AC/DC rocked and we saluted them


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Talk about high voltage.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/08/2009 (4959 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Talk about high voltage.

Australian rock legends AC/DC brought their Black Ice World Tour to Winnipeg Saturday, electrifying a crowd of 46,000 — a wide-ranging demographic ranging from young children to seniors — who packed the Canad Inns stadium for the concert event of the summer to see the icons during the band’s first visit since 2001, and the first large-scale stadium show since the Rolling Stones played the Blue Bombers’ home turf in 1997.

The anticipation ran high in the hours leading up to the event. Prior to show, many West End residents were partying in their backyards, and earlier in the day some people in the area were cheering for the sound check.

Noise pollution? Anything but.

Sure, they get played to death on the radio and maybe you’ve heard You Shook Me All Night Long at least 20,000 times, but the live AC/DC experience is something not to be missed. You cannot be a rock ‘n’ roll fan and not like AC/DC; they are one of the greatest rock bands of all time and Saturday’s show proved it.

They’ve been pulling out the same live tricks for more than two decades — vocalist Brian Johnson swinging on a giant bell for Hell’s Bells, a huge inflatable doll for Whole Lotta Rosie, cannon blasts during For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) — but somehow the shtick never gets old, much like the band’s music, a timeless mix of blues, power chords, melodic riffs, cock-rock swagger and lyrics filled with double entendres. It’s a formula they haven’t changed in more than 35 years; if it ain’t broke, let there be rock.

The band delivered a great 20-song set, with five songs from their latest album, Black Ice, and nine from the Bon Scott era — Scott, of course, is the band’s original lead singer who died in 1979.

His replacement, Johnson, 61, is still managing to shout out almost two hours’ worth of vocals. His voice has always had a rough, gritty edge that sounded like it could give out at any minute, yet he howled and shrieked as always, and had plenty of help from fans numerous times throughout the night.

Lead guitarist Angus Young is the star of the show, though. Dressed in his trademark school-boy uniform and sporting his signature Gibson SG, the 54-year-old was like an eight-year-old after sucking back a bag of sugar while drinking a pot of coffee.

Seriously, this guy hasn’t lost a step over the years. He ran around the stage, duck walked and leapt in the air while cranking out three-chord riffs and solos that are so engrained in the brains of AC/DC fans they could sing them note for note.

His rhythm guitar-playing brother, Malcolm Young, and bassist Cliff Williams took their customary stationary positions by drummer Phil Rudd, moving up occasionally to sing backup vocals,

"We’re going to be rock and rolling tonight. The party starts right here, right now!" Johnson declared after kicking things off with the band’s latest hit single, Rock N’ Roll Train. The crowd was on its feet from the first note and remained standing and roaring for Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be, a classic track from the 1977 album Let There Be Rock.

From there the band veered between older favourites like Back in Black, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Shot Down in Flames, The Jack and Dog Eat Dog, along with new songs Big Jack, Black Ice, War Machine and Anything Goes. With the exception of the new material and 1990’s Thunderstruck, it’s as if the past 28 years never happened for AC/DC, and that was just fine, since it was the hits people wanted, and the hits AC/DC delivered.

The gear/railroad-themed setup was as massive as Angus’s riffs, with two devil horn caps topping the speaker and lighting rigs on either side of the stage, which featured a backdrop of a train, two ramps and a catwalk that extended a third of the way down the field to a satellite stage. There were four video screens that unfortunately had a split-second delay, so the visuals didn’t always match the action onstage.

They finished the main set with the triple blast of TNT — which had the entire stadium shouting, "Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi!" — Whole Lotta Rosie and the anthem, Let There Be Rock. How much more could we take? A whole lot, but we had to be satisfied with the encores, a double shot of Highway to Hell and For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) with its booming 21-cannon shots that could probably be heard as far as Lockport.

Salute us? No, it’s you, AC/DC, we must salute.



Canad Inns Stadium

Aug. 22, 2009

Attendance: 46,000


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Updated on Sunday, August 23, 2009 9:53 AM CDT: Fixes typo

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