By Jason Price
Silverchair first came into our lives in 1995, when the fresh-faced teens from Down Under assaulted alternative rock stations coast to coast with their hit album Frogstomp, featuring such hits as ?Tomorrow? and ?Pure Massacre.??Flash forward to 2007, and we find the boys of Silverchair have become men and are on their “Young Modern World Tour” in support of their fifth studio album. The band drew a sellout crowd for what was the eighth show on the tour.?
The crowd, which filled every?conceivable gap near the front of the stage, anxiously awaited the arrival of the band. About 10 p.m.,?Frontman Daniel Johns, drummer Ben Gillies and bassist Chris Joannou quietly took the stage at the sold-out 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. As the stage lights came up, the crowd erupted with cheers as if they were seeing long-lost friends. The band made no bones about getting right to the new material, opening with the new song “Young Modern Station.” Donning a Pirates of the Caribbean-style headscarf and eye patch, Johns amped up the crowd mid-song by breaking out the old “play-the-guitar-with-your-teeth” trick. This of course was part of the reason for the patch. He later told the crowd he had done this days before with mixed results and given himself a black eye.
Johns had been suffering from some throat issues in the previous week, even forcing the band to cancel a few shows. The rest clearly paid off as the frontman was in top vocal form. The energetic set consisted of music from their latest album, as well as some of the better known songs from previous releases. The band clearly is no stranger to the stage, knowing exactly how to keep audience glued by changing the tempo of the set at crucial times.?The biggest surprise was that the band failed to play anything from Frogstomp, the?album that launched their career. This is understandable as the main focus of the band is surely the new material rather than the songs they wrote while in their early teens. For me, their progression as musicians and musical experimentation is what makes Silverchair an interesting band. It is also what kept the show fresh and?prevented it from turning into a nostalgia act for 20-something concertgoers trying to recapture their youth.
The new songs sounded as if the band had been playing them for years,?captivating the crowd with ease in their hour-plus set. I came away with the feeling that Silverchair is moving in the direction they want to go. They are making music on their own terms, growing as musicians and selling out shows in the United States and abroad. Who can ask for more than that?
In addition to their own headlining tour, Silverchair also also?make a mainstage appearance at the 30,000-capacity Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago, alongside Pearl Jam, Muse, Satellite Party, Amy Winehouse and more.
Young Modern Station
The Man That Knew Too Much
Reflections of a Sound
Tuna in the Brine
If You Keep Losing Sleep
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