Review By Bobby Green
In the beginning
Back in nineteen fifty five
Man didn’t know ’bout a rock ‘n’ roll show
And all that jive.
Now it’s July 1st 2015 and both Man and Woman know all about a rock n roll show, and the greatest rock n roll show on earth rolled back into Ireland to remind us all of why they are the undisputed rock n roll champions of the world.
When tens of thousands of kids flock to see the self-claimed greatest living rock star on the planet turn up to a headline slot at Glastonbury, with a backing tape, who just shouts at people like the man with mental health issues does at the empty purple tin he’s kicking down the street at 4 o’clock in the morning, some of those deluded fans go away believing that nonsense. If just one person watching that headline slot had an AC/DC ringtone on their phone and someone rang them it would have been more ‘Rock n Roll’ than the Kanye West performance. If he was performing in my toilet I’d rather shit myself than have to go inside and subject myself to that abuse.
The reason we give such accolades as ‘the greatest’ in the field of art is because certain art merits such rewards. People could argue the Led Zeppelin cause, or the Motorhead or even The Rolling Stones argument, but the Motorhead argument would be the only one that could hold a candle to the greatest show on earth. I know that music isn’t a competition, and ‘better’ is a matter of taste and opinion. But I’ve been lucky enough to see what is widely respected as some of the greats of the music world, true legends. But all of them apart from Motorhead have always left me with the feeling of… ‘I would have loved to have seen them at their prime’. Not AC/DC though, every time I’ve seen them, without fail, I’ve been left with the delight of witnessing that show, on that tour. No band does it as good, and as consistently, for as long as AC/DC. Their brand of Rock n Roll is never tarnished by time or dodgy tours. Their hit rate is second to none, no band come close. I’ve also been in back street bars and witnessed music that would go on to dominate global charts, I’ve seen bands that were destined to explode on a small scale and then disappear, and equally they have been glorious moments in music history of equal relevance. But the greatest rock n roll show on earth, in fact probably the greatest show on earth, is an AC/DC show.
The white man had the schmaltz
The black man had the blues
No one knew what they was gonna do
But Tschaikovsky had the news
The last time the Rock n Roll train toured this beautiful earth of ours I was curious to see if these lads could still do it. So much energy goes into an AC/DC performance and the Young brothers aren’t as young as they used to be. Will we see a stripped back show or will we see the sad sight of a bunch of old blokes trying to recapture former glories? I certainly didn’t expect to be blown away as much as I was by how Angus not only still had thousands of people eating out of his hands but he still commanded the stage better than any performance artist I had ever seen. Sometimes you forget that he is playing some of the greatest, most well-known good time rock n roll riffs of all time because you’re just in awe of the performance, the show.
He said let there be sound
There was sound
Let there be light
There was light
Let there be drums
There was drums
Let there be guitar
There was guitar
Let there be rock
I was so knocked out by their last tour that Pat Collins and I decided to go to a few other shows around Europe. And we were both amazed at how the energy grew as the tour went on, there was no slowing down. Everything was a full tilt. When they sing about High Voltage Rock n Roll they aren’t just playing lip service to former glories. Angus has said of his live performances. ‘There will be people in the audience that have never seen an AC/DC show before, to make the show anything but the greatest show I’ve ever done would be doing those fans a disservice.’ This attitude has made their concerts events that go down in Rock n Roll history. But with a back catalogue of some of the greatest Rock n Roll ever to grace the world with its awesomeness, to hear it played live should be nothing short of a cultural event. Those riffs are still as dirty as those dirt cheap deeds were in 1976.
And it came to pass
That rock ‘n’ roll was born
All across the land every rockin’ band
Was blowin’ up a storm
And the guitar man got famous
The business man got rich
And in every bar there was a superstar
With a seven year itch.
So Dublin 2015 and we were bringing some AC/DC virgins with us. I’m embarrassed to say one of them being my brother Barry Green. Growing up in our house there was always music, but never any talent. And no one in my family is offended by this statement, not even myself and I used to be in a band that has a few albums and TV appearances under its belt. But we were all lovers of music, and for this we give great thanks to our parents. For without them sharing their passion of music with us I wouldn’t be standing in the Aviva stadium with tears in my eyes holding my brothers hand watching a man in his 60’s dressed as a school boy playing songs about Dirty women, Big girls and Highways to Hell.
There was fifteen million fingers
Learnin’ how to play
And you could hear the fingers pickin’
And this is what they had to say
Let there be light
Let there be rock.
Do you remember the feeling of childhood Christmas, when you had sneaked a look at what you were going to get, and what you were going to get was what you had wished for. You were so excited on Christmas morning when you ripped open the paper that you were shaking. Multiply that by a million and that’s how I felt when the lights went down and the arena was flickering with flashing devils horns.
And the show began.
The intro film started and as soon as the AC/DC meteor lit up the screen we all went mental. This was just sight of the logo, the legendary AD/DC logo. My brother had seen this throughout his adult life but had never experienced the power behind their live performance, I could see in the eyes of the AC/DC virgins we brought along with us the excitement of what was about to come. Then they exploded onto the stage in true majestic fashion. In Rock we trust, It’s Rock or Bust.
One night in the club called the shakin’ hand
There was a 42 decibel rockin’ band
And the music was good and the music was loud
And the singer turned and he said to the crowd
Let there be rock.
I really don’t want to say any clichés about AC/DC being like a fine wine or any age clichés at all because their music really is as timeless as their live performance. I remember a certain ‘dance’ band that are making a bit of a comeback requesting stage crew make the stage a bit smaller because they were getting knackered. Tonight Dublin wouldn’t have been too big a space for Angus as he commanded the arena like the true champion he is with Riffs that must have been gifted to him by the devil himself. The only problem with an AC/DC show is that you’ll never hear all of the classics, but with a back catalogue of so many, how do you fit them all in? But tonight we were treated to enough classic Rock to keep any fan happy. And they weren’t just renditions of the classics, they were delivered with the power and ferocity that Rock n Roll deserves. Respect your fans and they will respect you, and the best way to do that is to respect the music. AC/DC are a way of life for so many people, there were people with AC/DC tattoos proudly on display, I spotted one person with one on the back of their head, that’s dedication to a cause that boarders on insanity. But that’s the power of Rock n Roll and no band does it better, and has done it better for as long as AC/DC, and I doubt anyone ever will again. On my deathbed I will be grateful for the times I spent ‘rockin out’ with the best, and AC/DC still are.