dinsdag 14 juni 2016

Rock or Bust Tour Report: London Olympic Stadium 04-06-2016

Here is the report of my final AC/DC show.  At least for this tour.  At least for this leg of the tour.
I must say it was the perfect show in perfect company - thank you the Belgian Crew - for our farewells.  But you never know.  From a very good source we know that "this rolling train is difficult to stop".  The AC/DC machine can't impossibly call it quits.  The legacy rolls on.  

On our way to the stadium, we crossed the bagpipe player and a dedicated Young Food Truck: we knew we were on the right track! 

Once into the newly refurbished stadion, that otherwise reminded us of the Wembley Arena, we admired colorful beauty and discovered a dedicated front of stage zone, which was way more comfortable than last year in Wembley, where no separation in the ground field had the effect of 35 botox needles on our body once the show was over. 

 Less pressure front of stage this year, but still quite tight in the tribune!

Thumbs up to Brian

It was a pleasure to see Tylor Bryant and the Shakedown again.  I appreciate their style - excellent warm up stuff.

Angus was wearing a West Ham United colored tie for the occasion, then hanging it in Axl Rose bandana style to his waist:

The setlist was predictable but with Axl duckwalking around on stage, the show felt much more lively than in Werchter.  The band was visibly having fun on stage and was ON FIRE.  We recall Axl smiling, Stevie being interviewed on-stage by Axl on how he liked the show and Angus making hipwaist moves I don't recall seeing before.  Thank you AC/DC - wel'll meet again - WE SALUTE YOU.

And you ....ask me bout the clothes I wear....?  Well yeah.  I thought Axl was hinting on Touch Too Much, while the audience kept asking what exactly the ducktape on his t-shirt was hiding.  You can still get yours on domrebel.com if you want to find out for yourself.

donderdag 19 mei 2016

New Overdose Magazine issue available for pre-order

To celebrate over 40 years of rock'n'roll a group of fans from all over the world have gathered together to create the first international AC/DC fanzine: Overdose.  Overdose offers readers exclusive interviews, eye-witness accounts and never before heard snippets and stories from the band's eventful four decades on the road.
We have been impressed by the first issue, that also covered our Bedlam in Belgium story.  The editors include heaps of testimonials from AC/DC's rich touring and recording history.  Great stuff!

The second issue is available for pre-order now, simply click the order link above or click here to get a sneak preview of this issue's content.  Brian is starring on the cover, not forgotten yet.  

Rock Or Bust Tour Report Werchter 16-05-2016

Long live AC/DC
There you go.  My first AC/DC show with Axl is history.  Despite the fact that I fully trust and respect Angus choice, the anticipation was high and with mixed emotions, bearing two questions in mind: how painful the seperation with Brian's voice and so familiar personality on the one hand, and how Axl would fit the bunch I've always known since seeing AC/DC live for the first time at the age of 12 (Donnington VHS).  For those who haven't been (or brought their tickets back): Belgium got a great show!

Werchter, Belgium
"Pretty lame audience" before the show, according to an AC/DC official searching the front of stage for early duckwalkers to film.  He should have taken his camera to the bar instead!  It was a typical day off, and so Belgians are a little more - let's say - at ease and relaxed, enjoying a few beers and getting used to the festival atmosphere after a long winter season.  With beers being more important to the nation's survival, front of stage bracelets were only slowly liquidated, allowing latecomers to be still part of the inner feast well after 5 pm. 

Black Box Revelation & Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown

We got two more than worthy starters for this medium rare meal.  BBR brought a very decent wall of sound  with high quality PA, complete whitchcraft seen the amount of analogue pedals Jan uses on stage! 
Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown are a discovery.  Lovely style: blues rock 'n roll as we like it.  We recall the Muddy Waters cover.  But I'm sure some of the tunes will be dialed up from memory next time we see them.

