AC/DC’s riotous rock riles the savage beast in Vancouver

chris cameron photo

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1988

By Steve Newton

The would-be gatecrashers throwing rocks and bottles outside B.C. Place last Monday night (June 13) may have thought they were having fun, but if they’d had any sense at all they would have saved those bottles, cashed them in, and collected enough money for a ticket to get inside. That’s where the real fun was happening–the kind of deafening good time that only rock’s premier blues-metal band, ADC/DC, can deliver.

No, lead guitarist Angus Young was not wearing long pants. And no, he didn’t have a crewcut. He hasn’t been working out at the gym either. The heart and soul of the band was the same scrawny, long-haired demon in schoolboy shorts that his fans idolize and pay $20 for life-size posters of. They wouldn’t have it any other way.

Young opened the show by leaping from a missile-shaped device for “Heatseeker”, one of only two tunes the band played from its latest album, Blow Up Your Video. It was their old hits that the Aussie fivesome relied upon to get the crowd all riled up, and rile them they did. During the second tune, “Shoot to Thrill”, dozens of fans charged the floor from the bleachers, hoping to get closer to their heroes. Most of them made it past the skimpy security, but the poor unlucky ones who got caught were treated to a headlock or two and dragged kicking and screaming away.

Before long the entire floor was covered with a seething mass of fist-thrusting bodies, and the security guys gave up their posts and took to keeping fans away from the sound and light-system enclosure on the floor. One thing you don’t want to do is deprive 20,000-plus AC/DC fans of the electricity they’re thriving on by having the power supply disrupted.

Then you’d really be talkin’ trouble.

With steel-throated screamer Brian Johnson roaming the stage like a brawny thug in sleeveless denim jacket and cloth cap, the band belted its way through songs of sex (“You Shook Me All Night Long”, “The Jack”), rock ‘n’ roll (“Let There Be Rock”, “That’s the Way I Wanna Rock and Roll”), and the place you might end up if you have too much of both (“Highway to Hell”, “Hell’s Bells”). Angus did his obligatory mooning of the crowd on “Jailbreak”–a quick down-and-up of the shorts that you’d have missed if you blinked–before playing a solo on his back while his kicking little legs spun him around in a circle.

For their last song–the 16th in an almost two-hour show–the band brought out two long-barrelled cannons for a 21-gun salute on “For Those About to Rock”. Talk about going out with a bang.

 

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