AC/DC at TD Banknorth Garden, November 9 , 2008
Angus Young is a sight to behold. In the midst of last Sunday night's sold-out-all-the-way-to-the-nosebleeds gig at the "Gahden," his band AC/DC were in the midst of bringing chestnut "The Jack" down to a slow burn. The 5'2" Young put his guitar down, sauntered to center stage, and slowly and seductively began removing his schoolboy outfit piece by piece; at 53, Young probably has a lock right now on the title of most successful stripper in America. He spared us the full moon, but he and his band delivered an absolute powerhouse set.
LET THERE BE ROCK: Angus's message is, "Behold the majesty of this chord!"
The key to understanding AC/DC's musical alchemy is in Young's iconic stance: one hand is on the fretboard, holding a power chord, the other hand is up in the air, pointing a finger. This isn't fist-in-the-air rock — the message is, "Behold the majesty of this chord!" It's the secret to how AC/DC continues to fill stadiums well into their fourth decade. Their music flourishes in its open space, and the band take their sweet time working an audience into a frenzy. It was particularly refreshing to see an arena rock show with no synths or sequencers, no backing vocals or tracks, nothing but five guys, two guitars, bass, drums, and the occasional 100-foot inflatable woman.
Singer Brian Johnson hit "Whole Lotta Rosie" out of the park, while his sloppy-joe everyman antics grounded the Olympic Ur-riffing of his colleagues. The setlist balanced past with present — although the riffs always seemed nastier when the band dipped into the Bon Scott-era material, especially during "Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be." The pinnacle was reached near the end in "Let There Be Rock": Angus ran down the catwalk, his fretboard almost smoking. Reaching the end, he and his tantrum-on-the-floor duckwalk were literally put on a pedestal as he was hydraulically hoisted into the air. As they closed the show with a six-cannon salute in "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)," the 15,000 faithful on hand had no choice but to salute (and submit).
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