March 18, 2004

The Living End Plan “Australian Invasion,” Tour with Blink-182 and No Doubt

By Randy J. Klodz

The Australians are coming! But they mean no harm, and punsters the Living End is coming through is coming through Chicago as part of the “Australian Invasion Tour,” which will be headlined by fellow Aussies the Vines and Jet. This tour is set to hit Chicago on March 26 at Vic Theatre.

The Living End trio is composed of singer/guitarist Chris Cheney, upright bassist Scott Owen and drummer Andy Strachan, a three-some that released “Modern ARTillery,” the band’s third major-label release, on March 2.

Though it's rare for a rock band to record and tour as a trio, the Living End works it to perfection. “Modern ARTillery” tracks such as the hit single “Who’s Gonna Save Us?” and “Jimmy” prove that the trio has really solidified as a musical force--something that both members and fans of the Living End are sure to appreciate.

“It gives me some freedom with the guitar playing so I don’t have to worry about locking in with a rhythm guitarist,” said the Living End frontman Chris Cheney. “In a way I think that I’m sort of enjoying this three-piece part of it more than ever now. It’s just a good banter to trios that you sort of forget about, really. A lot of my favorite bands were trios--the Police, the Jam and the Who, to a certain extent.”

Cheney said that plans were developing for the Vines and Jet to tour together, and each of those bands share the same management on the same record label in Australia as the Living End, EMI. He said that the bands were looking for a support band “and we just kind of put our hand up and then all of a sudden it turned into this ‘Australian Invasion’ sort of tour.”

Though this tour has been dubbed the “Australian Invasion Tour,” Cheney said that the bands don’t plan to make their home country the focal point of the tour. “I don’t think there’s going to be anything more Australian about it, other than just the accent,” Cheney said, “you’re not going to be bombarded by Australian flags onstage.

“I don’t know what the other bands have planned, but I think it should work good, because all the bands are different. I think if anyone has stereotypical kind of views on Australian music, this music will kind of squash those.” But, as Cheney advised, show up to the show early. Neon goes on first, with the Living End going on second, with Jet and the Vines rounding out the night.

The band has also been hand-picked to open many dates on the tour co-headlined by Blink-182 and No Doubt, one of the most anticipated tours of this upcoming summer. With an opening slot on a huge tour such as this, the band is sure to be playing in front of thousands of fans at each amphitheatre--crowds much larger than the members of the Living End are used to playing. “I‘ll have to have an extra beer before that one,” Cheney said jokingly in anticipation to opening the 30,000-capacity Tweeter Center. “We can’t ask for any better than that. We just want to get out there in front of people and do our thing, and just see what happens.” This tour is scheduled to hit Tweeter Center in south-suburban Tinley Park on June 13. Tickets for the Tweeter Center show are listed for $48.50 each.

Vic Theatre is at 3145 N. Sheffield Ave. Tickets for this all-ages event are listed for $19 each with show time slated for 7 p.m. For more information on the Living End log on to
the Living End Photo: Matthew Welch