Armed with our Showbiz passes, we boarded the train, destination ANZ Stadium. You just know it’s going to be a huge night when, at almost every station, the people boarding were decked out in AC/DC gear. We couldn’t help but think the train from Lidcombe to Olympic Park was truly a rock’n’roll train as the song played out in our heads.
As we entered the stadium, we were expecting long delays due to bag and body searches but there was none of that. As we walked through, there was an abundance of merchandise but it was the flashing horns that caught our attention. We had to have a pair. It was an amazing sight to look out at a stadium full of flashing red horns!
Due to our pre-show function, we missed the first support act, “Calling All Cars”, but took to our seats during ”Wolfmother’s” performance. We thought the sound was too loud and distorted but you could appreciate the boys were giving it their all, despite seeming a little lost on the giant stage.
As you would expect, the stage was massive, with large, inflated, red, horned caps on either side, large screens and a catwalk that appeared to be 1/2km long!
At one point, dark clouds loomed above. How cool would it be to get a shot of a lightning bolt above one of the caps and call it “Thunderstruck”!
As the lights dimmed, the crowd exploded with the realisation that the long awaited “Black Ice” show had commenced with the familiar opening riffs of “Rock’n’Roll Train”. Australia’s famous rock legends took to the stage with an energy and pace that many younger bands would struggle with and maintain through the night.
There they were before our eyes, Brian Johnson with his unmistakable voice, Angus Young in his trademark school uniform, both moving around the giant stage to ensure everyone got a glimpse of their idols whilst Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd played their hearts out to a crowd that sang, cheered, punched the air or played air guitar. It was a sight to behold when thousands of people join in unison for a common cause – good old fashioned rock’n’roll.
I struggled with my pocket camera to try and get decent photos, incredibly jealous of the photographers that had scored a coveted pass to the show.
Whilst we had good seats, when you’re in a stadium that large, the lads on stage were tiny. Still, it didn’t matter, this was AC/DC, they were LIVE and they were amazing! The atmosphere was electric.
The last time we saw them was at the Entertainment Centre back in the 80s, I remember taking a break from my neck aerobics to look up and see 10,000 people head banging simultaneously. It’s a vision that has been imprinted into my psyche forever and I knew that tonight’s show was going to do the same.
The music was loud and clear and the stage, with it’s giant steam train, enormous Hell’s Bell, blow up Rosie, canons and spectacular light show, ensured we were in for a visual treat, no matter how far our seats were.
What impressed us was the way the whole show came together so seamlessly. The band started on time, the giant stage props appeared and disappeared with minimal fuss and it all seemed to run like clockwork.
There’s so much to enjoy at an AC/DC concert, where do I start? From watching Angus, with his signature moves, obligatory striptease revealing AC/DC shorts and guitar solo during “Let there be Rock”, to Brian swinging off Hell’s Bell and performing some of their bigger hits, to women flashing their wares during “The Jack”, there was always something happening. It just seemed that time stood still and we were all half our age.
The audience roared when images of Bon Scott flashed on the screen during the anthemic “High Voltage”, a fitting tribute to a legendary figure that may be gone but will certainly never be forgotten.
The irony of the night was that AC/DC - the tough, rebellious boys from the wrong side of the tracks - had somehow become a family band! There were generations of family members enjoying the show together. Who’d have thought? What a testament to their enduring talent and appeal.
Before we knew it, it was encore time. The band performed “Highway to Hell” and “For Those About to Rock” and it was obvious that fans just couldn’t get enough. Surely, it can’t be over? A fireworks show signaled the end to a surreal experience and a stadium of satisfied fans left wondering how long before they experienced the AC/DC phenomenon again. Hopefully, it won’t be another 9 years.
Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
Back in Black
Shot Down in Flames
Shoot to Thrill
You Shook Me All Night Long
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let there be rock (Angus solo)
Highway to Hell
For Those About to Rock