AC/DC – Back (Yet Again) In Black

So, thoughts on last night’s AC/DC show at BC Place here in Vancouver. My seventh or eighth since way back in misty 1990 with the grammatically incorrect Razors Edge Tour.

This is their first tour in over half a decade, and the fan appetite was clearly palpable. Particularly since the North American leg so far has only fourteen shows, of which a seemingly insane eight are in Canada. I’m certainly not complaining, though American fans are no doubt howling.

Not surprisingly, the 45,000-strong audience was heavily weighted towards my age demographic and older. Having said that, I admit to being surprised when the enthusiastic gaggle of 20-something girls in the row in front of us defied my expectations by actually appearing to know the lyrics to most of the songs. Clearly, I’m as guilty of stereotyping as anybody else.

There aren’t many music acts that still possess the heft to perform in a stadium venue like BC Place; they can almost be counted on one hand. Paul McCartney. Roger Waters. Madonna. Taylor Swift. One Direction. Maybe a couple of others. Hell, even U2 don’t bother trying that anymore.

I’m not really sure how to attribute AC/DC’s longevity and continuing drawing power after forty years and a half-decade absence, beyond my own feelings as a fan. With one exception, they’re all over 60 (the aforementioned girls were overheard to remark “omigod, they’re so OLD!!!”). Without exception, they’re all ugly as fuck. But they’re predictable, they’re fun, they put on a spectacle, and their songs are loud, simple, raucous, raunchy, sing-alongable bar band stomps. And somehow, despite all those adjectives being equally applicable to a band like Kiss, they differ significantly from Kiss in that they seem to be largely above reproach or accusations of being “sell-outs” (whatever the hell that means in the context of rock stardom). And whatever Angus Young supposedly lacks as a guitarist (and my own virtual non-skills on the instrument pretty much disqualify me from being able to comment on that), he still throws out his thousand-note flurry solos and enthusiastically performs his act of jerking and bopping all over the stage like his spine is plugged into his wall of Marshalls. I hope I can claim that much energy when I’m sixty. Plus, in my uneducated opinion, the dude actually can play like a demon.

Sad to think it could be the last time we get to see them. Still… a killer show. \m/

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