10 December 2008

AC/DC / The Answer @ US Airways Center 12/10/2008

The Answer were the only opener for AC/DC, and they were a good opener. Before I discuss the performance, I want to discuss the band. This is a band who has 1 full length CD out, yet they opened for Aerosmith and tour with AC/DC. That speaks to the attention that 1 CD has gotten. On a more personal note, I have to say that the interview I did with them was absolutely fantastic. The band is very chill and super friendly (they invited me to come out with them after the show to explore bars), and most of all very personable. Most folks who are stuck in the 70's musically are boring stoners, but these guys were not. As to the performance, it was really spot on. When they hit the stage, I remember that my first thought was "Hmm, sounds pretty damn close to Robert Plant." Whether or not that's a compliment depends on your tastes I suppose, but for the sound they are going for, it's great. The band plays a little bit heavier riffs than their 70's counterparts, but the heavy blues influence is still extremely prevalent. In some ways, they feel like a small band still even on the big stage. They're not doing much more than most bands to (which is different from what arena bands do), but they're playing solid music and the crowd gets pretty into it and dances. They're a good pairing with a band like AC/DC and it's nice to see young bands still play music like older bands every once in awhile.

AC/DC are pros, of course. They have been putting on big shows for decades, and they know how to be effective. One of the most notable moments of the show was actually the intro. Beginning with a movie that features a runaway train, the screen then splits apart as a train crashes through, with pyrotechnics galore, as the band jumps into Rock and Roll Train. Other big hits had similarly exciting spectacles. TNT had time synced bursts of flame. There was a blow up doll for Whole Lotta Rosie. Also, it must be said that for a bunch of guys around 60 years old, the energy on stage is still remarkable. Running around and climbing on staircases. Oh and of course the obligatory Angus Young striptease. Even with all of that, I hardly touch the various showmanship aspects of the show, but what about the music? Well, it's AC/DC, the music is solid. Young is a little sloppier than expected, but only in the really nuts self indulgent soloing where it seems so many blues guitarists lose their touch while technical ones thrive. Young is a blues guy through and through, most evidenced in the blues jam the band performed in the middle of Rosie. To sum it up though, a great show, without a doubt.

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