If you are a rock’n’roll fan, there is definitely no doubt you were attending one of the most awaited events of the year last night at Dodger Stadium – the closing date of AC/DC’s Rock Or Bust World Tour.
First off, a few questions ought to be asked before getting into the recollection of last night’s music madness. Would the band still be on the same level after the departure of two core band members? Would they meet the enormously high expectations of the musically spoiled Los Angeles crowd? Would they make sure every single person in attendance did not even remotely regret spending a fair amount of hard-earned dollar on getting that pricy ticket?
The answer is definitely “YES” to all.
If you have never been to Dodger Stadium, you probably don’t know that it easily fits over 55,000 people. Considering that the pavilion sections in the outfield were closed off to the public yet thousands of seats were moved to the actual field, there was a good chance that the number of attendees last night was pretty much the capacity of the venue comparable to a sold out Dodgers game.
Another useful tip for those who don’t realize the anticipation of the event is the fact that the stadium and its surroundings started filling up with fans as early as 4 p.m. Monday evening traffic in L.A. was definitely not an issue for those who were “About to Rock.”
Hundreds of fans, thoroughly prepared for the show, were already wearing the blinking signature devil horns before entering the venue. If you did not own any, you could easily buy a pair for $15 right at the gate or the merchandise booths inside. Combined with black a AC/DC T-shirt, those horns could probably guarantee you an unforgettable travel experience on the “Highway to Hell”, at least for one night.
At 8 p.m. sharp, the openers Vintage Trouble took the stage for about 35 minutes to entertain the crowd with a bluesy, southern flavored set. By the time the band was done, most of the venue was packed with the fans sporting the flickering devil horns.
Shortly after 9 p.m., as the impatient crowd started growing restless, the stage went dark, followed by a space-inspired intro video, then pyrotechnics kicked off a full two-hour set of pure rock’n’roll music.
If you were there and did not bring hearing protection hoping for the sound to be not to compressed since it was an open venue, you made a huge mistake. AC/DC is that one band that will make your ears hurt even at an open venue. Perhaps sitting in the top section could somehow relieve the force of their music, but if you were on the floor or anywhere near, you knew you were going to be deaf the next day… and not necessarily from the music, but from the crazy screams of the most-dedicated AC/DC fans.
While the band’s performance formula is always as straight forward as their songwriting formula, the stellar show production could not leave anyone in attendance impartial. When the show starts with the fireworks, it’s needless to say you could expect some pretty darn cool things happening later that night. And the best thing about it was the fact that, unlike a huge number of other artists these days, AC/DC did not need any special guests to help them spice up the show. From the very first beat of “Rock and Bust” they had over 50,000 fans head banging and dancing. Then of course there is the incomparable Angus Young – a guitar virtuoso who could make the audience say “Wow” without saying a word just as easily as he could make his guitar scream by playing it with his schoolboy tie. That trick he gladly demonstrated at the end of “Have A Drink On Me.”
AC/DC is one of not many hard rock bands whose every song in the set list can be just as legendary as the band itself. Whether it’s “High Voltage” or “Whole Lotta Rosie” it will instantly make you jump with enthusiasm wanting more.
A quick scan off the audience showed that while it was a trip down memory lane for longtime fans, newer fans were just as thrilled to see them at the tail end of their run. Thousands of people in the crowd last night had a chance to re-experience some moments of youth, while others baptized their teenage kids to classic rock. Everyone last night was allowed to “Play Ball”, “Shoot to Thrill”, and most importantly just forget everything for a few hours and rock out with the best.
The culmination of the performance was a nearly a-15-minute guitar solo from Angus Young, whose fingers ran down the guitar neck just as fast as they ever have.
Lastly, AC/DC took their rock’n’roll anthem “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” literally – they hauled out some canons and fired shots during the latter half of the song. The night concluded with a near 5 minute fireworks display. A bit of insider info, the band will be touring arenas in the US early next year. If the performance at Dodger Stadium is any indication, there will be a lot of repeat customers; get your tickets early. AC/DC has been rocking our worlds since 1973 and it looks like the band still has the energy to keep rock ‘n roll alive and thriving.