Two weeks ago I went to see the Rock or Bust ACDC World Tour live in Greensboro, N.C. Like a lot of other long time fans I must confess to some initial trepidation about the new lead singer, but quickly decided that I had 2 choices; one was to go see ACDC with Axl Rose as the lead singer or to possibly never get to ACDC live at all. I spent a little extra and got me and Mrs. Psyco some decent seats on the club level and sat back and watched one hell of a fine rock and roll show.
Confession time, I really liked Guns and Roses almost as much as ACDC but when the sad news of Brian Johnson’s hearing problems surfaced it was kind of a blow and I figured that this was the end of ACDC, but they soon announced that Axl was to be his replacement and it made me a little skeptical. The early videos coming out of Europe weren’t too promising, Axl was sitting in a wheelchair due to a broken leg, and was still carrying some of the extra weight he had put on during his time away from the spotlight, plus he was still learning the band and it’s style.
Fast forward to the start of the U.S. tour and an entirely different man stepped out on the stage with the mic in his hand. The flab is gone and he was dancing around on stage and kicking it up in those ostrich skin boots like he never left the stage. All those girls who loved him so much back when he was the prettiest face in his music videos, when they see him now a lot of them will feel the same way again. My old lady has told me and all her friends at least a dozen times how good he looked. Now I realize most of you could care less about that part and think his singing sucks compared to Brian’s and I used to be one of you. Some of the songs sound different, on some of them he is able to pull off an almost exact duplicate of the original sound. Axl tends to perform the older Bon Scott tunes very well but his voice is not as gravelly and naturally capable of higher notes than Johnson’s so those songs tend to sound a little different but still very damn good. There are two song in particular that I feel he does better than any other vocalist the band has had. Axl belts out “Giving the Dog a Bone” just like it was written for him and my personal favorite by him is “Whole Lotta Rosie.” If you disagree, I don’t really care we can debate all day long whether or not Axl Rose is good for ACDC, one thing is certain, ACDC has been very good for Axl Rose.
Now let’s talk about the front man Angus Young, after losing his brother Malcom, from the band due to health issues, Angus is the last of the original cast still in the show. And make no mistake about it he is the star. ACDC has had 4 lead singers, 3 drummers etc. but without Angus this band cannot exist. He is the front man, the audience knows this. Watching his long guitar solo, I realized that he feeds off the adoration of the audience, that it sustains him. But it’s not a one way relationship, you can tell that it is his mission to entertain you. Some have written (especially after he hired Axl) that he is only keeping this band going for the money, and while it is very lucrative, I can tell you right now, that he loves having the audience hanging on his every note, and that’s the real reason he puts on that schoolboy outfit, drags his old bones out on that stage and performs like a man possessed.
Of course Stevie Young and Cliff Williams put forth very dynamic performances in the background stepping forward occasionally for vocal duties but playing competently & professionally. Both are very impressive musicians and it would be great to see them getting into the spotlight a bit more because they really do their part to make the music special.
ACDC has had 3 different drummers but my favorite will always be Chris Slade. In addition to his time with the worlds best hard rock band, he has played an amazing variety of rock and pop music throughout his career playing with a number of amazingly diverse acts such as Tom Jones, Uriah Heep, Asia, etc. Chris is a true master of his craft and you can tell it listening to and watching him play.
Look regardless of how you think you may feel about the bands current line up if you love rock & roll there’s still no better band than ACDC, so cast your doubts aside and if you are still able to obtain tickets get your ass to the next Rock or Bust ACDC World Tour show, you wont regret it.
In Rock We Trust, It’s Rock Or Bust!