At Vancouver show, AC/DC's debauchery never sounded so good
At B.C. Place Stadium on Saturday, August 29
You know when people ask “How can I miss you if you won’t go away?” Well, apparently AC/DC fans never do. They packed B.C. Place on August 29 with such die-hard enthusiasm, you’d have thought it had been years since the aging Aussies played our fair city, when in fact it was only nine months ago. But as lead singer Brian Johnson said early on in the set, Vancouver is like a “second home” to them. Hmmm”¦ Second home or cash cow? Toe-MAY-toe, tuh-MAH-toe, really. It’s all rock ’n’ roll excess in the end.
Watch AC/DC perform "The Jack" at B.C. Place Stadium on August 29, 2009.
My point being, AC/DC loves us and we love spending money on AC/DC. It seemed like every second person at the show was sporting a set of flashing devil horns. At 15 bucks a pop, those demonic headbands were pure merchandising genius. Mick and Keith would be jealous.
Disappointingly, the much-beloved boogie-rock vets kicked off the set with a ditty from their totally redundant 2008 release, Black Ice. But it wasn’t long before they dove into the classic party anthems we’ve come to know and love over the decades. And let me tell you, debauchery never sounded so good.
Other than the awesomely offensive blow-up doll riding an inflatable AC/DC locomotive for “Whole Lotta Rosie”, every highlight of the show centred around lead axe man Angus Young. Oh, sure, Johnson was trying to give ’er as he marched up and down the long, narrow runway that stretched from the stage to a sound booth in the middle of the floor. But his moves were at times a little on the farcical side. Then again, it never really was about him anyway.
Meanwhile, the other three hairy-looking hobbits (drummer Phil Rudd, guitarist Malcolm Young, and bassist Cliff Williams) basically kept to the business at hand: showcasing their star performer, who was more than up to the challenge.
No one can ever accuse Young of phoning it in. He was on top of his game from beginning to end. I mean, the way that man single-handedly led the “Oi!” chanting in “T.N.T.” was a beautiful, beautiful thing. And for “The Jack”, he stripped off his schoolboy uniform and dry-wiped his crotch from front to back with his blazer. Then the balding 54-year-old guitar god proceeded to coquettishly flash his bare tummy and wait for the response. Who says rock stars don’t age gracefully?
But where Young really shone was during what must have been the longest guitar solo in history. I thought the man was going to keel over and die. This test of cardio endurance started with the entire band blasting “Let There Be Rock”. But eventually Young was left to his own devices.
At one point, he was rock-trotting down the runway to the makeshift sound-booth shack. Then he was rising up through the roof of said shack. Then he was back on-stage inspiring cheers from the crowd. I mean, it just went on and on. I honestly didn’t think the old coot had it in him. It was impressive, to say the least. And thanks to him, I’m sure everyone in attendance felt they got their money’s worth—again.
Aug 30, 2009 at 10:21am
Vancouver. You have to remember Angus and AC/DC had just played a EPIC show at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on the 27th. through a torrential down pour and a real and dangerous lightning show. It was monumental. Let there be ROCK !!!
Aug 30, 2009 at 5:29pm
Yes they were here 9 months ago, but only a fraction of those in attendance at BC Place last night would have been able to get tickets for that much smaller show. Prior to that, I think it's been 9 years since they were last in town.
Aug 30, 2009 at 6:25pm
By far the best freak'n concert I've been too! Angus rocked it out for about 20 minutes non stop it was unbelievable! THANKS ACDC! ROCK ON!
Aug 30, 2009 at 7:10pm
Rock and Roll at it's very best.
Aug 31, 2009 at 9:25am
It was a great show - they even managed to have the sound work fairly well in the old cave...Thanks to the Straight for a real review of the show as opposed to the diatribe in the Sun about how it was the same show that was already here at GM place - it is the same tour! That "reviewer" has shown again how little he knows about rock and roll.
Mike From Surrey
Aug 31, 2009 at 12:08pm
Been 3 times 1983, 2000, now,(years may very) best yet. For those about to rock
links of london
Aug 31, 2009 at 10:35pm
Been's rock and Roll are great in this year !
Aug 31, 2009 at 10:59pm
Concert was awesome, ACDC had the crowd roaring. Angus was phenomenal. Best rock band in the world
Sep 1, 2009 at 12:31pm
AC/DC was my dream band:P...This is one band i wanted to see before i die...i have been a fan since before i was 5.....when i seen AC/DC...in VAn at the stadium...i was suprised i was still standing:)...no word:)...actually can describe my experience!!..AC/DC...."rocked my world"!!!!
Sep 1, 2009 at 2:54pm
Georgia Straight is so predictable and, as always, offers another pathetic review.
As an artist manager, I've seen CD reviews by the GS where the reviewer hadn't even unwrapped it before commenting, the concert reviews are hideous in comparison with the efforts that the older writers offered in the days when the GS was a respectable music paper.
Opening with comments like "Disappointingly, the much-beloved boogie-rock vets kicked off the set with a ditty from their totally redundant 2008 release, Black Ice . " Just makes you come across as inexperienced, out of touch and completely devoid of any marketing knowledge. A tour promotes an album, to tour and only play oldies after releasing a new album would be stupid. 3 or 4 songs in a 2 hr mix of AC/DC classics is fine by any standards. Having seen them 4 X in the last 9 months, I have to say that nobody, can rock'n roll the many thousands of adoring fans into a near mass hysteria like AC/DC can. I've seen more than 30 shows in the last 9 months, all over North America, by artists of all genres and seeing AC/DC just reminds you how high the bar has been set for others.
"Cash Cow"? As for that ridiculous an dunqualified comment, any band that works as hard and is as entertaining as AC/DC is not cashing in on anything, they EARN their money and work damn hard for it, unlike some of the "reviewers" we've seen in more recent years.
In closing, I want to add a quick shout out to Zakk Wylde who remains in hospital today with numerous blood clots, forcing Black Label Society to cancel their remaining shows this year.
Best wishes, my brother, from the Vancouver Chapter. Get well soon and we'll see you on tour with Ozzy AND BLS in 2010.
Peace and God bless, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your lovely family.
Can't stop the ringing of my funeral bell.