dinsdag 6 oktober 2015

Bedlam in Belgium Anniversary: new revelations!

9 October will mark the 38th anniversary of the 1977 second Belgian show for AC/DC Kontich, near Antwerp (B).   These days a lot of Belgian media dug up the story of "Bedlam in Belgium.  But it is not the 38th anniversary as such that is making the topic trending.  A lot of nostalgia disappears with the demolition earlier this month of the concert hall where the event took place: Dancing Thier Brau Hof in Kontich.

As mentioned in previous articles on this blog, the place wasn't actually meant to welcome High Voltage rock 'n roll.  We learned it was home to Belgian crooner Will Tura and Kalinka (Gilberte Verschaeren) from the neighbouring village Duffel.  Will Tura is a great guy, and Kalinka had her own television show, but they certainly not play the loudest rock 'n roll music of the era.  And their beer and saucage evenings with the occasional Bingo were surely not organised by a motor cycle gang like that night in October 1977.  

A Belgian journalist actually managed to trace down the police or "Gendarme" duo that arrived first at the concert hall.  The guys are close to there retirement and were actually very surprised to hear about the story.  They remembered the incident, but ignored AC/DC wrote a song about it.  Asked why he threatened the audience and the band with a gun, one of them called it an act of safety to make sure his gun would not disappear after already being profaned by a concert goer who took his cap.   The other called it an act of stupidity as only one gun would not be capable of taming a wild 300 to 400 crowd and an electrified Aussie hardrock band. All of this happened before reinforcement arrived at the Thier Brau Hof.  Both minimalise the impact of their intervention and claim 38 years later that "the story in the song got a little blown up" but the cops do acknowledge having shut down the power as a "technique that prooved effective during previous interventions, even on one of the Will Tura nights".  They must have been the most feared party crashers in the region by that time...  

For the first time in history and to celebrate the 100.000 visitor to this fan blog, this blog reveals next to never seen pictures the actual setlist for the night that ended up being described in the 1983 song "Bedlam in Belgium".   The 9 song setlist was typical for that period and gets quite close to that of other shows around that date.  So basically, one can say they were at least able to finish the set, but they clearly rushed through it.  A lot of stories mention "Let There Be Rock" being played, but that was clearly not the case.  Maybe it was on the setlist, but at least they didn't get to that as the concert was finished rather abruptly.  Neither did Bon start singing "I'm gonna Ride On..." to indicate to the gathered police force he would not call it quits.  

1. Live Wire
2. Problem Child
3. Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be
4. Whole Lotta Rosie
5. Dog Eat Dog
6. High Voltage
7. Bad Boy Boogie
8. Rocker
9. TNT

Read a Humo reader's review and watch again the ATV interview video with police officer Mr. Liekens here rev Humo review here below:

woensdag 19 augustus 2015

Rock Or Bust Tour Report: Wembley 4 July 2015

I know, it took me a while to report about this show.  I was too busy traveling and taking holidays, just like the band, who are enjoying their well deserved break before the Rock or Bust comet hits the United States on 22 August.  Still savouring the sweet aftertaste of the many great AC/DC shows I've seen so far, I must say that this Wembley show was the best of many in a row.  For me this gig topped the best shows from the Black Ice Tour.  What a shape the band was in!  Malcolm can be proud of his mates honouring his wish to continue making music.  The sound was incredible.  It was noticeable that the outdoor sound from the second half of the tour was much better than the first half where it was way too loud distorting the cabin speakers.  The team corrected that and conducted a speaker test right before the show started, this didn't happen for example in Paris where my ears suffered big time.  The band's energy could be best compared to a steaming rock 'n roll train hitting the red overdrive bar in the dashboard.  

 Wembley, Get It Hot !

The energy in the crowd was also the highest (and toughest) of all shows seen this tour.  Wembley was on fire that night, supported by the stadium bar that lit up red.  From time to time your feet wouldn't touch ground.  As you can spot in the first picture above, there was no floor separation or golden circle for the ground field like in other venues.  This caused a huge pression and heat upfront! It was a miracle I could take pictures - many thanks to the stabilisor in my pocket camera!  

Wembley was the best and Dessel was the last show on this tour for me.  It was much fun. Special thanks to the Irish crew in London for a first class AAA welcome, to Chris Slade and Stevie Young for keeping the show rolling and last but not least to Malcolm who made it all possible.  I'm dreaming of Japan, and hoping for a 2016 follow up.  The fans don't need to be convinced.  Long live rock 'n roll.

Brian giggling while getting tickled by Super Ang

Classical pose at the end of each song - Angus looking for Chris ...

... and finally finding him

                    Brian's lemon & rosemary power drink      Underground poster                                     

 Canons waiting to be shipped to the US ...

dinsdag 7 juli 2015

Rock or Bust Tour Report: 21 gun salute for the 21st Belgian show! (UPDATE)

Touring is heavy, even if you're only watching it :) so the Wembley report needs to wait a little longer and of course we give high priority to the report of the Belgian show !

