Errols Weekly Music Update.

August 1, 2009

Concert Review: AC/DC at Giants Stadium on July 31, 2009

Concert Review: AC/DC at Giants Stadium on Friday July 31, 2009.

“Speechless in New Jersey.”

OK let me put it out there right from the beginning; I am a huge fan of AC/DC. For my last review for their show at Madison Square Garden back in November 2008, there were some rumblings from folks that the show couldn’t have been that good-even a writer from the NY Times kind of threw cool water on that show. Further more a month later, I admitted that I needed to put myself into “objective” shoes, after I went to see Neil Young and didn’t feel the electricity in the air. But now I’m back! (Forget about all that stuff) And I have at least eight personal friends who I haven’t even talked to yet about the show last night at Giants Stadium (along with the approximate 30,000 – 40,000 other people that crashed the party) and I know one thing that everyone would all agree: the show was absolutely fantastic!!! I’m having a hard time trying to express how I feel, so that is why I decided to label this review “Speechless in New Jersey.” As I drove home last night I was trying to think of analogies to describe the band called AC/DC and one of the first thoughts I had was to compare them to Walter Conkrite. I know what you’re thinking.. “Walter Conkrite??… AC/DC???” Hear me out. For those of you old enough to remember, here’s my one question: Was he ALWAYS on his game? The answer is a resounding: Yes!!! Now then.. I’ll answer it for you: AC/DC ARE ALWAYS ON THEIR GAME!!!! Or think about the light bulb in your house that has never burned out. You flick the switch “On” and there it is… light. One attends an AC/DC show, they flick their switch and you have: Rock & Roll the way it was intended to be EVERY TIME!!! They never disappoint and like I said to many of my friends before the show: Friday night in the summer… outdoors… AC/DC… Does it get any better?

This was my first show with my youngest son together-yes he wore ear plugs this time- and of course my red “devil horns” that light up which I purchased on their last tour more than seven years ago. (There were so many devil horns last night but… I’m jumping ahead.. I’m actually wearing them now as I write the review-ask my wife). Now the weather couldn’t have been any worse prior to the show but he decided “Dad I’m in!!” It was fate, as soon as the first band took the stage- The Answer- the rain subsided and did not return the rest of the evening. Right then and there I knew it was going to be a great time. Actually The Answer put on a good set. These guys are from Northern Ireland and have a bluesy hard rock feel to them. (Sound familiar?) Their second album “Every Day Demons” is now available on I-Tunes. I would say to definitely check them out. Now the second band, Anvil, well let’s just say that my son looked at me and said “if they play one more song, I’m leaving.” Luckily, their swan song “Metal on Metal” was done and the lights went on, so we knew there would be no encore from them. They weren’t so bad… but weren’t so good. So now the faithful restfully awaited the arrival of their Masters. And during that wait, the tunes before AC/DC appeared; were slated toward the blues. I’m not sure what artist was featured but it was putting me to sleep. Now don’t get me wrong- a small venue with a blues band- and I am there- but Giants Stadium before an AC/DC show? (Maybe it was part of the overall plan to lull you to sleep, like smoke does to bees). But then…the swarm took over. The stage was basically the same as it was at The Garden back in November but seemed to be magnified ten times over. There was the biggest TV screen right behind the center of the stage- (most men would love to have that screen in there living room for the football games) and two perfectly sized screens on the sides of the stage for the audience to view. The oval overhead that surrounded the boys was the most spectacular lighting system I have ever witnessed. The stage was set up in the end zone where both the Jets and Giants enter for their games. It extended about 20 yards deep and right down the middle was a runway that was approximately 70 yards long (seemingly thousands of lights to illuminate it) that connected to another circular stage that had a center that popped up (think about those ice cream treats you would eat as a kid that pushed upwards- the inside roll of toilet paper with a stick- remember those?). The “Black Ice” tour starts off with a video depicting Angus as a devil riding a train that is apparently out of control (you think?) with lots of pretty women all over the place. As the animation continues, Angus has to make a decision to jump off the train and as he does: BOOM!!! AC/DC explodes onto the stage with “Rock and Roll Train.” I look over to my son and he is out of his seat “air-guitaring” (a dream come true for his dad) already. Can it get any better? Now getting back to the devil horns, just picture a football stadium (taking out the 10 yard lines and end zone on one side) with many, many people standing and cheering. Then your eyes are immediately drawn to all these blinking “red” lights against the backdrop of the night. I’m pumped just thinking about again!!! As mentioned, the stage set up was similar but this time Malcolm Young and Cliff Williams are more to the forefront, in front of Phil Rudd’s drum set-(as opposed to the Garden where they seemingly attached to the drum set)- more of a spotlight that is deservedly apropos. (One of the most unbelievable sights on the huge screens was of Phil smoking while he was playing the drums. I’m thinking-how does he do that?). After playing “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” they laced into “Back in Black.” In a word- “Wow”- the folks on the floor (and everywhere else) went wild as both Brian and Angus took turns walking down the runway. And just like at the Garden, the mood was at a fever pitch. They are on their game again. Are you surprised? No!!! Then of course the incomparable-“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”- my son is singing it word for word. I can’t get any more elated as the entire stadium raises their right arm to punctuate the “Done Dirt Cheap” part. “Enough to drive you nuts.. your back-door man!!” Folks have I mentioned how it was a Friday night in the summer with AC/DC playing? The set list was basically the same but after “Dirty Deeds” they added the “most excellent” track from Highway to Hell- “Shot Down in Flames.” Talk about a driving hard rock song? Angus did his best Chuck Berry impression as he lifted that front leg and hopped across the stage- I was out of my mind on how friggin’ good he was. Obviously these are all highlights and the hits just kept coming with “Thunderstruck.” Then one of my personal favorite songs of the night performed was the title track of their latest album- “Black Ice.” For some reason at the Garden this did not stand out to me but last night they blew the cover off the ball with this track- it has a funky blues riff that will have you snapping your neck up and down at a controlled speed-nice.

