AC/DC Kicks Off Power Up Tour with Echos of Power Trip

AC/DC, arguably the greatest hard rock touring band of all time, got back on the road last week after playing just one live show since 2016.

Angus Young and Brian Johnson, the final remaining touring members of the group since their 1980 monster hit Back in Black, have gone through a lot since '16 which put a damper in the band's career.

Angus' brother, co-writer, and who many considered the quiet leader of the group, Malcom Young died in 2017. In 2014, longtime drummer Phil Rudd was sidelined with legal troubles. Cliff Williams, the band's bassist since 1977, played at last year's three day Power Trip festival but the 74-year-old chose to sit this tour out.

Johnson has issues of his own, suffering with a bout of deafness which led to Guns N Roses' Axl Rose to substitute for him during the last two legs of the 2016 Rock or Bust Tour.

AC/DC, thank goodness, chose Rock.

During Malcom's illness, the band inserted the brothers' nephew, Stevie, to play those iconic riffs on guitar.

AC/DC have been together for over 50 years and Angus still delivers a 17 minute version of "Let There Be Rock."

Meanwhile the retooled rhythm section consists now of two former Alanis Morissette members, Matt Laug on drums and Chris Chaney on bass.

But don't be mistaken, everyone was there to see 69-year-old Angus Young play that guitar like he was ringing a bell.

In his case it's a Hells Bell.

The greatest of all rock and roll bells?

This soccer legend last month was transported to the Back In Black tour he saw in the early '80s. Trust me, I know, I too saw that tour and hearing "Hells Bells" as the opening tune was eerie, sinister and magical.

44 years later, one quarter of the set is compromised of rock's best-selling album, whereas just two tunes are from the group's 18th studio album and tour namesake.

When you've sold over 200 million records, there's no need to shove the new stuff down the throats of the audience who have consistently packed the largest arenas in the world.

Give them the hits - of which AC/DC has plenty.

Interestingly the set on opening night of the tour was quite similar to the one the band played in Indio last year for Power Trip.

Was Power Trip just a warmup for the Power Up Tour? If so, genius. All 24 songs the legends performed in the desert appeared on night one of the new tour. Only slight differences were made in the order.

The inclusion of Powerage's "Riff Raff", which Brian had never sung before live, was thankfully kept in the set. Another deep cut that passed the muster was Let There Be Rock's "Dog Eat Dog" which until the desert Brian hadn't sung since 2009.

Of note, AC/DC's most-performed song "The Jack" still has not made it into the set after being shelved in 2010, only to have made a re-appearance at their Weekend One 2015 Coachella gig.

AC/DC stopped playing "The Jack" after its first weekend at Coachella.

But that's not the tune the band should consider bringing back to replace "Givin the Dog a Bone." Not only should they consider playing "Money Talks" for the first time, but if they truly hate that one, how about dusting off "Jailbreak" which hasn't been performed since 1991 and whose album cover appears on some of the merch on this tour, as it is celebrating it's 50th anniversary.

Last month the band released a "live" video of the song filmed in London that hasn't seen the light of day in 40 years, in part, to draw attention to the golden jubilee edition of the LP.

Clearly AC/DC has been plenty successful without any suggestions from the peanut gallery, and we should be grateful they are still out there bashing out the classics and packing them in.

In order to pace themselves, AC/DC, like other rockers like Bruce Springsteen, the group is taking a few days off in between shows, even if they are in the same town.

Why not stop and smell the falscher hase?

Tickets available on the AC/DC website.

5/17 – Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Veltins Arena
5/21 – Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Veltins Arena
5/25 – Reggio Emilia, Italy, RCF Arena
5/29 – Seville, Spain, La Cartuja Stadium
6/5 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Johan Cruyff Arena
6/9 – Munich, Germany, Olympic Stadium
6/12 – Munich, Germany, Olympic Stadium
6/16 – Dresden, Germany, Messe
6/23 – Vienna, Austria, Ernst Happel Stadium
6/26 – Vienna, Austria, Ernst Happel Stadium
6/29 – Zurich, Switzerland, Letzigrund Stadium
7/3 – London, England, Wembley Stadium
7/7 – London, England, Wembley Stadium
7/13 – Hockenheim, Germany, Ring
7/17 – Stuttgart, Germany, Wasen
7/21 – Bratislava, Slovakia, Old Airport
7/27 – Nuremberg, Germany, Zeppelinfeld
7/31 – Hannover, Germany, Messe
8/9 – Dessel, Belgium, Festivalpark Stenehei
8/13 – Paris, France, Hippodrome Paris Longchamp
8/17 – Dublin, Ireland, Croke Park

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Last updated: 20 Jun 2024, 12:13 Etc/UTC