With the Black Ice tour (and most likely the final AC/DC trip around the world) recently ending I think it's appropriate to start with one of the most well known bands in all of Rock and Roll.
Key: 0 of 5 = horrible
1 of 5 = poor
2 of 5 = sub-par
3 of 5 = average
4 of 5 = solid
5 of 5 = awesome
1) Guitar: The guitar work by the Malcolm brothers has always been supreme, and nothing changed about that from the first gigs spawning off the High Voltage Album all the way through the Black Ice tour. As AC/DC progressed, the solos by Angus only rocked harder. Whether it be the electrifying intro/rythm combo to Thunderstruck, or the numberous solos in Let There Be Rock, the Young brothers are masters of the neck, especially during live performance. (5 of 5)
2) Drums/Bass: Throughout their careers in AC/DC, Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams have always laid a strong foundation to guide the music of AC/DC. Their skill is always most shown in the live version of Let There Be Rock, when they hold the rythm for the 10+ minute solo that Angus is known for. They NEVER miss a beat when they play a gig. (5 of 5)
3) Vocals: Through the Bon Scott era, flawless. I was always amazed how he could be a few deep and still be able to sustain any note perfectly. Who knows what they would have been if he had lived, there is no way to make an accurate judgement. As far as Brian Johnson goes, his vocals were incredible during Back in Black tour, and the sound was something rare. The raspy strain that he put on his voice to make that origional sound has certainly taken a toll on his vocal chords though. The sound he managed to create on the album and on that tour has never been recreated. He has lost much of his chest voice, which is the power behind the raspy sound. He managed to rock the Black Ice tour, and I had a great time at the shows I went to, but I would be surprised to see another album from AC/DC. (3 of 5)
1) Stage Setup: AC/DC has always liked to send Angus out into the crowd either on someones back, on a catwalk, or on a rising stage. It has always worked out brilliantly. There is a certain element that having your Rock and Roll idol in the middle of all his fans that adds to the show. If we (fans) were to be looking at the stage, this is what it would look like: Phil Rudd (Drums) centered at the back of the stage, Malcolm Young (Rythm Guitar) on the left, Cliff Williams (Bass)on the right, and Brian and Angus go wherever the hell they want to go. Nothing special, a traditional, effective setup. (4 of 5)
2) Pyrotechnics/Lights: AC/DC never was big on fire and explosions, and you can clearly see that when you go to their shows. However, the lighting display at an AC/DC show is always great. Over the years, the display has become more advanced, which is expected. (3 of 5)
3) Crowd Mood: Yes I am judging the bands show on the mood of the crowd. It is up to a great front man to get the crowd going and make sure everyone has a good time watching and hearing them play their music. Brian Johnson is not a great frontman. There is very little interaction between the band and the fans. Maybe its just because they are old school, but it seems like AC/DC plays a song, MIGHT introduce the next one by saying what album it is off, but other than that, nada. HOWEVER, what they lack in frontmanship they make up for in music. AC/DC can still shock a crowd and make everyone stand up by playing any number of their songs. (4 of 5)
OVERALL LIVE PERFORMANCE RATING: 4 of 5, SOLID
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more reviews and keep rockin!