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le Zénith, Paris
June 30th, 1997

silverchair returned to Paris for the third time in a year and a half. This time, the concert took place in the second biggest concert hall of the capital, le Zénith.
My friends and I decided not to go to the Zénith early because of the rain. I heard that Nada Surf, who were to open for INXS the next day, were playing an unplugged session in a music store. We decided to go there. It was great; they had fun and spoke to us in excellent French. Most of the spectators were wearing silverchair T-shirts!
We reached the Zénith at 4:30 p.m. There were not a lot of people waiting. Because there were three bands, sound checks were long. The doors finally opened at 7:30 p.m. Two friends and I we managed to go to the first row.
At 8:00 p.m., even began their half-hour set. It was really good and people seemed to appreciate them. Then came the French band Dolly which played six songs. I was quite disappointed by them, because I saw them twice two weeks ago and they were better and less nervous. In the middle of the set, they played Je n'veux pas rester sage, a good song that is always playing on French radio stations.
At 10:00 p.m., the lights were turned off and strange music began. It was like an audience at a stadium supporting the players. After a big whistle, the match began as silverchair came on stage. Chris had his black bass, bald Ben was shirtless and Daniel, with his new short haircut, wore a khaki T-shirt. He had his green PRS. They first broke into Slave, with, as usual, a pause between the first sets of chords. They played it quite slow, but Ben's drum-playing was very loud and powerful, which turned Slave into a very heavy song.
Daniel had problems with his guitar during the song. When he would stop playing, strange noise, feedback or something, would appear. The guitar technician quickly checked it. They played Roses and Findaway before a little pause. Daniel said "Bonsoir!" before taking his black "People suck" PRS and introduced, as usual, crew chief Bailey Holloway as Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. He played a right-handed black Gibson Les Paul Custom even though he is left-handed. Then they played Pure Massacre, which did not sound good at all.
Ben and Chris then left the stage and Daniel took his red/orange PRS in standard tuning for the traditional Cemetery one-man-show. In the stands, many people held cigarette lighters. The two other llamas came back for Suicidal Dream (Ben's playing at the end was really awesome). Then Daniel seemed to be tired of singing Tomorrow -- he didn't seem to make any effort to sing well, which was strange. He sang the new words "you think you can keep on going living like a slut."
Daniel took his green PRS again and shyly said, "Paris rocks," Chris took his drop-D tuned bass, and they played The Door, No Association (Chris' bass sound was totally AWESOME on this song), Freak, Faultline and Madman with the strange very ending. It seemed as of they weren't having fun and wanted to end the gig as soon as possible. I left the mosh pit (which was really dangerous -- at least ten people fainted and three were bleeding from their eyebrows). Two guys managed to get on stage, which was a real performance due to the number of guards.
They spent less than two minutes backstage and came back for encores. Daniel started playing a very popular classical music theme before Minor Threat (don't ask me the title, I'm illiterate in that kind of music). It was the first time I'd heard him play it and I must say that it's a very good song. Daniel took off his red/orange PRS for his black one for the 'chair anthem Israel's Son. At the very end, Daniel acted like King Kong and climbed the speakers to leave his guitar up there, 10 feet or so off the ground.
Less than 55 minutes for a gig -- that's too short. Daniel said in an interview for a French magazine that this gig would be longer than the previous one in the Bataclan. The set list was similar to the last gig, with all the same details. They didn't play Leave Me Out but Findaway, and Minor Threat instead of Lie To Me and Paranoid. We'd have liked them to change the set list more, with The Closing, Blind, their new Clash cover London's Burning, their new song Spawn or any other song. Daniel was not talkative at all. The concert at the Bataclan was so good that we couldn't help but be disappointed by the next one. Le Zénith was not sold out (3000 out of 5000 tickets were sold).

[green PRS] Slave - Roses - Findaway
[black PRS] Abuse Me - Pure Massacre
[red/orange PRS] Cemetery - Suicidal Dream - Tomorrow
[green PRS] The Door - No Association - Freak - Faultline - Madman
Encore: [red PRS] Minor Threat - [green PRS] Israel's Son

All the photos are courtesy of:
Jérémy Mesnage (
Visit his silverchair page: Frog Show.

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