8/27: A REPORT FROM AC/DC LAST NIGHT IN NJ
Caught AC/DC last night in NJ at Metlife Stadium (which as a lifelong Giants fan will always be GIANTS Stadium to me and many others). Was real curious how they would hold up at this stage of their career. Brian is in his late 60’s, stadium size stage, and music that needs to be played with a ton of energy. Amazingly the band delivered on all fronts and add Brian to the very short list of aging frontmen that can still perform and sing incredibly well (Steven Tyler still being the king for me in this category). Angus was Angus, incredible guitar tone, non stop energy, every bit the icon that he is. Cliff rock solid as usual. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Malcolm and Phil. That’s not to say for a minute Stevie Young and Chris Slade didn’t do a great job, because they did, but there will always be a void felt whenever legendary bands lose iconic members along the way. Stevie totally channeled Malcolm, looked and acted very much like him, played great. And Slade has been there before and delivered on all fronts. But it’s not only the sound and performance that changes when you see legendary bands replace members, it’s also a reminder the end for the band itself is likely near. Every group has one or two guys that they can’t exist without. And the cold reality is as long as they are there the draw and interest won’t suffer. Outside of the hardcore last night nobody knew or cared who was on second guitar and drums last night. They saw Angus, they saw Brian, they heard the hits, they loved it. And that is the dynamic for most bands (except maybe Rush!). It is incredible how huge AC/DC are. A global stadium act that sold out a stadium in NJ last night on a Wednesday with no name support act (Vintage Trouble opened but got there too late to see them, heard mostly good though). They appeal to everyone. I was in a box with EDM superstar Tiesto, a bunch of young models, and guys that were around 70, all loving it and bopping around. Few hard rock bands have ever had a more mass appeal. The stage was massive, lighting very cool, and there was a huge ramp out into the crowd which wasn’t used all that much. The set featured all the key hits from the last 4 decades, 5 songs from Back In Black, and a few deeper cuts. R&R Train from the last album and a few from Rock Or Bust including the title track and Play Ball. The only negative was they opened with the song Rock Or Bust which I found a strange decision. There was this huge build up on the screens to the band coming out that lasted like 10 minutes, then when they finally hit the stage it was with a song that almost nobody in the crowd knew. With the amount of powerhouse classics they have I found that a strange choice to open with and to lose most of the crowd after a dramatic intro. But it was quickly forgotten when they kicked into Shoot To Thrill next. Goes without saying this is one of rocks all time great, and certainly biggest bands. I worry about bands staying too long at the party when they reach this age, and honestly some have. But outside of being down two key members AC/DC showed no signs at all of losing anything in delivering an incredible catalog of songs still on the biggest stages out there. I am generally not a fan of stadium shows. Too big, too many distractions, too much sound moving around and getting lost. But AC/DC always pulls it off. No fake tracks, no gimmicks, just raw real rock like it should be! I am happy to report that I hear an arena tour for early next year in the U.S. is likely. So it looks like plenty of gas left in their tank and that’s good to hear!