AC/DC

Dyrskuepladsen, Roskilde - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

I’ve always had an ambivalent relationship with hard rock legends AC/DC. On the one hand, you can’t say don’t like them, you’d get lynched on the spot, same deal with Motörhead. And it’s not that I don’t like them. I just prefer them in small pieces, several years apart perhaps. I just don’t find them interesting enough to sit down and listen to.
Still, if they showed up with a tour and I had the chance to go see them, I wouldn’t want to miss it. And a tour showed up, and I was able to make…

“It’s good to be back in Denmark! It’s good to be at the legendary Roskilde!”
- Brian Johnson (vocals)


Even though AC/DC had apparently only brought their “small” stage, contained in 27 trucks, the famous animal fair / festival site in Roskilde was set up for a big party. Two support bands were along for the ride, the US band Vintage Trouble that was along for the entire tour, and the local choice in Helhorse, but before any of these saw the light of the stage, early guests were able to get their rock freak on together with Förtress and Blended Brew in a special Tak Rock! pre-party area located off to the right of the main stage. Five bands in all, almost a one-day festival, with one of the biggest headliners the world has to offer at this point in time.
We didn’t catch the two first bands, but were in time to see Helhorse do a solid show opening the AC/DC stage, and then have our socks rocked off by the surprising delight that was Vintage Trouble.
Now it was time for AC/DC however, and the large screens on each side of the stage lit up to a roar of 55000 voices sounding their anticipation.

The introductory video showed the lunar landing, with the small addition of the astronauts finding a meteor with the AC/DC logo in flames and molten rock, which proceeded to hurl through space, meeting several iconic AC/DC images along the way, before setting its sight on the Earth and crashing into the stage here in Roskilde, in a crescendo of flames and fireworks.
Thus opened the show, and the band members hit the stage, Brian Johnson and Angus Young taking the front, with Cliff Williams, Stevie Young, and Chris Slade doing their best to press up against the back wall and stay out of sight. I must admit I didn’t really get the point of this split, but soon the music began, and I had other things to think about.
The show began with the title track of the new album, Rock Or Bust, and a concert lasting somewhere around the two hour mark followed, giving us a bit more new stuff, and a best of list of the bands many classics. You Shook Me All Night Long was my favourite of the evening, and if I could have had a request entry, it would probably be The Razor’s Edge, or Moneytalks.

“I hope you like rock, ‘cause that’s all we do!”
- Johnson (vocals)


Given that the band members are 60+ years of age, I was impressed with the amount of energy displayed by Johnson and Angus Young, both of which moved about nearly all the time. Especially Angus Young seemed unstoppable! The other three on the other hand, seemed to be more unstartable. Pressed up against the back wall except for those few places where they walked forward a bit to deliver backing vocals, they might as well have been the string puppets of a puppet master who had turned in early for the night.
I can also only assume that it was to catch their wind that the band felt the need to stop everything every time a song was done. The pattern was the same each time, a power chord and a jump from Angus Young, lights and sound out, and all was quiet until the next song began. These were unfortunate breaks in an otherwise well delivered show.
The production didn’t lack anything – the large stage lit up in varying colours, there was a giant balloon lady for Whole Lotta Rosie, and a large church bell for Hells Bells, as well as several loaded cannons for For Those About To Rock (We Salute You). Then there was the obligatory guitar solo by Angus Young, where he was lifted up on a platform at the edge of the catwalk, while cannons fired confetti out over the crowd. He’s definitely not the most technically proficient guitarist around, and the solo lacked interesting twist and turns, focusing nearly exclusively on fast picking on the higher frets. Oh, and he played some it with his tie as well.

The audience loved the show, and even though the new song beginning of the set wasn’t exactly what people were looking for, the success was etched in stone as soon as Back In Black, as the first real classic, was played, and things only got wilder from there on out, with T.N.T. marking a further lift in the atmosphere. As mentioned elsewhere, this was not a show of rowdy youths doing moshpits and the like, but rather a big old family outing, where dads got to dust off their one rock t-shirt from the back of the closet, and mom’s got to drink a beer and try out some rusty dance moves, made smoother by the slight buzz brought by alcohol. All wearing plastic devil horns with blinking lights inside of course, no exceptions allowed!
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this type of crowd, it’s just not the type we’re most used to here at Metalmoments. Still, heads were nodded, hands clapped hard, and voices broke while trying to sing/shout along to the songs.

AC/DC didn’t deliver a flawless show, but that doesn’t matter because I was still taken aback by how good and gripping it actually was! You still won’t find me listening to an album at home, but the concert was great entertainment that won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Setlist:

Rock Or Bust
Shoot To Thrill
Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
Back In Black
Play Ball
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Thunderstruck
High Voltage
Rock ‘N’ Roll Train
Hells Bells
Baptism By Fire
You Shook Me All Night Long
Sin City
Shot Down In Flames
Have A Drink On Me
T.N.T.
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock
Highway To Hell
For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

AC/DC

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