Photos and Review by Micah Gummel
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There are Metal bands, Punk bands, Grunge bands, Rock bands then there is AC/DC: One of the most enduring, primordial bands of them all! The band that transcends all genres but ROCK-rock has announced the new album, “Rock or Bust,” and a 2015 tour is going on now. The announcement portends a year filled with distorted buzz — a new anthem called “Play Ball.”
In this year change has happened to AC/DC, Chief electrical engineer Malcolm Young is being treated for dementia. On-off drummer Phil Rudd has had charges against him of ordering a killing dropped, but remains in the legal red tape. Rock Or Bust is the first album not to feature Malcolm Young playing rhythm guitar – his place is taken by the Youngs’ nephew, 58-year-old Stevie Young, last seen covering for Malcolm in 1988. It’s likely that this will be the last AC/DC album driven by guitarist brothers Malcolm and Angus, who harvested Malcolm’s spare riffs and half-written songs.
True to form on top of all of the changes AC/DC is back in the USA! Starting the first epic show in Foxboro, MA at Gillette stadium selling out with over 70 thousand fans! The night’s acoustics in the stadium were great one of the best sounding shows I have seen at Gillette. The audience was extremely loud and energetic, kicking it in 5th gear from TNT until the end. Opening with “Rock or Bust,”they performed an 18-song main set that drew heavily from their extensive catalog, with only three numbers — the title track, “Play Ball” and “Baptism by Fire” — coming from the new work. The two-song encore consisted of “Highway to Hell” and “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).”
Angus sporting his traditional schoolboy uniform we all know and love while running the full extent of the stage. As he rips through the band’s killer catalogue, reaching a peak with an extended solo section on “Let there be rock” on a raised platform.Thunderous drums and pumping bass hold the whole thing together while Brian struts across the stage clad in his trademark cap. Projecting the kind of vocals for which he must surely have made a pact with Satan. Out in the a sea of fans jumping in unison, a mass of red flashing devil horns add an extension of the light show.
The giant bell appears for “Hells bells” a crowd favorite. Next was “Whole lotta Rosie” with its “Angus…” refrain is roared out and a crazy back drop of a giant sized Rosie. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the moment at an AC/DC show that is for sure. While AC/DC is an extremely effective rock band, the real star of the night was Angus Young, whose tireless playing fed off the crowd’s energy, and who shed more of his uniform as he threw himself even deeper into his soloing. (During “Sin City,” he whipped off his tie and used it to assist his playing.) When the video screens flanking the stage cut to him, the focus would inevitably fall on his hands, which were blown up to larger-than-life-size.
From the opening riff of “Rock or Bust” to the thundering confetti cannons at the closing bars of “For those about to rock”, AC/DC produce a mind-blowing performance that outclasses every other band on tour this year so far. This is pure, unadulterated, unapologetic Rock and Roll. 70,000+ ecstatic fans connected with every power chord, run and riff that Angus could make. There are no backing singers, hidden guitarists or Gospel choirs here – just five blokes putting their all into a 20-song set which delivers exactly what the fans – who range from teens to 70-something granddads – want. With over 40 years of rocking why mess with the formula right?
The encore began with the strutting “Highway To Hell” (Young wore devil horns to honor the occasion) and closed out with the siren call “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You),” during which a host of cannons were brought out and shot off on Johnson’s command. “We salute you Boston; we salute you New England; we salute you, United States of America,” Johnson bellowed before a killer fireworks display, which signaled the end of the night, and the beginning of AC/DC’s latest effort to bring pugilistic, boastful rock and roll to North America one more time.
Rock Or Bust (from Rock Or Bust, 2015)
Shoot To Thrill (from Back In Black, 1980)
Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be (from Let There Be Rock, 1977)
Back In Black (from Back In Black, 1980)
Play Ball (from Rock Or Bust, 2015)
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (from Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap, 1976)
Thunderstuck (from The Razors Edge, 1990)
High Voltage (from High Voltage, 1976)
Rock ‘n’ Roll Train (from Black Ice, 2008)
Hells Bells (from Back In Black, 1980)
Baptism of Fire (from Rock Or Bust, 2015)
You Shook Me All Night Long (from Back In Black, 1980)
Sin City (from Powerage, 1978)
Shot Down In Flames (from Highway To Hell, 1979)
Have A Drink On Me (from Back In Black, 1980)
T.N.T. (from High Voltage, 1976)
Whole Lotta Rosie (from Let There Be Rock, 1977)
Let There Be Rock (from Let There Be Rock, 1977)
Highway To Hell (from Highway To Hell, 1979)
For Those About To Rock (from For Those About To Rock, 1981)
AC/DC Videos From Gellete Stadium Rock of Bust Tour