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

maandag 25 mei 2015

Rock Or Bust Tour Report: Pelouse Or Bust - Paris 23 May 2015

The first night in Paris was an indeniable hit.  Watching from the front row, I am still deaf from one ear - I forgot those earplugs - and rednosed - I forgot that sunscreen - from queueing up on the hot concrete outside the stadium.

Two fans asking beer from the wrong Angus.

Devil horns!

No One Is Innocent

From this show, I will remember the brilliant warm up job from Vintage Trouble, and special for the French dates local hero No One Is Innocent, who play poignant  politically tinted power rock.  The crowd in a packed Stade de France sounded more thirsty then during a final of the French football cup. The crowd exploded even before the landing of the Rock or Bust comet and the Pelouse d'Or got hot like a whirlpool without water.

Angus in trance fly-checking the binding of his favorite SG guitar, swinging it around his body like a lady in a good ol' rock 'n roll while playing the most incredible solos: that's AC/DC!  
At one point he played with his tie!

Just like in Munich, Angus swopped for a Gibson SG Standard Limited Natural Burst on one song.  Its colour would nicely fit to play onto HTH.

The AC/DC machine seems to be on cruise speed.  The more they play together the better they get and the more Angus' knees will suffer.  What a blast!  You never get the impression their engine is slowing down. Quite impressive!

I'm preparing now for Barcelona, where I will try to get to Cliff's side.  The zoom of my camera is not powerful enough to capture him from the left side!  But first the next Paris show!

woensdag 6 mei 2015

Rock Or Bust Tour Report: Big Bang Arnhem 5 May 2015

It took AC/DC five years to hit the European continent again.  But when they finally did yesterday at Arnhem's opening gig, they came in with a blast!  On a day that started as a Stormy May day with rain for those who waited patiently outside as from 9 o' clock in the morning, the band made sure not to miss this first appointment of the European leg of the Rock or Bust tour.  Place of this rendez-vous: Gelredome, just across the street from the legendary Rijnhal, known from the broadcasted 13 July 1979 show of the Highway to Hell tour.  The Hall still exists, but hosts now christian gatherings, a real twist of faith ....  Also, nearly in Angus' backyard, as he lives not even an hour away from this venue.

                           Rijnhal - Arnhem                               Gelredome - Arnhem

To the point: AC/DC will always be AC/DC, things hardly change, part of their huge success.  You know that.   Let's rather focus on what was different this time! Spoiler alert: if you don't want to know, please don't read any further! :o)

1. Stevie on rhythm guitar

Could you ever imagine AC/DC without Malcolm Young ?  No.  Can nephew Stevie Young take his place live (we know he did great on the album) and fill the gap? Yes, absolutely!!  Cautiously observing the rest of the band in full concentration in the beginning, Stevie got really comfortable, displaying a big grin on his face as the set evolved.  Malcolm can be happy with a family replacement like Stevie.  Tough the crowd did not forget about Malcolm.   On social networks, the message spread quickly to shout 'Malcolm's name during the first chords of Whole Lotta Rosie.  Let's say half of the crowd at the Gelredome is on Facebook, so it was a nice mixture of both 'Angus' and 'Malcolm' shoutings at the same time. A great sign of beautiful brotherhood.

2. Chris Slade on drums

Ex AC/DC-legionair Chris Slade fills in again for Phil Rudd and is now the elder member of the band.  Not that you notice.  It felt like he never left the band.  Chris paid honor to his powerhouse drum battery reputation and hit the skins on his brand new drum kit as if it was the last night on earth.  Where are the critics now with their unfair and disrespectful comments about a 'hi hat thing' and 'techno' (???) drumming??  All of it was 200% compatible with AC/DC's reknown sound experience and it is a genuine celebration to expose your ears and eyes to his endless energy level. And face it: Chris saved AC/DC's 40th anniversary bash from being cancelled or postponed!  

3. Setlist: The Jack, or not?!

On Sunday 3 May, we could hear the band rehearse the entire set as well as Dog Eat Dog, which will most likely be the replacement song for locations where the bands plays two shows (Paris, Munich, Zurich, Madrid, ...).   But The Jack is not (yet) part of the set.  The (not so great) weather for this 'Summer Tour' could explain why Angus didn't strip.  Anyhow, the omission of a striptease made that Angus played the entire concert in (oversized) shirt until the very end.  But....who knows....: a playlist that I obtained after the show mentions The Jack as an 'Extra' song amongst others.  I guess the future will tell when exactly that card gets finally pulled!

                                                "But you ain't got the guts"

                                        "Somebody forgot to attach the rope to the Bell!"

4. The stage

Great opening scene: Apollo 13 style with AC/DC astronauts and a huge rock heading for planet Earth....or something like that.  For the scene itself, not much excitement, but maybe this was a smaller scene for the smaller indoor shows.  Can't remember any having seen any animation videos like during Black Ice (War Machine), but as I stood close to the stage, it was quite difficult to watch the enormous screens side of stage.  Remarkeable was the extremely high stage and very short catwalk, only accessed towards the end of the show.   Personally I didn't mind, as it probably saved Angus and Brian some much needed oxygen!  

Well, so far for the things I recall.  Up to the next show for more....