Classic rock band AC/DC continues their “Rock or Bust” world tour with the Tacoma Dome scheduled as their first destination of the year on Feb. 2nd. Last time AC/DC played at the Tacoma Dome was in 2009 and now they are back: bringing their 2014 album Rock or Bust and Angus’ school boy uniform.
For those of you who don’t know AC/DC, they are an Australian rock group that have been around since 1973. The current band consists of Angus Young (lead guitar), Brian Johnson (vocals), Cliff Williams (bass), Chris Slade (drums), and Stevie Young (rhythm guitar). Known for their legendary guitar solos and growling vocals, their songs feature humorous lyrics about sex, drinking, and rock and roll. While other rock bands in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s were experimenting, making ballads, and playing acoustic sets, AC/DC were keeping the roots of badass rock alive and well.
Despite some major setbacks and the fact that they have been playing the same kind of music for over 40 years, their raunchy and simplistic hard rock is still admired by loyal fans and new generations of rock fans.
The “Rock or Bust” tour is completely different than other AC/DC tours because two longtime band members have been replaced. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, rhythm guitarist and brother to Angus, Malcolm Young is suffering from dementia and is no longer able to play with the band. Malcolm was replaced by his nephew Stevie Young who played for the Rock or Bust album. Drummer Phil Rudd was replaced as well due to an arrest for threatening to kill and for possession of methamphetamine and cannabis in 2014. While Rudd was still able to play for the Rock or Bust album, he was replaced by Chris Slade for the world tour.
If rock and roll history has taught us anything, it’s that AC/DC can replace band members without tampering their signature hard edge sound. Let’s not forget that when founding frontman Bon Scott died in 1980, the band managed to create one of their biggest album’s Back in Black (1980) with new lead singer, Brian Johnson. AC/DC’s 16th studio album, Rock or Bust (2014), proves that the AC/DC magic continues.
Malcolm wrote the tracks for Rock or Bust and he didn’t forget the classic heavy riffs and sexy lyrics that AC/DC is known for. Tracks on Rock or Bust sound like many previous AC/DC hits. “Rock the Blues Away” and “Play Ball” both have catchy melodies that are very similar to their ‘80s hit “You Shook Me All Night Long”. Rock or Bust was the best-selling hard rock album of 2014, proving that arena rock is still alive and well.
Don’t worry guys, AC/DC will still play their old hits and continue to use their iconic props on stage. The massive inflatable naked woman named “Rosie” will arrive during the song “Whole Lotta Rosie,” bells will ring for the macho and raunchy song “Hells Bells,” and “T.N.T.” will be accompanied by explosions. And we can’t forget that the encore song “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).” As long as AC/DC is still around, at the end of the show a ferocious army of cannons will explode when Johnson screams “fire” during the chorus. Not only have they kept their props, but their rock and roll swagger as well.
At the Tacoma Dome, fans are bound to find Angus Young in a school boy uniform, duck-walking on stage while giving a blues gritty guitar solo. When performing at the L.A. Dodger Stadium in 2015, Billboard Magazine stated that, “Young’s solo culminated with confetti cannons shooting over the crowd as the guitarist stood on a riser about 50 feet above the audience giving fans unique view of 60-year-old legend.” Angus Young’s energetic performances makes him a tough band member to replace, luckily his 10 minute guitar solos and child-like floor spins will not end anytime soon.
Just because AC/DC is a classic rock group does not mean that they still can’t appeal to the younger generation. In a world filled with millions of rock acts trying to be different, sometimes young adults just want to hear macho, straightforward songs. AC/DC concerts can rile up fans and give them a feeling of spontaneity and rebellion that they can’t experience in everyday life. As Johnson told the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, “We just play music that’s fun and simple-the way our audience likes it.”