Get On This:

AC/DC, Live in London and Manchester, 04/06/16 & 09/06/16

Advertising

Evergreen Rock giants AC/DC returned to U.K. shores this week, as part of their second stint of European shows on the ‘ Rock Or Bust’  tour. Of course, circumstances had changed since 2015, so Planetmosh were in attendance at both the London and Manchester shows to see whether the Rock ‘n’ Roll train was still glued firmly to the tracks, or whether the wheels had truly come off the axles

 

 

As a venue, I found the Olympic Stadium in London to be far superior to Wembley Stadium where the band played a mere eleven months ago. In terms of transport links, overall feel, and most importantly of all, sound, the soon to be home of West Ham football club wins hands down. I missed the support acts for both shows for various reasons but as I stood waiting for the main event to start, the sense of anticipation was palpable. More so at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium, where, dare I say, the crowd seemed more “mad for it”. Now before going any further, it should be noted that at both shows, patches of empty seats, and visible gaps in the standing area were painfully obvious. A certain section of fans had undoubtedly voted with their feet so to speak, and taken the ticket refund option. I am sure you all have your own opinions on the rights, wrongs and reasons for this, and I am not going to throw fuel on the fire of debate. Suffice to say that, thankfully, the vast majority of fans turned out to see how things panned out

 

 

The now customary video screen intro bursts into action with pyro imagery intertwined with AC/DC iconic symbolism a plenty before the band emerge to the opening riffs of current album title track ‘Rock Or Bust’, one of two tracks from the album that feature in the current set list, the other (‘Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder) being by far the weakest song of the show. ‘Shoot To Thrill’ and ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’ quickly follow, and by now, I am wondering what all the fuss, all the throwing of toys out of the pram was really all about. Forget the Axl Rose of a few years ago, dreadful timekeeping and massive ego’s are a thing of the past on the evidence of these two shows. From my viewpoint, I saw a true professional who just nailed every song as if he had been singing them for years (which, in truth, he probably has been), a vocal style that slightly favours the Bon Scott era songs maybe but overall, especially at Manchester, a performance that was faultless.

 

 

 

Enough about the singer, the main driving force of this current line up, and always the focal point is Angus. I still find it a bit odd that grown men should be standing at venue bars discussing what colour schoolboy outfit the 61 year old guitarist will be wearing that evening but thankfully, we don’t have to talk about the once obligatory strip routine anymore. How such a diminutive figure can harbor so much energy and charisma is beyond me, every solo was from the heart and accompanied by beads of sweat flying in all directions, as he moved from right to left on the stage, span on the floor in a Demonic convulsive trance, and leapt in the air to end each track, it was mesmerising. A standing joke amongst fans was that Angus’s solo during ‘Let There Be Rock’ was so long that you could leave your seat, queue at the bar, get the drinks in, and still be back in position before it ended but it has never sounded finer. ‘New’ tracks have popped into this year’s set list, taking it to a very impressive count of 23 (24 when they recently played ‘Touch Too Much’ for the first time in aeons), ‘If You Want Blood’ and ‘Riff Raff’ sounding as fresh as they did in the 70’s.

 

 

The engine room has perhaps seen the most change of all these last few years, the departure of drummer Phil Rudd and the tragic enforced retirement of  founder Malcolm Young would have signalled the end for many a group but not AC/DC. It’s a great big fat stamp of endorsement and  a big thumbs up when Stevie Young and Chris Slade can return to the fold alongside the ever dependable bassist Cliff Williams and none of the three barely get a mention, simply because they do their respective jobs so well

 

 

As the smoke cleared from the final round of cannon fire following set closer ‘For Those About To Rock’, and especially at Manchester, I stood motionless and open mouthed  , trying to absorb what I had just witnessed and wondering whether this really was the final roll of the dice or whether a revamped and revitalised AC/DC will carry on into the future. Either way, all that kept their tickets and attended these shows, left knowing they had seen a band regardless of change, that are still on the very top of their game

 

 

 

Highlights –

Riff Raff – London 04/06/16

If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It) – Manchester 09/06/16

 

Set List :

Rock Or Bust

Shoot To Thrill

Hell  Ain’t A Bad Place To Be

Back In Black

Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation

Thunderstruck

High Voltage

Rock ‘n’ Roll Train

Hells Bells

Givin The Dog A Bone

If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)

Sin City

You Shook Me All Night Long

Shot Down In Flames

Have A Drink On Me

T.N.T.

Whole Lotta Rosie

Let There Be Rock

Highway To Hell

Riff Raff

For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

 

http://www.acdc.com/

https://twitter.com/acdc

 

 

Simon Bower
Rock/Metal junkie living in beautiful Anglesey.Love live music and have a musical taste which can go from Cannibal Corpse to Kate Bush in the blink of an eye.