The 80’s metal classic rock tour continued for me and my 16 year old son with AC/DC in Tacoma, Washington on February 2, 2016.
This was the opening U.S. date on the “Rock or Bust Tour” and with their last show December 15th in New Zealand, you would think the band would be well-rested and loaded with energy for their first performance in the new world. And indeed they were, with the now 60-year-old Angus Young, playing guitar and running around the stage like it was still 1980 and 68-year-old lead singer Brian Johnson giving it his all and sounding as strong as ever.
This show was LOUD and of course, I forgot my ear plugs. By comparison, Motley Crue was fairly low volume last December in Portland. I explained to my son that this was how it was in the 80’s… most of us would go home with our ears ringing. That’s tougher to do when you’re pushing 50, but for one night, it was worth it and we loved every minute of it. After opening with ‘Rock or Bust,’ ‘Shoot to Thrill’ and ‘Hell Ain’t A Band Place To Be,’ AC/DC launched into ‘Back In Black,’ ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,’ an absolutely killer version of ‘Thunderstruck’ and ‘High Voltage.’
An onslaught of classics followed, including ‘Hells Bells,’ and ‘Given The Dog A Bone,’ which was the first time AC/DC has played that song live since the “Back In Black” tour in 1980… pretty cool.
‘Sin City’ was on the setlist and the smash ‘You Shook Me All Night Long.’ Then the lads from down under played my favorites back-to-back, ‘Shot Down In Flames’ and ‘Have A Drink On Me.’ I have mixed feelings about hearing the new singer perform the old singer’s songs (ie, I wasn’t that interested in hearing DIO singing Ozzy’s early Black Sabbath stuff) and I have always felt that way about Brian Johnson singing Bon Scott’s songs, but on this go around, he was really great, especially on ‘Shot Down In Flames,’ ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and crowd favorite ‘T-N-T.’
AC/DC isn’t AC/DC without guitar god Angus Young and he delivered a blistering solo that was longer than most the band’s songs, but totally engrossing watching the master at work. His energy was unbelievable and seeing him spin around while laying on his back on the stage like he has always done, I couldn’t imagine this tour being his last (if that should turn out to be the case)… Angus still has so much to give.
After an 18 song set, AC/DC returned for encores ‘Highway To Hell’ and ‘For Those About To Rock,’ an epic end to a memorable night for my son and me.