Here's a report on the 2008 AC/DC "Black Ice" tour as it made its way to Oakland Coliseum. This has been one of my most popular posts, so I'm highlighting it for those who may have missed it.
This was a great live gig, perhaps one of the best I'd seen all year. The band delivered a performance with the energy & enthusiasm of men half their age. And it was L O U D !
I managed to get quite a few decent photos and videos from my smuggled Canon G9 camera. The G9 is ideal for smaller concerts, though our seats in Section 113 were a bit far from the stage given a 6x zoom lens. So some of the photos and footage is shot from the big screen. But the sound is great and these videos have been viewed by more people than anything I've ever posted. So I guess AC/DC fans are a pretty dedicated lot! I recommend watching the videos in YouTube's high quality mode for best results.
- Rock N' Roll Train *
- Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be *
- Back In Black *
- Big Jack *
- Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
- Black Ice
- The Jack
- Hells Bells *
- Shoot to Thrill
- War Machine *
- Anything Goes
- You Shook Me All Night Long *
- T.N.T. *
- Whole Lotta Rosie
- Let There Be Rock
- Solo *
- Highway To Hell *
- For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) *
* = Video posted on YouTube.
It was a good mix of AC/DC's hits along with some new material. I suppose no set list is perfect, and I would have preferred to skip "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be" or "Anything Goes" in place of "Jailbreak" or even "Decibel" from "Black Ice" but that just reflects my personal opinion. I'm sure others would have their own quibbles. With a catalog of 30 years, I think this was about as good as it gets and I'm really just nit picking at this point. Bottom line: this was a great concert. Or as many AC/DC fans have commented on Youtube it was "the best ever, man. I was there!"
While some are critical of AC/DC for sticking to a formula, I think it's a pretty successful one. If Buddy Holly were still around, I wouldn't expect him to change a whole lot either. Of course, AC/DC's got 30 years of this formula, but the more I listen to their recent "Black Ice" CD, the more I think it's better than 90% of the new music out there today, Coldplay included.
Singer Brian Johnson (now 61) was in great form. I thought his voice was better than I've heard on videos from more than 10 years ago. Perhaps by allowing a day's rest between gigs, they've found a way to keep things going until he's 71. I sure hope so. He's belting it out with energy to spare and can still hit the high notes.
Angus Young put on a great show dressed in his usual Aussie schoolboy outfit ripping guitar solos throughout the evening. He's not running around on stage quite as much as he did in the past, but he's not phoning it in either. He worked the audience into a frenzy and sweated more than many a marathon runner in this nearly 2 hour show. Honestly, I don't know how he manages to play as well as he does while running around, spinning on the floor and never missing a beat. It may be a bit of showmanship, but its still impressive. Unfortunately, I ran out of memory and could not get the full version of his guitar solo on video. Sorry 'bout that!
Overall, it was a great concert and tribute to the fact that old guys can still rock. If you've caught AC/DC on tour or are planning to, let me what you think.