Above: Brian Johnson, 61, the vocal conductor of the steam train known as AC/DC. Photos by Jill Toyoshiba/The Star
The highlight of what was a thoroughy entertaining 100-minute show erupted towards the end, when a Rubenesque two-story woman appeared slowly out of nowhere, straddling the monster steam train that is the symbol of the AC/DC tour. She was the inflated, buxom and barely-clad Rosie, who rocked and tapped her booted foot, in time, to the song "Whole Lotta Rosie." It wasn't pretty or sophisticated. But it sure was fun.
Above: Brian Johnson and Angus Young, who revels in being pasty-white.
AC/DC was in town on Wednesday for the first time in a long time -- so long that a lot of the 15,000 or so fans (like me) who packed the Sprint Center were seeing the legendary hard-rock band from Australia for the first time. Anyone in the mood for something more evolved than primal, three-chord blues-based heavy rock was in for a long night. AC/DC doesn't cater to dilettantes. It plays blues for the Golds Gym crowd, disco for strippers.
It also blows up stuff and fires off cannons and flashpots. And it can turn an arena into a roiling sea of fans pumping their fists and singing in unison, like crazded soccer hooligans, to "You Shook Me All Night Long," the band's unofficial theme song and one of several highlights.
The sound at the Sprint Center was OK, considering the excessive volume and the kind of music that was being hurled around the place. Several times it was hard to hear the vocals from Brian Johnson, who will turn 62 before the next Halloween season.
Another highlight: When Angus Young took his perch on a hydraulic lift that sat at the end of a long, phallic shaped runway that ran deep into the audience on the floor. He was without a shirt at that point but wearing his trademark shorts, white socks and black shoes. The lift raised him above the crowd, where he issued a torrent of cliched rock leads, at times while lying on his back and spinning.
The band spent the rest of the night over-indulging relentlessly in fierce, primal rock-blues. After an hour or so, the songs can start to sound the same, until AC/DC rips into something well-known and classic, like "Hell's Bells" or "Back in Black." It's not rocket science: It's just three or four heavy chords, a screaming lead vocalist, a lead guitarist in shorts, the blast of a half-dozen cannons, some flashpots and the occasional 20-foot woman in lingerie doing some bump-and-grind while straddling a giant, smoking steam train. If that doesn't amuse and entertain you, nothing will.
| Timothy Finn, The Star
Setlist: Rock 'N' Roll Train; Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be; Back in Black; Big Jack; Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap; Thunderstruck; Black Ice; The Jack; Hell's Bells; Shoot To Thrill; War Machine; Anything Goes; You Shook Me All Night Long; TNT; Whole Lotta Rosie; Let There Be Rock. Encore: Highway to Hell; For Those About To Rock.