Now I’m sure it’s common knowledge that I am a huge AC/DC fan. I mean, you should have already known that this post was about them because of the title. There are none better than AC/DC.
Of course you have an opinion on this, and the odds are pretty good that it varies from mine. So let me explain myself and how I came up to this conclusion.
No, they’re not the most versatile, they play every song in E and for the last almost 30 years, their songs have all basically followed the same structure. In the Bon Scott era, the songs differed from time to time. Possibly the biggest difference is in the amount of guitar solo/Angus Young time.
However, as they’ve said and many a fan have said to many a critic over the years, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I remember the first time I had ever heard AC/DC; the first song. I remember the first time I listened to most of their albums. Where I was when I listened to it, where I bought the album. I’ve seen them twice live, and while I would have loved to have seen their last tour, which could very well be their LAST tour, I just couldn’t afford to pay over double what I paid both the last two times I saw them for worse seats.
I saw them in Louisville, KY at the Freedom Center in 1996 for the first time, during their Ballbreaker tour. My dad, the man who turned me onto them accidentally (it was fate, not much of an accident) and I, seventh row from the stage, jammed hard all night long to the best concert I’ve ever seen, ever, by any band. The Poor opened up and totally blew the roof off of the place and then AC/DC came on and blew everything else up.
On August 29, 2000 I saw them with two of my best friends, Danny and Ryan, again in the seventh row, this time in Cincinnati, OH. Slash’s Snakepit opened up for them and dominated and again AC/DC came on to dominate it all again. I left that show with the guitar pick Slash was using for the first half of their set. He tossed it out and right before AC/DC came on I noticed it under the chair of the lady in front of me and snatched it up. There was an extension from the center of the stage all the way out to the middle of the arena. Where we were sitting, we only had three seats and they butted up against that walkway. We were all within touching reach of Angus and Brian Johnson when they walked up it.
Both of those times I paid just $45 per ticket, for seventh row. For the Black Ice tour, which just came through in the last two years, they wanted $100 more per ticket just to get in. What the fuck? I know times are hard for everybody, which is why I’m surprised any tickets sold, but I’m sure the band is doing fine enough that they don’t need it. I would’ve paid $90 per ticket, maybe even $100. But $149 per ticket was a little much.
AC/DC means everything to me. My love of music started with Chuck Berry and AC/DC, with CCR close to follow. Angus Young is the reason I started playing guitar, and Chuck Berry is the most influential artist to not only Angus Young, who has made Chuck’s famous “Duck Walk” a signature move of his own (and was once punched in the face by Chuck outside a night club) but to millions of fans and artists alike.
There’s never a time when I can’t listen to AC/DC. They rock hard, all the time. No matter what, if you need to rock out, you can count on them. Even their worst albums, at the very least, rocked.
With that said, I will now continue with what they have spoken, as suggested in the title to this piece.
The very first performance I got to see of AC/DC, which sealed the deal of me playing guitar, was the Live At Donington VHS tape. I was awestruck. It’s a classic, from beginning to end. Easily and arguably one of the best top 10 performances caught on tape, ever. So, anything after that was going to be compared to Donington.
The No Bull concert came out on DVD and I picked it up with high hopes. After all, I had been to a show of this tour and it was my first time seeing AC/DC live, so I was hoping that this concert video would contain a show as awesome as the one I had seen live.
The DVD sucked. The music was too low and you could clearly hear the constant murmur of the fans the entire time, through every song. It was horrible.
And then the Director’s Cut came out and it spoke of that issue and how they fixed it. I bought a copy, and again, the sound sucked. Not as bad as the original release, but still sucked hard.
One day a few weeks ago I’m looking online and discover Live At River Plate. I was totally unaware of it, and it was my fault. I wasn’t on the ball as I should have been.
While at Wal-mart the other night I found one copy for sale, and it was only $10. I picked it up, reliving my joy as a kid when my dad bought me my first copy of one of their albums. I took it home and watched it right away.
While my copy (and I really hope it’s just my copy, but know better) seems to have audio problems all the way through, they’re not the same. It actually sounds like the audio was recorded too high. There’s too many pops and cut outs, never mind the audio is actually pretty high compared to most other things I watch at that same volume level.
Never mind that, the show rocked hard and was awesome to watch. When they got to Whole Lotta Rosie and tore it up, I was pumped, more so than Donington had ever done to me. It was a great showing. And then they followed it with, possibly the most awesome awesome that ever awesomed. Let There Be Rock, a near 20 minutes if it didn’t hit it, Angus proves why he’s been a mainstay in the list of top 30 performers of all time for the last 20+ years.
It was a great show and so much fun to watch. If Brian Johnson doesn’t retire at the end of the tour like he said he was going to, I will definitely make the next tour, no matter the price. I just hope the sound doesn’t suck.
With that said, if you get a chance, go out and get River Plate. It’s a great show and there’s a documentary on the fans on it that is also really cool to watch. If I could, I’d post a video here from one of the songs, but I can’t find a good one on Youtube and I really don’t feel like making one myself, especially with the horrible sound quality that my copy has.
AC/DC – Gods of rock since 1973.