So I recently got to see one of my favourite bands in the entire world again last week (09/06/16) at The Etihad Stadium, Manchester. I’ve been a huge fan of AC/DC since I can remember and out of all of the bands that I have a passion for, AC/DC are by far the one that had the largest impact on me when I first became interested in rock music at the age of 6.
I was also lucky enough to see AC/DC last summer at Wembley Stadium in London and I can wholeheartedly say that, that particular gig was the most excited I had ever been for a gig in my entire life. I mean, I was finally seeing them after 10 years! Completely and utterly blown away and when I found out that they were once again coming on tour ( which to be honest, I was surprised to hear) not going wasn’t even an option.
However, I was gutted to hear that it wouldn’t be Brian Johnson performing with them and to be brutally honest, when they announced that Axl Rose from Guns ‘N Roses was taking his place, I was both shocked and dissapointed. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Guns ‘n roses but the fact that he was going to be singing AC/DC’s songs worried me. Also, I had finally managed to grab standing tickets in a stadium and to find out that it wouldn’t be the proper vocalist performing, really upset me.
Despite this I decided to attend the gig with an open mind and reassured myself that I was still seeing the legendary Angus Young, iconic lead guitarist, so it would be well worth it…
I was not wrong.
‘Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown’ kicked off the night and overall I was very impressed. I wasn’t too keen on last year’s support act but this time I thoroughly enjoyed it. ‘Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown’ are a rock band from Nashville who have perfectly captured the original, raw 70s classic rock sound and in my opinion, if a modern band is able to do this successfully, they’re already up to a certain standard. In terms of more information about the actual band, I am quite limited as I haven’t properly looked into them but what I can tell you is, bloody hell they’re good.
After quite literally hours of waiting at around 9pm, AC/DC finally took to the stage with a bang. The entire stadium chanted ‘ANGUS! ANGUS! ANGUS! ANGUS!’ as a short clip played in the background on the screens, moments before their entrance and let me tell you, there is nothing more exhilirating than hearing that. Thousands of people chanting the name of a single person from a band formed back in 1973 and for Angus to know that he still holds the same level of prestige and the exact same reputation first built over 40 years ago, must feel preposterous.
AC/DC took to the stage and as they sauntered further towards the centre, the shear noise of the crowd was enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up and any tiredness you may have felt in anticipation, melt away. It sounded exactly like a war chant. It was so loud and strong and full of passion. The entire stage was completely lit up with intense red and yellow lighting accompanied by explosions of fireworks and fire. You would usually expect a display like this to occur at the end of the concert but no. AC/DC are way past that. Instead they emanate the attitude of no more messing around, ‘Hey, yeah it’s us, time to go’.
Opening up with ‘Rock or Bust’ from their most recent album released in 2014 ( also named ‘Rock or Bust’) AC/DC had the entire stadium in the palm of their hands. Axl belted the opening lyrics of ‘Hey yeah, are you ready?’ and I was gone. OF COURSE I WAS READY!
It was clear that I had underestimated Axl’s ability to sing with AC/DC, I mean yeah he’s no Brian Johnson but he 100% did him justice. The entire 2 and a half hour set remained invigorating aswell as intoxicating as Angus darted around the stage like he had his hand on a power plug (if you pardon the pun/ excuse the reference) and yes he did the duckwalk. God knows how he still manages it.
What I did notice was that they played far more songs written and originally performed by Bon Scott. I didn’t have the slightest problem with this as last time, I seem to remember feeling as if they hadn’t played enough. I got to hear quite a few of my favourite songs they’d ever written from their fifth, groundbreaking album ‘Highway To Hell’ including ‘Shot Down in Flames’ and ‘If you want blood (you got it)’ which I had never heard live and there was a fairly large chance I never would have if Axl hadn’t performed with them. So this made me extremely happy.
On a slight sidenote- I have attended lots of standing gigs before but AC/DC was by far one of the wildest and quite honestly, most claustrophobic crowds I have ever been in.
I had expected either a completely dead crowd purely due to the majority of the age range being over 40 (generalising) or the complete opposite and it to be mental just as it was at AC/DC, Live at River Plate ( If you have never seen this, I highly recommend you do as it will perfectly illustrate what the hype is all about).
It was the second one. I was standing with my brother at first but it wasn’t even 30 seconds into their set before we were separated and I never even saw him again until it had finished. I was also the only girl that I saw as well as being the only one who looked to be my age.
Personally, I rather enjoy moshpits as I view them as physical demonstrations of enjoyment and passion for the music so I joined in. But make no mistake, there were times that I genuinely feared for my life. I was even elbowed in the ribcage so hard that it completely winded me and I had to hold onto the barrier. So WARNING: NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED. My parents were also standing but chose to sit down in the unreserved seating and they claimed to see people with flares as well as fully grown men being carried out, completely unconcious.
Angus Young never ceases to amaze me. At 61 years of age, this legend still wears his quintessential school uniform, still possesses the energy of a toddler, still holds the ability to play his guitar as if his life depended on it and still headbangs pretty much the entire way through.
How does this man do it? He must be sick after each show and lose at least half a stone after each night! I have always admired Angus Young the most out of all the band members of AC/DC. In primary school I dedicated an entire school project based on someone who inspires me, to him. It went down so well that my final piece hung on the wall of my Australian form tutor’s wall for the rest of the year.
ACDC were insane.