This past Tuesday, one of Australia’s greatest bands, Silverchair, played a sold-out 9:30 club on the first leg of their American tour. They are promoting Young Modern, their fifth studio release and first album since 2002’s Diorama, which won the band six ARIA Awards (the Australian Grammies).
They opened with a trio of new songs from Young Modern, an album which continues lead singer Daniel Johns’ continuing foray into pop, this time building upon the ornate, occasionally over-blown pomp of Diorama towards classic rock and even the campy and carnival. As if to illustrate the point, Johns took to the stage in pirate form, wearing a bandanna and eye patch (apparently to nurse a bruised eye), later re-appearing in a bowler hat. As natural as this musical evolution might be, it is an unfortunate and hopefully short-lived misstep. Though Johns is a gifted, imaginative musician, it seems he is still in the process of settling into his own niche within the current field.