The blues continued with the ever popular “The Jack”- I don’t care how many times I hear this song- I friggin’ love it. It was performed to perfection as Angus had a much bigger stage to present his “strip-tease” and show his AC/DC underwear to the frantic crowd. I can’t get enough of the bass and guitar groove on this song-they should have made this song go 10 minutes or more. (The original recording). A huge bell then drops from high above the stage as I look to my son to get his reaction- he hasn’t experienced this yet. Brian takes the rope and swings on it crashing into both sides as the “bonging” has the rabid audience foaming at the mouth. As Angus enters with his guitar riff I see my son slowly start to groove back and forth- “I’m a rolling thunder, pouring rain…” I’m in my glory and this point and the show isn’t half over. One of the cool things about seeing a show more than once (just like a movie) you pick up things that you didn’t notice the first time around and on the track “War Machine” the big screens were showing war planes dropping long neck guitars instead of bombs and I thought that was “way cool.” They squeezed in another classic into the set with the fantastic “Dog Eat Dog” from their “Let There Be Rock” album. This drove all the “old school” fans of AC/DC fans out of their mind as they were running for a space to dance, sing and head-bang. The older brethren really respect the way that Brian pays homage the tunes of Mr. Bon Scott. I think Mr. Johnson put all of his soul and emotion into this one as I would say he enjoyed this song the most. At this point of the show, Angus is completely saturated in sweat.

As like last November in the Garden, the last three songs (before the encore-including a fantastic guitar solo) played is going to be something that I will never forget, as well as my son. He was so looking forward to “TNT” and as the opening riffs began- everyone was screaming –“Oi.. Oi” (or “Aye”) with both arms pumping up and down over their heads. What a sight!!! My son sang word for word, along with everyone else, as we all “exploded” with pure enthusiasm for one of the greatest bands ever in rock and roll history!! Brian proceeded to let the audience know that they had a girlfriend for the show and you all know that “Rosie” was waiting in the wings. There was some innuendo’s throughout the show including this one with Rosie… well let’s just say my son’s eyes were popping out of his head, along with Rosie’s….Again the elder statesmen and women of AC/DC were delirious at this point. One dude in our section ran up about 20 steps and could have competed in the “air-guitar” championship. I was so psyched, the swarm of AC/DC had completely taken over the swamps of Northern N.J. and the stinging was not about to stop. They sky rocketed into outer space with the “Let There Be Rock.” This could be the best head-banging song ever recorded. As Brian sang “Let there Light” the crowd was singled out by spotlights and it really was like watching a wave of humans being electrocuted at the same time. As the solo approached, Angus made his first trip all the way to the end of the runway and disappeared. Then the circular stage started to rise and there he was, as the floor leveled off, he leaped off and circled his way around the stage, hands moving so fast on the neck of his guitar. My son was amazed. Then he went back on the circle and it started to rise high above the floor seats, he looked like he was eye level with the lower tier. As the confetti was released all around him while he was jamming away, the sight was unbelievable. I will never forget it. I wondered what it would be like to be Angus at that point with all 40,000 or so pair of eyes on him. It was magical. The guitar solo during this song lasted a long time and as Angus went back to the main stage, he started another guitar solo-this time completely by himself. He drew blood on his left hand. At this point I think my son had “lock-jaw” as all of us couldn’t believe what we were witnessing. It was like he was possessed- AND that’s what I am talking about!! He gives it his all every time out there.

