Monday 15 February 2010

AC [lightning bolt] DC

So I've finally seen AC/DC.

It comes as a shock to many people that I'm an AC/DC fan.

But AC/DC remind me of my youth. I remember sitting up all night listening to AC/DC with Philly D as we played computer games.

So why deny my bogan heritage any longer? Sure, during the 90s I essentially shunned AC/DC, and I fucking hated growing up in Elizabeth, but then I just lost the hate. The people I grew up, many of whom I'm still proud to call friends, shaped me into the person I am today, and the music we listened to was a massive part of that.

And Back in Black is one of the world's greatest albums, especially considering the time it was made, and It's A Long Way To The Top is one on the world's greatest songs.

So, when they announced the tour, I wasn't going to miss out. I camped by the internet and hit refresh until I snagged a ticket to the Melbourne Saturday night concert. Sure, it's not as exciting and romantic as camping out for days under blankets sharing the camaraderie that line waiting brings, but it's a fuckload easier.

After losing my job last November, I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to make it. Job offers from interstate and overseas never eventuated, so the worry was misplaced.

Getting to Etihad Stadium was easy - the train stops just outside, although I had to find a internet cafe to print my ticket out. Thank the universe for the internet!

I got in just as Calling All Cars finished. I downed a few scotches and then found a nice spot mid centre of the stadium. It was pretty packed even at 7:30pm, and although I could have pushed my way further to the front, I knew there would be cameras and screens, so I just didn't feel the need to.

Wolfmother opened for them, and were really good. They kicked off with Dimension, then played a couple of new songs, then got the crowd singing with Woman. During the slow bit of White Unicorn, you know, the bit that sounds like Riders on the Storm, they actually started playing Riders of the Storm. Stockdale's voice is perfect for a Doors cover, and I'm surprised they don't do more of them. They closed with Joker & Thief.

I thought they were a brilliant selection for AC/DC's opening band. They're liked well enough by a wide range of people that people would be singing along, rocky enough to fit in with the overall vibe of the gig, yet not good enough to overpower AC/DC (if that was indeed possible).

After a short wait, the screens lit up and showed a short video of the band on a train. Full of childish innuendo and sexually suggestive images, the "train" then smashed onto the stage as the band played Rock and Roll train. Right from this very first moment I knew we were in for a rocking show!

They played another off their new album, something I'm not overly familiar with, and then got into the older tunes. Dirty Deeds, Shot down in Flames, and Thunderstruck. All the while the whole audience is singing and screaming and having a great old time.

But things really got wild when Brian started singing She's Got The Jack. The screen started showing all the girls on the guys shoulders, and up came the shirts. Brian even said "get your eyes off those titties" at one point, and then Angus started his strip. Much like Devo, these old rockers still know how to entertain.

The classics came thick and fast. The bell lowered for Hells Bells, with Brian swinging from the bottom of it. Shoot to thrill and War machine - a track I do know off Black Ice - had cool visuals with the live action on stage, but nothing was as cool as High Voltage, done as a tribute to Bon Scott with his grinning face looking down at the thousands singing along with his lyrics.

More classics - You Shook Me All Night Long, TNT and Whole Lotta Rosie, which featured a massive fat lady riding the train. Let there be Rock was where Angus got loose, and showed that even at 60 he can still play that guitar well. The encore of Highway to Hell and For those about to Rock was absolutely brilliant.

I would have liked to hear more of my favourite songs - If You Want Blood and Who Made Who would have been nice, but overall I couldn't have been happier with the set. This was what a rock concert should be like! Entertaining and fun, no matter what was played.

I felt the same after AC/DC as I did after Madness, Devo, Primal Scream and The Specials last year. Sometimes I admit I caught up in too much negativity and cynicism, and it takes old farts like these to remind me life is all about having fun. If they can do it at 60, then I should be doing it now, and keep doing it until I'm 60, too.

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