From a wardrobe point of view, the fit is quite difficult.  Axl's glam rock clothing heavily contrasts the vestimentary soberness of the rest of the gang.  But let's be fair, after all, this ain't Vogue magazine: Axl did a great job!    And even came in a coat with a big Scottish flag on tthe back.  No sign of arrogant attitude as feared by many - pretty low key, both humble and respectful to the masters. 
Mixing in of his voice at certain points, like for YSMAL, was (deliberately for the first rows?) rather subtle.  I think the levels could have been cranked up a little more.  At other points in time, like during For Those About To Rock, I was impressed by the power of his voice.  Axl blends in that well for 99% of the ticket holders, the moment when Brian's cap is pictured on the background screen animations passes hardly unnoticed.  As an answer to our prayers ("Stand up and Shout"), Axl got out of his "Netflix and chill position" for Highway to Hell and Riff Raff:

Angus in front of an empty Netflix chair.... this means.....

....Walk all over you! 

Perfect choice for a great rainless night out and 100 percent concentration from the boys: we went nuts on Rock 'n Roll Damnation, Given the Dog a Bone , IYWB and Riff Raff in the encores.  Axl jokingly hinted to Bedlam in Belgium but then another song kicks off.  By the time we get to savour Whole Lotta Rosie, no room to shout Angus/Brian/Malcolm/Phil/Axl/Jim Brueur or anyone else as Ros(i)e starts to sing straight away.

For the sake of completeness, the full setlist accompanied by some of Axl's introductions, original and particular is the least you could call them:

1.            Rock or Bust
2.            Shoot to Thrill
3.            Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be  "a nice song about home sweet home"
4.            Back in Black
5.            Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder
6.            Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
7.            Rock 'n' Roll Damnation
8.            Thunderstruck "this is a love ballad"
9.            High Voltage
10.          Rock 'n' Roll Train  "pain train is coming"
11.          Hells Bells
12.          Given the Dog a Bone
13.          If You Want Blood (You've Got It) "a song about the cost of living"
14.          Sin City
15.          You Shook Me All Night Long
16.          Shot Down in Flames  "another sweet tune about love in the city"
17.          Have a Drink on Me
18.          T.N.T."inviting a guest vocalist to introducing this one. You might know him"
19.          Whole Lotta Rosie "I think you know this girl intimately",
20.          Let There Be Rock "get a bible on your ass now" or something like that....
(with Angus Young guitar solo)

21.          Highway to Hell
22.          Riff Raff
23.          For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

 Highway to Hell

 Showing the Red SG 

For Those About To Rock

dinsdag 10 mei 2016


With a little less than a week to the Werchter show, and the AC/DC virus starting to itch harder and harder everyday, the stage times have now been announced.

Surprise: there's a third band added to the lineup: our very own Black Box Revelation!  You know who they are!  Last time I saw Jan and Dries was in the French city of Jeanne d'Arc in a cosy place with a great afterparty initiated by DJ Dries.  It will be nice to hear them bring their latest album Highway Cruiser (2015) live.
Second in line is Tyler Bryant and the (Nervous) Shakedown, playing soulful blues rock brought to you straight away from Nashville.
When still in doubt of going, consider this.   Lisbon got 2 songs from the great Powerage album, rarely played live the past decade: Rock 'n Roll Damnation and Riff Raff.  Rumour has it that the band has rehearsed other songs from that album, so we might be in for a surprise!  See you there.
 Rock or Bust - live from Lisbon May 2016

Doors: 14:00
Black Box Revelation: 18:30 - 19:15
Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown: 19:45 - 20:30
AC/DC: 21:00 - 23:30 

And a special message for Axl Rose

zaterdag 7 mei 2016

Rose or Bust ! Rehearsals update and preparing for AC/DC in Werchter

Tonight is the first Rock or Bust show without Brian in Lisbon. To honour this particular moment,  in AC/DC history, I decided to write another article for the blog.  And yes, I've been away for quite a while from the whining circus.  I am glad we can enjoy our favorite band once more and that Axl helps them out for the last shows.  Without opening the Briangate discussions, I have one more thought on the situation: Brian promised us 40 shows before the tour start.  "40 shows, in respect to Malcolm's wish to keep on making music".   The year 2015 has been particularly difficult in that respect, without Malcolm, then Phil.  And Brian was commited to giving all he got.  He gave MORE than those 40 shows: he did 65.  THAT IS COMMITMENT.  That is paying respect to Malcolm's wish.  Thank you so much, Brian.  We've enjoyed every split second of it.  

