Sunday, November 2, 2008

Let There Be Rock

The Mighty AC/DC - "Rock 'N' Roll Train"
(From last Sunday's final tour rehearsal)*

Along with 2997 people I've never met, I was privileged to catch AC/DC's final US Tour dress rehearsal in Wilkes-Barre. It was outstanding. I've now seen AC/DC concerts in three different decades. God, I'm old. Take a gander at this VIP pass pic while I take my medicine...

OK, I'm back and fresher than ever. It may surprise you to learn that before I heard punk, I mean really heard punk, I was a suburban heavy metal kid. That's just the way it was back in der '70s. It was the law. And no one did the heavy metal boogie better harder or better than these Aussies.

Putting their muscianship aside, and make no mistake about it they are all exceptional musicians, AC/DC is a band like no other. They exist in a state of suspended adolescence and do so unrepentantly. You'll find the AC/DC v.08 little changed from the AC/DC of 1998 or 1988 or since I first saw them on Dec. 25, 1981. And that's a very good thing.

Now about that muscianship. Anchored by Cliff Williams' chugging bass Phil Rudd's pounding drums and Brother Malcolm's archetypal rhythm guitar, AC/DC the band is tight as balls. Brian Johnson chimes in with his patented growl. (Has there ever been a more clutch performance in rock history as when Johnson replaced the recently deceased Bon Scott only to write+ the bulk of & record the iconic Back In Black in a just few months time?)

And then there's Angus.

Sure, Angus is only 85% as spastic as he was back in the day. (He's 53 for chrissake). But even at 85%, Angus is 200% more spastic than anyone else out there. He remains a guitarist nonpareil too. His playing is fluid, his picking is crisp and his Scots folk-inspired pull-off arpeggios are a wonder to behold.

If the hard rock is your thang, you owe it to yourself to catch this AC/DC tour. You never know how much longer they will keep on kickin' it. Oh, and their stage production is completely over-the-fuckin'-top too.


Soon Come: We rewind to 1991 with an AC/DC edition of Uncle Anacher's Punk Rock Tales in which yours truly meets the band.

*I meant to post this Monday but the week quickly got out of hand.
+In the tireless Bon Scott vs. Brian Johnson debate there are those who believe Bon Scott wrote the bulk of Back In Black before he died. Johnson has long laid claim to the majority of the lyrics, most notably "You Shook Me All Night Long", without the band correcting him. This alone would lead me to believe him. Plus I know for a fact that out of respect AD/DC ditched any and all new Bon Scott tunes to start anew with new singer Brian Johnson.