Friday, April 23, 2010

AC/DC Live

I’m debating whether or not to do full review of the AC/DC show because the band is wrapping up their Black Ice tour-just a few US dates remain, and those are make-up dates from when Brian Johnson took ill and the band was forced to cancel shows. The other reason is that the band hasn’t changed their setlist at all during the two years they’ve been on the road.
Technically, they did add a song (the list is up to 19 songs total, 4 from Black Ice) and they’ve replaced one with another. But the core of the set-beginning, ending and encore remained the same and all of the choreographed material in between. By “choreographed” I mean “The Jack” striptease, the “Hells Bells” bell, the blow-up Rosie during “Whole Lotta Rosie,” the songs that featured something going on with material being played.
With so little being changed and so little time left, what’s the need to do a review?
For one, it would just serve as a document of a good time-something that you’d expect to begin with. They are a band even at this stage in their career that is a hoot to witness. I suppose a review would serve as a testament that-regardless of how little the band has progressed-even at this age they can still put on a great rock show.

First of all, I totally dig the set up for tickets, even though it had me worried somewhat.
The show was not done through Ticketmaster/Live Nation-it was an Iowa promoter selling tickets through an Iowa outlet. There was little saved by doing this-tickets still ran about $90 a pop-but there was no hidden charges added on.
The outlet also made ticketholders with choice seats physically come and pick them up at the venue before the show. This was a plus for anyone who lived in Des Moines-you could simply stop by the ticket office and pick up your ticket prior to the event-but for someone like me who lived a couple hours away, you didn’t feel like everything was good to go until you actually were holding the tickets.
And no, you couldn’t have someone pick them up for you-you had to be the one and you had to provide them with a photo id. This was all to prevent scalping and fraud and-if things ran as smoothly as what I experienced for future shows, I’m on board with this method. No problems-and I heard that even if you had to go to the box office immediately before the show to pick up your tickets, it wasn’t that long of a wait.
The tickets, by the way, were awesome. Tons better than the overpriced ones I bought for Chicago and maybe even better than the floor seats located directly in front of the stage and extended jetty. The reason why is because visibility upends location, and if I can view the stage unobstructed without having to crane my neck or fight a seven-foot-tall yeddy in front of me, gimmie that seat.
And I was still close enough where I could (in my younger days) take a couple of long jumps and get to center stage in a matter of seconds.
But I’m not in my younger days. I’m built for comfort. I ain’t built for speed.
Kudos to Wells Fargo Arena for being cool to everyone-including the drunk thirty-something dudes sitting in front of my wife and I. We (and others around us) endured a five minute long spat between them because one of the fucktards wanted a Miller Lite instead of a Bud Light. They were harmless-not even a real distraction-even when one of them tripped over himself getting back to his seat after a potty break.
Security didn’t frisk us, which meant the possibility of weed smuggling an easy endeavor. This may mean nothing to you-but consider this: it’s AC/DC. Now I’m sure security would have busted anyone trying to light up (there was a hint of weed in the air), but I’m not certain that they would have necessarily thrown you out if you were busted with it.
You see, we’ve gotten to a place where smoking a joint at an AC/DC concert is a rare thing-and that blows my mind. Where is the danger?! And at least the event staff at Wells Fargo aren’t complete fascists about a little excessiveness.
They even let some crazy AC/DC lady run up and down the stairs any time Angus or Brian came to our side of the stage. She was in her middle-forties and armed with only a camera phone, she pined for the idea shot.
Prior to the show, she spoke with not one, but two security personnel in trying to get over the barrier for an even better photo op. They declined her request, of course, but they tolerated her craziness and incessant stair runs throughout the show.
Her antics later got her face plastered on the jumbotron, which was an incredible gift considering how unattractive she was.
They also let a mom bring her special needs son down towards the end of the stair to get close to the action during “Thunderstruck.” The kid went crazy when Brian came over and pointed to him. It was touching. Seriously.
As much fun as we had watching the band, the crowd, and the load-out (well, maybe I was the only one that thought that was fun) who knows if AC/DC has another tour in them and if they’ll be able to physically muster another one in a few years. Johnson’s in his sixties and the Young brothers are closing in on it, so who knows if they (especially Angus) will be able to give a two-hour plus barrage of running, soloing, and constant time-keeping. I’d almost be afraid of seeing them again for fear of disappointment, but I wouldn’t be able to suggest that you check them out before they finally do.

The review at Glorious Noise can be found here.

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