Written by Eddie Ferranti
Dec 14, 2008 at 08:00 PM
ImageHad the absolute pleasure of enjoying a bombastic rock event presented by the gents called AC/DC at the Toyota Center in Houston recently. Wow what a show.

I’d last seen them in 2000 and was anxious to see what they had left in their rock tanks. Considering lead singer Brian Johnson is 61 and head crazy man Angus Young is 53, I was a bit skeptical. Boy did they prove me wrong ! How they can pour their guts out for just short of 2 hours every night on a nationwide tour is amazing to me. Afterall this is a band that has sold over 23 million albums and DVDs worldwide since 2003, only second to the Beatles. Plus they’ve hit it pretty good with their latest release, “Black Ice”, which seems like a follow up to “Back in Black” really. They could just mail it in if they wanted to, But that is not what AC/DC is about now or ever.

The band has never grown up or changed one bit over the years-and that’s a good thing! Angus STILL prancing around in his schoolboy uniform is a treat to behold. Brian Johnson just seems like he’s having a blast being the ultimate juvenile with his sleeveless shirt untucked and tugging at his floppy ass hat all night. He just seems like a dude I’d like to share a few cold ones with!

Coming out loud and proud with a classic video featuring thee AC/DC train, this gig exploded literally into your face!  A huge locomotive sat smoking in the background throughout the gig. Classic. By the 2nd tune, “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”, I was rockin so bad I forgot I was down front  to take pics!  “Back in Black” followed and this baby flowed like cold beer down my gullet. One after another they assaulted your senses (Did I tell ya it was loud?!) and everybody adored it. Jam packed house standing from start to finish!  They sold red flashing devil horns and they flashed all night around the arena. Sweet.

AC/DC never has claimed to wuss out to attract teenage girls or radio airplay. Power groups like Led Zep, Aerosmith or Motley Crue cannot say that. They’ve done it on their terms and it is not surprising that gradually, and without much media attention, AC/DC has become the most popular currently active rock band in the country. Dipping into a lot more Bon Scott era tunes than I thought they’d do was surprising but welcome to this reviewer.

“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and “The Jack” were sweet. “TNT” shook the house. The classic blow up “Rosie” for “Whole Lotta Rosie” stradled the locomotive and it was hilarious!  Angus’s show stealing solo performance on “Let There Be Rock” was rock legend period. How this dude can punish his guitar-and himself- with those “so simple they’re genius riffs” is a sight for sore eyes (and ears) !

Of course the all time killer album with Johnson aboard (4 times as long as Scott by the way) is “Back in Black”. Tunes like “Shook Me All Night Long” DID! “Thunderstruck”,  “For Those About To Rock” with full on cannons & “Shoot to Thrill” were beyond show stoppers. Lest I forget, the 3 dudes backing up the 1-2 punch of Brian and Angus is rock solid.  Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams and thumpin’ Phil Rudd drive this rock machine and stay firmly in the background. Without them the show could not go as smoothly as it does.

In closing,  bring on the sameness all day long boys. You don’t have to try to re-invent the wheel every tour or new album. To fully sum up thee evening,  I have to steal the quote from Steven Tyler when he inducted AC/DC in the R&R Hall of Fame in 2003: “AC/DC is thee thunder from down under that gives you the second most powerful surge that can flow through your body!” Amen brother amen……………..Until the next rock blowout, I’m out.