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Concert Review: AC/DC

Another better late than never review....

Auckland's Western Springs Stadium has a great advantage for cheapskates like me. From a certain vantage point you get a clear view of the video screen - and full sound, especially with a band as thunderously loud as AC/DC. Together with two friends, I joined several hundred other no-budget concert goers for an evening of primal rock n roll.

Parking was a long walk away, as I had expected, but as soon as we started walking toward the stadium, we could hear the band. Along the way we met a guy enjoying the gig in his front yard, telling anyone who walked by how much he loved AC/DC.

Although the show had started before we arrived, we hadn't missed much. Chris Slade was back on drums, after Phil Rudd's disgrace, and Stevie Young had taken over from uncle Malcolm on rhythm guitar. The gig was on Cliff Williams's birthday, a friend told me - Cliff being AC/DC's bass player since the 1970s, in case you needed to know that.  

At age 68, Brian Johnson has plenty of energy, moving around the stage almost constantly and belting out classic anthems in that paint stripper voice. Maybe he has a secret source of energy hidden under his trademark Geordie cap.

The star of the show, of course, was Angus Young. Tearing around the stage, he delivered blistering lead breaks with never a wrong note. At one point the rest of the band took a break and he did an unaccompanied solo for what might have been about 15 minutes - time was suspended. It was never boring and it never seemed too long - I just wanted to find out where it was going next. A true guitar hero.

The set was full of classics - Whole Lotta Rosie, Hell's Bells, Highway to Hell, Shot Down in Flames, and many more. The grand finale, For Those About to Rock, came complete with cannons and a massive fireworks display. Earth tremors were recorded, or so I heard - not surprising, for AC/DC are a force of nature.

On the way back to the car the fan was still in his front yard, still telling everyone how great AC/DC are. We agreed with him.