Thursday 29 September 2016

Concert review: AC/DC's 60-year-old schoolboy still rockin'

Published 02/07/2015 | 02:30

Angus Young, in trademark school uniform, is still ridiculously brilliant despite the passage of time. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Angus Young, in trademark school uniform, is still ridiculously brilliant despite the passage of time. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

AC/DC are like the Stone Age passage tomb at Newgrange. They've been around for absolutely forever, and still sound exactly the same.

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However, it has been an extraordinary couple of years for the Australian hard rock band. Due to the onset of dementia, rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young has retired. Drummer Phil Rudd got tangled up in a bizarre lawsuit in New Zealand for hiring a contract killer, although charges were dropped.

Malcolm Young's nephew Stevie stands in on rhythm guitar, while Chris Slade takes Rudd's place on the drum stool. They blast out of the traps with the title track from last year's 'Rock Or Bust' album, which sounds just like every other AC/DC anthem with its chunky prehistoric riffs and Brian Johnson snarling, "We be a guitar band. We play across the land."

You can even smell the dry ice right back in row Z. Colossal banks of Marshall stacks, which could dwarf Spinal Tap at their most ludicrous, adorn the stage. This could only be a 'DC show.

'Back in Black', from the classic 1980 album of the same name, is dispensed with early on and its primitive riff sends the crowd completely wild.

'Thunderstruck' brings the frenzied audience reaction to a whole new level, as images of lightning flash up onscreen. Seeing as there are bars and clubs throughout Ireland where 'Thunderstruck' seems to have replaced 'Amhrán na bhFiann', this shouldn't be a surprise. There are few sights on planet rock as ridiculously brilliant as Angus Young goose-stepping during 'Thunderstruck', still dressed as a schoolboy at the age of 60.

A gigantic bell peeling to introduce 'Hells Bells' provides another priceless moment.

It sums up the visceral raw power of AC/DC, which defies logic, reason, and the passage of time itself. After all these years, they still do it so well.

Irish Independent

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