The band came out for their two encores with “Highway to Hell” being the first. I don’t have to tell you- you know already. Then it was the one and only “For Those About to Rock.” I’m telling you right now if there had been a roof on Giants Stadium, it would have been blown off by the “21 Gun Salute.” After the song, there was a fire work display that was spectacular and unfortunately that was the signal that everyone’s Friday summer night was coming to an end. My son and I got in the car and we were both “Speechless in N.J.” Thanks again Angus, Brian, Malcolm, Phil and Cliff. (And of course you too Bon, as you are always there in spirit). I bow to the masters. \m/ \m/

Set List:

1.       Rock and Roll Train

2.       Hell Ain’t a Bad Place To Be

3.       Back in Black

4.       Big Jack

5.       Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

6.       Shot Down in Flames

7.       Thunderstruck

8.       Black Ice

9.       The Jack

10.     Hells Bells

11.     Shoot to Thrill

12.     War Machine

13.     Dog Eat Dog

14.     Anything Goes

15.     You Shook Me All Night Long

16.     TNT

17.     Whole Lotta Rosie

18.     Let There Be Rock

Guitar solo

19.      Highway to Hell (Encore)

20.     For Those About to Rock (Encore)

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28 Comments »

  1. Great Review!! Can’t wait until they make here to Chicago!!

    Comment by Matt — August 1, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  2. How could you miss the fact that his fingers were bleeding in the end of the solo for “Let There Be Rock”? They held a close up of his left hand on the large screen for a long time.
    I am a huge Springsteen fan. I’ve seen everyone. This is my second time to AC DC. I have never been to a better concert for entertainment value. I wish people would buy their music so they would get more air play.

    Comment by Joe — August 1, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

    • You’re right Joe. I just re-edited your point and put it in bold. Thanks.-Errol

      Comment by ea0217 — August 1, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

  3. I couldnt agree with you more! Thank you for putting it into words! What a truly amazing experience. That show beween the mastery of the music which was superb, the pyrotechnics, stage sets, and the overall enthusiasm of putting on a show was awe inspiring.
    Krispy

    Comment by GKrispyAgn — August 1, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

  4. I have been describing this concert with one word all day today… EPIC!!! And it truly was. Who knew a bunch of old coots could put on such a fantastic show!?! This was the first professional concert I have seen, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I never see anything quite like this in my lifetime, and I’m 17.

    Your description was top-notch. My dad and I were at the top of the lower deck, so I can confirm for you that Angus was eye to eye with us when the pillar was raised after “Let There Be Rock”.

    Comment by Jack — August 1, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

  5. Hi everybody!
    I left New york on the 29 of July to get back in Sweden. That means , i missed giant stadium. Well anyway, I saw AcDc i Gotenburg 21Th of June and i Stockholm 22 th of Februari.So Matt I do understand you perfectly…

    Comment by Peter — August 1, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

  6. I’ve seen many shows over the years…I still cannot believe how good the show was last night. It was incredible. They were even better than when I say them in 1982!!

    Comment by Paul — August 1, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

  7. ACDC, hands down the best show I’ve ever seen in 30 years of concert going. Angus, really busted his ass and I’ll never forget his giving so much blood, heart, and sweat to NJ fans at this concert. He really is the bar. I dont’ know how Brian speaks during the day. His dedication to giving thunder to AC/DC songs while also remembering Bon’s sucesses add class to his peltora of accomplishments. Malcolm, Phil, and Cliff all wonderful on their own kept were not short noticed in their keeping the train riding proudly on the much appreciated rhythym track. I can only hope a DVD of the show comes out. We got a real gift here at this show. Thanks ACDC…timeless appreciation and respect..

    Comment by Steve — August 2, 2009 @ 12:20 am

  8. I’ve seen all the great rock acts since 1971 (multipal times). This show was the best example of ROCK N ROLL ever. Took away my saying ‘You should have seen them last time’!!!! AC/DC WE SALUTE YOU!!!

    Comment by mConti41 — August 2, 2009 @ 7:10 am

  9. OMG, it was so awesome!! One of the best concerts I’ve ever seen and that includes Stones concerts!

    Comment by LJ — August 2, 2009 @ 9:30 am

  10. Can’t wait to see them tonight in Albany!! WOOHOO! ROCK AND ROLL AND AC/DC NEVER DIES!!!!

    Comment by cobprog — August 2, 2009 @ 9:36 am

  11. I’ve seen AC/DC about a dozen times since I first saw them in a 600 seat club in San Francisco (The Old Waldorf)in 1977. The Giants Stadium show was the 2nd time that I have seen them at a stadium –(1st was Day On the Green in Oakland Ca. in 1979 with Aerosmith, Ted Nugent and Mahogany Rush) As great as they have been every time, they seem to kick it up a notch at the stadium shows. They really know how to play to a huge crowd and get the whole place going like few other major rock acts can–from the floor to the cheap seats! Everybody was on their feet for the whole show!! They have been , consistently, one of the all time best live acts that I have ever seen!! Bravo guys!!

