Yesterday I headed off to Buffalo to take in what could possibly be my last AC/DC concert.
The past couple of years have not been kind to the band’s lineup, with guitarist Malcolm young having to bow out due to the onset of dementia, drummer Phil Rudd getting into legal hot water that prevented him from touring, and singer Brian Johnson being told by his doctors to retire mid-tour or face total hearing loss. And to top it off, bassist Cliff Williams had also announced his retirement from the band after they wrap up their Rock Or Bust tour.
That leaves 61-year-old lead guitarist Angus Young as the remaining original member of the band, so sitting in my seat while the Rolling Stones’ ‘The Last Time’ played over the P.A. I wondered if this would be my last time.
I hope it isn’t. The band pulled out a 2 1/2 show that featured all of their biggest radio hits — Hells Bells, Thunderstruck, For Those About To Rock, Back In Black, Highway To Hell, You Shook Me All Night Long, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, T.N.T. and more — as well as deeper cuts that I hadn’t heard in a LONG while: If You Want Blood You’ve Got It, Live Wire, and Sin City to name a few. And fill-in singer Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses was up to the task sounding equal parts original AC/DC singer Bon Scott and an air raid siren. My voice is shot today for trying to keep up with him.
The band was rounded out by Angus’ nephew Stevie on rhythm guitar (actually his second stint in the band, the first to replace Malcolm for a tour in 1988) and drummer Chris Slade, who played on AC/DC’s Razor’s Edge album and tour. The sound was meaty, chunky and crystal clear. The lighting was fantastic. And armed with a back catalogue that other bands could only dream about, Angus & Co. showed why the band has endured as a top-drawing touring act, even through (relatively for them) lean years where albums haven’t matched up to the the un-matchable Back In Black. — Chuck
AC/DC, Key Bank Center, Buffalo 9/11/2016:
Rock Or Bust
Shoot To Thrill
Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
Back In Black
Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation
Rock ‘n’ Roll Train
Given the Dog a Bone
If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)
You Shook Me All Night Long
Shot Down in Flames
Have a Drink on Me
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock
Highway to Hell
For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)