AC/DC Play 17-Song Set in Germany 1988 on Angus Young's Birthday

Exactly 65 years ago to the day, a legend was eagerly making his way onto Earth in a small district of Glasgow, Scotland. Just a short 18 years later and the tot was now barely an adult, but was starting his own band. Little did he know that the band would grow to become one of the best-selling music acts of all time.
That man was lead guitarist Angus Young, and alongside older brother and rhythm guitarist Malcolm, they would lead AC/DC to the top of an ever-changing rock scene. Coming out louder and faster than nearly every rock band that preceded them, AC/DC effectively changed what it meant to play true rock ‘n’ roll.
Now, at exactly 65 years-young, Angus Young is still keeping the spirit and name of AC/DC alive despite never-ending lineup changes fueled by tragic death and retirement. Reportedly releasing a new album alongside longtime members Phill Rudd and Brian Johnson, fans across the globe are anxiously awaiting a long overdue announcement.
Fan Instagram Post - Photo of Angus Young w/ Birthday Caption 2020
So in an effort to diffuse our excitement (or maybe encourage it) and celebrate Angus Young’s day of birth, let’s take a look back over thirty years ago to a tour that would become one of the largest of the band’s career.
March 31, 1988 - Grugahalle, Essen, Germany. Having completed just about two months worth of shows, AC/DC was just beginning their ten month-long Blow Up Your Video world tour.
Serving as a birthday celebration in honor of Angus’s 33rd year at the time, the band played a 17-song set featuring hits spanning across their already well-versed catalogue of tracks. Their lineup consisted of Brian Johnson (vocals), Phil Rudd (drums), Cliff Williams (bass) and brothers Angus and Malcolm Young.
Check out the full 1988 setlist from Essen here!
AC/DC Setlist @ Grugahalle 03/31/1988
Considering the tour was put on in succession with the release of their eleventh studio album in January of that year, it’s no surprise that a fair number of songs off of Blow Up Your Video were included on Angus’s birthday set.
Including “Heatseeker,” “Nick of Time” and “That’s the Way I Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll,” nearly a fifth of the set was dedicated to the new promotion. And while we don't have footage from the exact show, check out these performances during the same year.
AC/DC Perform Heatseeker Live 1988
Of course, having already grown immensely in popularity both in their adopted native land of Australia and abroad, the thousands of fans who showed up to the indoor German arena were searching for a couple of heavy classics, and boy did they get them.
From “Shoot to Thrill,” “Back in Black” and “The Jack” to “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Let There Be Rock,” it was clear that even then, AC/DC had plenty of undeniable hits to go around.
Returning to stage for a celebratory 3-song encore, the guys brought all of the fireworks to finish off the already power-heavy performance.
Featuring “Highway to Hell,” “T.N.T.” and “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You),” the grand finale was just another form of proof that would solidify AC/DC’s place in the competitive rock world for many years to come.
AC/DC Perform "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)" Live 1988
Just fifteen trips around the sun at the time, and the band had already produced some of the greatest tracks remaining in rock history today.
Angus’s birthday show was simply another piece in an ongoing trek of success that would follow throughout the rest of the year. In May, Malcolm briefly took time to get sober, and the band would return in all of their glory, more fired up and healthy than ever.
Fast forward 32 years and AC/DC looks much different than they used to. However, we can only hope that those rumored recordings are more than just talk as we take the day to celebrate royalty in Angus Young.
So, until we hear from them again, let’s focus on what we have today (seems appropriate considering the times), and blast Blow Up Your Video in honor of that night in 1988. Happy Birthday Angus Young, and may you continue to bless our ears with your musical genius.

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Last updated: 19 Apr 2021, 17:41 Etc/UTC