground on stage. This second gig has been thought about carefully and constructed to outshine and flatten all remnants of the first.
What’s this?? James and NooF are leaving the stage. A spotlight shines on the lonely figure of Hutcho who gambles on himself, his Les Paul and ‘Cemetery’ as an interlude mid set. The placement of this track is a master delivery as the crowd settles and focus’s on the artist and his magic. On his own Hutcho made himself vulnerable for a song about vulnerability and it was sublime.
After this there was no holding back. James and NooF returned, the breaks between songs grew shorter or were non existent and Sliverchair smashed it out of the ballpark! A second half set full of some of the most feverish songs Silverchair ever performed – ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Young Modern Station’, ‘The Door’, ‘Slave’ and ‘Israel’s Son’ which instigated a crowd surfing moment.
Here the night ended or so we thought but we wanted more and there were shouts and screams for more. And that’s when Sliverchair rose to the occasion lifting yet again with a rendition of ‘Anthem for the Year 2000’ from the 1999 album ‘Neon Ballroom’. The heart and soul that went into this cover just oozed out across the stage captivating us and drawing us into another realm. It was surreal but capped off in outstanding fashion a night that I’d want to repeat for days even weeks afterwards.
Sliverchair have been working hard since their inception and it showed. There was a giant leap in professionalism, confidence, stage presence and risk taking. It was as close to damn near perfect as one could get. To see a young band gel together at this level was just a journey through heaven for a Silverchair fan.
Well done lads…you’re on your way!
“Music is the strongest form of magic.” (Marilyn Manson)
**NB: The video below is shaky and that’s because I couldn’t stop rocking out – insane!!**