Reviews – AC/DC Black Ice tour @ Etihad Stadium 13/02/2011

Playing to 60,000 rock and roll diehard fans, AC/DC performed their second sold-out Melbourne concert at Etihad Stadium on February 13th, 2010. Anticipation was in the air, with many eager fans arriving more than an hour before the show began, resulting in a very cramped Southern Cross Station.

Fans arrived at Etihad Stadium ahead of the show Photograph by Lillian Altman

Supporting these legends were local lads Calling All Cars. Having never heard their tunes before, I was quite impressed with their performance. With only EP releases and constant touring up their sleeves, Calling All Cars have toured with the likes of Green Day, Cog and Birds of Tokyo. Set to release their debut album Hold, Hold, Fire in March, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from this band in the near future.

Also supporting was the much-acclaimed Wolfmother with their restructured line-up  including original member Andrew Stockdale (guitar/vocals), and newbies Dave Atkins (drum), Ian Peres (bass/keyboards), and finally Aiden Nemeth (rhythm guitar). Put simply their performance was sensational, featuring both the trio of singles “White Feather”, “Back Round” and “In The Castle” from their latest full-length Cosmic Egg, as well as tracks from their self-titled debut release. It was amazing that even with a new line-up, the group’s sound has not noticeably changed since Wolfmother’s previous release.

Despite both opening bands putting on tremendous shows, it was clear that the night belonged to AC/DC when the crowd doubled in size following Wolfmothers set.

Throughout the mosh pit and the seated patrons, hundreds of red devil horns were seen flashing branded with the words AC/DC to represent the horns worn by Angus Young on their 1979 Highway To Hell album cover.

And so the fun began, AC/DC’s two-hour action-packed performance. Fans were treated with a visual animation introduction depicted on a screen, set in the middle of the stage.

All aboard the Rock ‘n’ Roll Train Photograph by Lillian Altman

As the visuals disappeared, the screen disappeared out of sight, revealing an askew black steam train, branded with AC/DC on the side, and red devil horns on the top.

During their performance of ‘High Voltage’, the guys paid tribute to the late Bon Scott by splashing images of him on the screen.

About halfway through their performance, Angus turned around to face the other band members and decided to strip. First, he removed his signature schoolboy blazer, then started to unbutton his shirt, he proceeded to take the shirt off, then pulled his shorts down revealing AC/DC jocks! He continued the rest of the concert without putting his shirt back on!

The antics didn’t stop there! Before the guys launched into ‘Hells Bells,’ Brian Johnson went down the runway of the stage, ran towards the back of the stage and grabbed onto the string of the big black bell hanging off from the roof, ringing it a couple of times.

And of course, the unforgettable Angus Young guitar solo. Situated on a small round see-through platform about ten metres above the stage, his fast moving riffs were played with precision. The composition lasted at least 10 minutes; something well worth viewing in your lifetime. The screens focused on the neck of his signature SG depicting the lightning speed of which he was shredding the notes on his guitar.

At some stage in the night, a bikini-wearing large inflatable woman named Rosie was mounted on top of the train.

Meet Rosie Photograph by Lillian Altman

With many of the members heading into their sixth decade of life, it’s spectacular that the band members had the stamina to withstand the two-hour performance. Especially Angus Young who stole the show with his teenage boy antics. A courteous, Brian Johnson, thanked the crowd at the conclusion of each song.

Nearing the end of the performance, confetti was shot out into the crowd and fireworks and flames were shot out from the stage.

I highly suggest that if you have never seen AC/DC perform in their 35-year career, that your money would be well worth spent buying a ticket to one of their shows. It is truly a surreal experience; I couldn’t believe that I was seeing them playing live, that I nearly cried (which has never happened at any other concert I have been too). Their energetic playing gets you off your seat and onto your feet (if you’re not lucky enough to be in the mosh). I can truly see why many people refer to them as, “the biggest band in the world.”

The only negative for the night was the fact that I was so far away from all of the action. I was situated directly in front the stage, in the seats, up on level three rather than being in the tight-knit, hardcore fan filled mosh pit.


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