The Metal Files

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AC/DC Concert Review, Houston, TX, February 26, 2016

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Before last night, I had never seen AC/DC before and to be honest I’m not a huge fan in general.  Radio in the 80s ruined them for me by spinning the Back in Black album over and over.  If I had to pick and era, it would be the Bon Scott era but there are some songs from the Brian Johnson era that I do love.  I’ve played a ton of their songs in bands since 1985 as a drummer and bass player.  They are fun to play and everyone seems to love hearing their stuff.  I’ll say that I do love Powerage, Flick of the Switch and fly On the Wall.

I took the decision a few years ago to catch some of the more legendary bands that I like but may not be a huge fan of.  Seeing AC/DC last night made me regret not catching them in the 80s and 90s a bit.

I picked up a pair of tickets when they first went on sale and Pablo jumped on my spare immediately.  We left for Houston midday Friday and hit some traffic going in, but not too bad.  It was still early enough after parking to grab some food, so we hit Guadalajara for some tacos.  Tacos!  Ran into my Austin friends Larry and Brenda there.  Always great seeing them.

After dinner we walked over to the Toyota Center, hazed a street preacher for a few minutes then went inside to check out the merch.  I was glad to see that they made a TX only shirt and snagged one.

We hung out in the outer ring during most of the opener, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown.  Catching their last 3 songs made me wish I had stayed outside longer.  Boring bluesy rock.  Good for those kids to get on a big bill like that, though.

AC/DC’s pre-show video started right at 8:50.  Their opening track was Rock or Bust from their latest album of the same name.  The sold out crowd was on their feet as they followed that right up with Shoot to Thrill and Hell Ain’t A Bad Place to Be.  After a quick breather, they went into Back in Black.  I took my seat on that one.

For the rest of the set they played a good mix of the Bon and Brian eras.  I’m amazed as to the energy that Brian and Angus still have.  It’s pretty impressive.  Angus was wearing the blue schoolboy uniform last night and played a mix of different Gibson SGs.  He really is an incredible guitarist and watching him live gave me a new appreciation for his playing and his influence on rock and metal.

Brian’s voice was Brian’s voice.  He sounded as expected and did a good job even though I think he got winded a few times.  Understandable.  He’s a solid frontman.  During Hell’s Bells, he was handed a cowboy hat from someone in the front row and wore it for the song.  “It fits!”, he said.

Angus’ nephew, Stevie is handling rhythm guitar duties since Malcolm’s health won’t allow him to play nowadays.  He did fine and Cliff Williams layed the bottom down perfectly as he has since he joined in 1977.  While Chris Slade is obviously an accomplished drummer and has AC/DC history, he’s no Phil Rudd.  Phil had a groove that few can replicate, even if only playing 2 and 4 as a career.  His recent legal and drug issues kept him from being in the band and on the tour.

Highlight song for me was Given the Dog a Bone.  You see, back in my early teen years a group of mothers in our church got on the “heavy metal is satanic” kick.  We had to endure lectures from this North Carolina preacher named Albert Long telling us that Iron Maiden, KISS, Twisted Sister, AC/DC and other were worshiping the devil.  Laughable but we had no choice but to sit there and listen to the guy and watch him break down metal videos and their satan-ness.  haha.  In one of the lectures, he started reading lyrics from Given the Dog a Bone in his thick North Carolina accent.  I thought we were going to die laughing listening to him read the lyrics and talking about the evils of sex and the devil etc.

She take you down easy
Going down to her knees
Going down to the devil
Down down at ninety degrees
She blowing me crazy
’til my ammunition is dry
She’s using her head again
She’s using her head
She’s using her head again
I’m justa giving the dog a bone
Giving the dog a bone, giving the dog a bone
Giving the dog a bone, giving the dog a bone

I can’t hear that song to this day and not think about that moment.  To be honest, that dude turned us kids on to more metal then he did to sway us away from it.  What a dork.

What a great show.  AC/DC rocks.

 

Written by The Metal Files

February 27, 2016 at 9:40 am

One Response

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  1. Ha ha. I had some similar experiences as a kid too. Of people trying to point out the evils of some band, and all it did was introduce me to the band. I believe that’s how I discovered Venom. :-) I have the PMRC to thank for that one.

    hsoi

    February 27, 2016 at 11:18 am


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