We now learned more of the recruitment process from the BBC interview below: Axl had called Dale 'Opie' Skjerseth, long time production manager for the band, to express his interest wanting to help the band out.  Angus: "Who is this guy? What does he do?".  Rest will be history after tonight.  Trust Angus on this one.  He was right on Chris and Stevie - and on Brian before.  Let's celebrate rock and roll.

In the other video below, you can find a sneak preview of what AC/DC with Axl Rose sounds from the Portugal rehearsals.  Personally, I think it is going to be great.  The best we can get given the circumstances and I trust Angus in his choice.  Some stuff sounds really good, for other songs like the iconic Brian song Back in Black, is will be challenging.  Looking forward to discover that live.   Also nice to hear are some new old songs on the rehearsals list.  Let's hope they will make it to the final setlist!

Let's talk about Belgium, our first chance to experience the new configuration live.  
For that Werchter show, special "Night Train" tickets (a very appropriate concept) are available through the National Railway company and are valid from any Belgian railway station for 19EUR.  You can order them here: http://www.belgianrail.be/nl/vrije-tijd/festivals-concerten/acdc.aspx

Oh, yes and there was the miserable communication from Live Nation on the ticket refunds.  My information request to Livenation remained unanswered, but it appears that tickets were exceptionally reimbursed for a limited period of time only.  Live Nation Belgium was one of the last ticketing companies to propose a refund.  Scandinavia, Germany and England were faster to settle an agreement with the production.  This sure gave ticket scalpers the opportunity to recover their money ... 7000 ticket holders reportedly have requested a refund for the show in Belgium.  Hopefully Live Nation will communicate more clearly on the schedule and opening band(s).  The Sore Losers could be a great score for that night!
The good news is that tickets are again available: http://www.ticketmaster.be/event/ac-dc-tickets/12039?language=nl-be but at the time of writing of this article, the link is down.  It is unclear if tickets are still available at this point in time.

Let's get the party started.  We'll be there.

BBC band interview (Youtube)

Stage/Chair placement inspection in Lisbon (Facebook)

12 rehearsal recordings (Youtube)

dinsdag 8 maart 2016

Recover well Brian ! Forza Jonna!

We're just listenin' to the rock
That's givin' too much noise
Are you deaf you wanna hear some more
We're just talking about the future
Forget about the past
It'll always be with us
It's never gonna die
Never gonna die
Rock 'n' roll ain't noise pollution

Dark clouds over the Highway to Hell today as the news arrived that AC/DC postpones the remaining 10 US gigs due to Brian Johnson's health issues.  Some cars just need a good oil treatment and they're up for yet another thousands of miles on the road.  But for Brian, cards seem to be shuffeled different this time.  No, the ultimate Brian Johnson twin turbo 4 liter V8 hot rod engine isn't sputtering.  Not at all!  Brian is in excellent physical shape as all could witness in the past shows of the ongoing Rock or Bust world tour.  It's his hearing that causes trouble.  I'm sure it wasn't easy and pleasant for him to sync with the band in that condition.

One could discuss and speculate what's next.  There is no news on the last and European leg of the tour, and we can only hope that Brian can finish the Rock or Bust mission with his band.  We have seen Brian giving himself to the utmost in dodgy health conditions more than once (Hammersmith 2003, Antwerp Belgium 2009), and surely he has the strong mental to continue if he wants.  But Brian, first of all and most importantly: get yourself fixed, give your ears a rest. You've already given all you've got -and more than a hell of a lot- and taken it to the spot.  You filled a Back in Black hole in the biggest rock band in the world for 36 years, you're irreplaceable, but put yourself and your family first now.  Be well!  We will see what's next and count on us to be ready to party ANY time AC/DC's back. We salute you!

In an interview with Howard Stern in 2014 (video below), Brian explains the origins of his hearing loss, which is surprisingly not related to every show night's firing canons: “I’ve got hearing loss in my left ear. I didn’t get it from music. I got it from sitting in a racecar for too long without ear plugs.  I heard my eardrum burst because I forgot to put my plugs in under my helmet. That’s how it happened. Music had nothing to do with it .. I was dizzy, my middle ear had gone, and I took my helmet off and there was blood coming out and I’d burst my eardrum.

Brian talks about hearing loss as from minute 23.