    Comment by Dave — August 2, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

  12. How about the giant 50 foot “Rosie”? She was even tapping her feet to the beat!

    Comment by tlag — August 2, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

    • When you send the pics, could you e-mail them to me as well?
      jtshimer@verizon.net

      Would appreciate it greatly!!

      Comment by Jack — August 3, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

      • sorry about that, intended to put that under Wray Edward’s comment.

        Comment by Jack — August 3, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

  13. The sound system was so powerful that my shirt and pants moved to the drum beats. The only way the experience could have been more powerful would have been to let Brian come down and slap me around a bit. With, perhaps, a bit o’ scolding thrown in.

    A really nice security dude kindly allowed me to enter with a Canon, high def camera. I got pics of Angus bleeding and sweating all over his guitar. We were 26 back right on the catwalk. Errol, will email you pics if you like.

    There is a god…his name is Angus/Brian. Check it out…I saw AC/DC Friday night. My life is complete. MAKE MUSIC, NOT WAR!

    Comment by WRAY EDWARDS — August 3, 2009 @ 1:33 am

  14. This is one of the best reviews I’ve read as it comes from the heart and this is how watching AC/DC makes you feel. I too have taklen my daughter to see AC/DC on their SUL tour. She really enjoyed it, but unfortunatly has gone over ot the darkside, Pink, Pussycat Dolls etc.. I first saw AC/DC back in Manchester UK in Jan ’86 and have seen them every tour since. I’m a huge fan of the group and have seen them 3 times this year at Manchester, Birmingham and Wembley. Thought the Wembley show would be my last, especially with Brians taslk of retirement, but I’ve been fortunate enough to also aquire tickets for their San Jose gig whilst on vacation on the 2nd Sept, my first time seeing any band out of the UK and what a band for it to be. I can’t wait. They are simply Gods of Rock and defy anybody who witnesses their live show to deny that they have had one of the best times of their life. Even saw The Boss in London and as good as he was he didn’t even come close to Angus and the boys. Long Live Rock n Roll, Long Live AC/DC.

    Comment by Andy Robinson — August 3, 2009 @ 3:08 am

  15. I was at this show as well. Your review is spot on!!! I kept thinking to myself they sure do give you their all. It was my daughter’s first show!! We made it a family trek!!! All I can say is f’in amazing!!! There is no High School Musical or Hanah Montana in this house…she wants to see Metallica next!!!

    Comment by Dave Pirrocco — August 3, 2009 @ 10:04 am

  16. Your description of the concert is right on point and as I read your review it was like re-living the show all over again , my only disagreement is about Anvil, your son was correct in wanting to bail they were really bad and The Answer sounded like they would be a great bar /tavern in house rock-n-roll band .
    When the Bell began to drop I couldn’t help think Giant football is only a month away and would soon see Big Blue running onto the field to Hells Bells .

    Comment by Lee — August 4, 2009 @ 10:13 am

  17. There’s nNO ONE better than ACDC and they proved it again at Giants Stadium. ANVIL needs to be tossed. There were more people buying beer when they were playingthan watching, including me

    Comment by Tom — August 4, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

  18. I saw them at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. I loved it! Angus Young and Brian Johnson were fantastic. I describe the show as “hard-rock on steroids”. Can’t imagine any one, or any band, beating that act. I just can’t wait to see them again.

    Comment by Jim P. — August 7, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

  19. Thanks for the great review, will be watching them with my son in San Diego, can’t wait!

    Comment by Larkin F — August 10, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

  20. Awsome………….

    Comment by ozzyscuba — November 1, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

  21. We are waiting for the band which will be in Puerto Rico on Nov. 21 for the first time ever. People on the island are ready for the concert and our great beaches will be glad with your visit. Enjoy them…………This is paradise and you will recognize it when you see it……

    Comment by ozzyscuba — November 1, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

  22. Excellent review. I Can’t wait until they make here to Oklahoma City Tomorrow

    Comment by Juan — November 3, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

  23. auckland nz 60000 fans Fantastico…rock n roll like it should be last nite 4 February 2010
    Great review you should work for our local newspaper , honest and true

    Comment by graeme — February 4, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

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