The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

AC/DC


Subiaco Oval, Perth, Western Australia
Saturday, March 6, 2010

 

We’d held tickets for tonight’s long-awaited return by Accadacca for 9 months by the time the rock n’ roll train – nay, juggernaut – pulled into our fair city, so anticipation was running at a premium.

 

The tickets for this show had sold out in 7 minutes and Monday’s show, announced almost immediately, followed suit almost as rapidly.

 

We were lucky enough to be invited to the Altitude pre-party by our friends Gasoline Inc, so we arrived mid-afternoon and found ourselves in the next room from the AC/DC Fan Club, who early on welcomed the Fremantle Pipe Band in to play a few tunes, including the obligatory ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock n’ Roll)’ (the one Bon-era song which Brian Johnson refuses to sing live, due to it being quintessentially Bon, and out of respect to his legacy and memory).

 

Back to the real world and the pre-party room (basically a footy club bar) started to fill and openers VALHALLA NIGHTS took to the stage nervously for their second-ever gig. They play a half hour set and slowly build in confidence, finishing with their eponymous ditty, which is their strongest number. The friendly crowd voiced their approval, but the band need a few more hours work in front of a crowd to hone their enthusiasm and natural abilities – and the confidence that will come from it – before they will be a band to watch.

 

After being loaded up on cocktail food, the pre-party stars GASOLINE INC hit the stage and ripped through a taut, sexy set. If anything, since we last saw them their set has developed more groove and slinkiness – Gab’s Jagger/Axl strut turns the girls on and gets the guys rockin’; Andro & Sufo play the hell out of their guitars, confident and assured and always smiling. Lee did a good job standing in on drums, but when they enlist a full-time replacement and let them get bedded down perhaps GI will really make some headway. With so much potential and class on show, we can only hope so.

 

Setlist:


Nicotine + Love
Shedding My Skin
Dynamite
Quatrains
Dirty Three
Friend of The Devil
Rolling Stones Medley
Music Is My Religion
Superstar
Butterfly

It’s time to venture onto the oval grass and ready ourselves for the main event. Openers Calling All Cars are uninteresting, uninspiring, and unsuitable for the gig – the people around us offer conjecture that the “pay to play” cliché has been employed as these guys have no business being here.

 

WOLFMOTHER, however, try hard after a flat start, and their retro-rock strikes a chord with some of the crowd. ‘Dimension’, ‘Woman’, and others from the first album sound like they’re missing something – the Heskett/Ross rhythm section, perhaps? By the end of their short set they are rocking the house to a Doors cover and, well, entertaining… but the truth is that the crowd are here for one reason only, and anyone or anything that gets in the way will not be treated favourably!

 

Setlist:

Dimension
Cosmic Egg
California Queen
New Moon Rising
Woman
Riders on the Storm
Joker & the Thief

 

The lights dim and the roar starts, rarely to abate for 2 hours – after many months of anticipation, AC/DC are back in Bon’s hometown (if not his actual birthplace) for the first time in a whole lotta years.

 

An amusing video plays on the screens, featuring cartoon Angus on a train – the ‘Rock n’ Roll Train’, it proves to be – and when the screens part to a torrent of sparks and smoke, and a train engine leering at the audience, earplugs are needed for the crowd roar.

 

The riff rings clear and true: AC/DC are back, and thousands of flashing devil horns (at $20 a pop), an all age crowd including parents and their kids, grandparents and their grandkiddies, housewives, teens with fake hair metal wigs, young professionals, young couples, many 30-40 somethings – most wearing AC/DC logo’d black t-shirts (at $50 a pop) - and… well you get the idea: AC/DC have crossed over into the mainstream more than any hard rock band ever has – and without any hint of compromise.

 

 

From the opening power chord to the final firework, the crowd are in raptures – and how the hell can you not be with this setlist!

 

There's four tracks from the latest album, including ‘War Machine’, which won the band their first Grammy Award. There’s plenty of old Bon-era classics like ‘Let There Be Rock’, ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ and ‘The Jack’. There’s three blasts from the biggest selling rock album of all time: “Back In Black”. And of course there’s the massive cast iron AC/DC Hell’s Bell lowered for the song of the same name, there is the huge inflatable voluptuous groupie Rosie who pops up straddling the train and bounces along in time to ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’, there is Angus’s excellent extended solo during ‘Let There e Rock’ complete with a snowstorm of confetti, there is cannons firing a 21 gun salute in ‘For Those About To Rock’, there are fireworks to close the night, and everything else we’ve come to expect from an AC/DC show.

 

 

It may not be spontaneous (their setlist has been the same for many months now, even when playing multiple gigs in one city), but the band are so good they make it seem like it almost could be.

 

What Brian Johnson lacks in Bon’s rogueish charm and vocal subtlety, he makes up tonight with the strongest I’ve ever heard his voice, and more energy than you can rightfully expect from a guy his age – and same goes for the whole of this band of 60-somethings.

 

 

We’d spent the day paying our own respects to Bon at his gravesite and statue in Fremantle [click here for the report] so it was great to see the band pay their own tribute to their fallen comrade during ‘High Voltage’, with pics of the man voted by Classic Rock Magazine as the greatest frontman of all time flashing up on the giant video screens. Mrs Scott may be too infirm to have made it along tonight, but Bon’s spirit was definitely here in spades, and having a bloody (big) ball.

 

As the last firework sizzles to the ground, 2 hours of the best damn rocking you’ll ever have draw to a close and AC/DC leave the stage triumphantly. Long may they rock.


 

Setlist:

Rock n’ Roll Train
Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
Back In Black
Big Jack
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Shot Down In Flames
Thunderstruck
Black Ice
The Jack
Hells Bells
Shoot To Thrill
War Machine
High Voltage
You Shook Me All Night Long
T.N.T.
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock

 

Encore:
Highway To Hell
For Those About To Rock

 

 

Shane Rockpit