550.000 fingers learning how to play

The rock gods in the sky above had arranged for superb summer night weather last night for the show in our home country Belgium.  A favor they gladly granted to those other rock gods, who played to the 50.000 crowd like it was the last night on earth.  We came  by bike, as the road to the holy grounds of Dessel can be a real Highway to Hell to accomodate the roll on and off of that many AC/DC fans.  We heard the last one could get off the parking lot after 3am...  Some complained that the waiting for the parking lot lasted longer than the concert itself.  It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n roll.....

Federal Police flying over the festival grounds

The festival grounds was well worn for the concert, as on the same grounds two weeks earlier, the Graspop metal festival took place.  By the time the crowd got a little sun tan, AC/DC was awarded platinum for the sales of Rock or Bust.
photo © Rudy De Doncker

She shook you all night long at the beer stand

Fresh Belgian beers quenched the dust and sand bitten concert goers and Belgians swapped horns filled with fries and mayo for their devil horns as soon as the AC/DC comet hit the stage and exploded into opening track Rock or Bust.  The band was in great shape, just like two days ago in Wembley and the crowd reacted loud.  It was a long time I haven't seen the Belgians make that much noise during a concert!  Our ears got used to the dense echoes from stadiums and arenas (Wembley, Barcelona, Stade de France, Arnhem,...) and this open air concert was a real relief as it gives you the purest sound without echo.  It made the cheers from the crowd sound more energetic.
Back in Black
One exclusive setlist surprise for Belgium, the first change on this tour, although not sure if it was meant to.  Sin City was played before You Shook Me All Night Long, where anywhere else this was the other way round.  Brian discloses the reason of this aberration in the first verse of YSMANL: "Knocking me out with those Belgian thighs...."


 The beautiful SG on duty again
I can't hear you Dessel!
 Let there be confettis
21 gun salute !

During apotheosis For Those About To Rock, there was a cannon shot for every show they ever played in Belgium, and although Bedlam in Belgium (Kontich 1977) will probably be the most remembered, last night was certainly the most memorable.  

Full setlist:

1.            Rock or Bust
2.            Shoot to Thrill
3.            Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
4.            Back in Black
5.            Play Ball
6.            Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
7.            Thunderstruck
8.            High Voltage
9.            Rock 'n' Roll Train
10.          Hells Bells
11.          Baptism by Fire
12.          Sin City
13.          You Shook Me All Night Long
14.          Shot Down in Flames
15.          Have a Drink on Me
16.          T.N.T.
17.          Whole Lotta Rosie
18.          Let There Be Rock

19.          Highway to Hell
20.          For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

Some fabulous pictures from Rudy De Doncker:

zaterdag 13 juni 2015

Desselse Details..... All information on the Belgian show in Dessel

Livenation has just published opening hours of the festival grounds and announced the line up.
Rival Sons have been added to the line up to our great (positive) surprise.

Stay tuned for reports and for more information on the day f the show follow @damnation69 on Twitter or #acdcdessel.

Timing (subject to changes):
14:00 - doors Metal Plaza
16:00 - doors concert arena
19:00 - 19:45 - RIVAL SONS
20:30 - 21:15 - VINTAGE TROUBLE
21:45 - 23:45 - AC/DC

maandag 1 juni 2015

Rock Or Bust Tour Report: Olé Barcelona - Paris 29 May 2015

AC/DC's Rock or Bust comet hit Spain last Friday, with a first of three shows, in the capital Barcelona.  31 May and 2 June they will play in Spain's other capital, Madrid.  Around 45.000 people attended this show under a clear and refreshing Barcelona sky.  Big difference with the cold and rainy Arnhem and Munich shows! The way to the stadium was packed with Atletico Bilbao fans, who gathered for the Copa del Rey finals and did some warm-up party.  They did clearly not know yet how much they would suffer against Barcelona FC some 24h later.....  

 This time I watched the show from a distance to admire the great light show and the big screens on the stage.  Quite a different experience.  What was really different was the cheering from the Catalan people.  Chorusses were enhanced with oh-oh's that reminded me of the South American crowds on the Buenos Aires DVD - but not as loud.  Silence between songs got filled with Olé's.  All to the big enjoyment of the band.  It certainly set Angus on fire, playing the limited edition Natural Burst SG on Dirty Deeds this time.  

Just like in Munich, Brian paid tribute to Malcolm during his vocal improvisations during High Voltage, screaming out his name.  I wonder if a lot of people notice that, but it's a honorable thing.  Also Bon appears quite a few times on the big screens in the form of his statue on the shorefront in Fremantle, Australia.

Objective achieved: Cliff's side!


After a couple of Estrella beers, all of a sudden there were two Angus'es on stage, swinging like the Lionel Messi from Rock 'n Roll.  

Spain event T-shirt