Photo Gallery + Live Review: AC/DC bring high voltage rock and roll to North American tour kickoff

 
 

There’s something to be said for a band with just one original member left that can still sell out stadiums at the drop of a schoolboy cap. That’s exactly what AC/DC is doing some four-decades plus into their career on the heels of Rock or Bust, their solid — and fifteenth — studio album. Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, with thousands upon thousands of flashing light up devil horns sitting atop the heads of fans in the crowd, Angus Young and Co. brought the thunder, the bells, and the cannons.

Supplanted by his nephew Stevie on rhythm guitar, longtime bassist Cliff Williams, drummer Chris Slade and perpetually tweed-capped singer Brian Johnson, Young remains the focus of the show. At 60 years old, he has no qualms about throwing on the crushed velvet school boy outfit and duck-walking across the stage for two hours a night while nimbly picking away at his Gibson SG guitar. Sure, it’s more of a business these days; take the striped tie he starts the show in — it’s now adorned with the AC/DC logo as well as a series of Civil War howitzers as seen on the For Those About to Rock album cover and can be yours for the low, low price of $20 in the official AC/DC online store. But whatever, when you can merch the hell out of your band, why not?

Young’s stamina can induce envy in even the most spry and youthful with his indefatigable demeanor; the guitarist just does not stop moving. Riffing through all the classics like “Highway to Hell,” “T.N.T.,” hardcore fan favorites like “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” and “Sin City” as well as a staggering five songs from the band’s career highlight, Back in Black, there was something for everyone. Johnson’s voice, a point of consternation over the years, was in surprisingly fine form throughout the 20 songs, half from his tenure with the Aussies and half from the catalog of his late predecessor, Bon Scott.

The set is tailor-made for stadium-sized venues, with ample amounts of pyro, a state of the art light show, a massive stage design complete with a hardly used ego ramp jutting out from the center, and Marshall Stacks piled three high and spreading end to end. It’s like one massive middle finger to Spinal Tap and would be funny if it weren’t so damn awesome. And that’s one of the main aspects of the AC/DC appeal; they go big, they use the word “rock” in more song and album titles than should be legally allowed, and they aren’t afraid to be the biggest spectacle on the touring circuit — when they do hit the road. Unfortunately, Foxborough was one of just five dates in the States, and running with a well-oiled machine like intensity, here’s hoping they return in the spring.

Here’s the full 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/Guitar Solo

Encore:
Highway to Hell
For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

And here are some photos from Saturday’s show…