From The Archives: AC/DC Live Review From 2009

I originally wrote the following review for Exclaim! and it appeared in their February 2009 issue. I thought it would be a good accompanying piece to Adrien’s AC/DC book review that we posted today…

AC/DC / The Answer @ Rogers Centre, Toronto ON January 9, 2009

By Sean Palmerston

Canada has been good to AC/DC: their latest release was the biggest selling album of the year, and the venerable Aussie rockers returned the favour on their return visit to Toronto’s Rogers Centre. It was barely two months ago that they first packed the joint, with the original show selling out so quickly that a second date was added immediately. Of course, that sold out in record time too.

While there were no changes in the set list from the original show, for whatever reason this early January performance was even better than the first. Opening strongly with recent radio single “Rock And Roll Train,” AC/DC went ahead and steamrolled through an 80-minute-plus set that made stops at nearly all points of their career.

There are certain songs you just couldn’t imagine the band not playing, including “Back In Black,” “Hells Bells,” “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “For Those About To Rock,” all of which were played impeccably much to the delight of the 45,000 strong mob.

The recent Black Ice album was the reason for the tour, so the band included the real standouts (the aforementioned single, “Big Jack,” “Warmachine” and the title track amongst them) but wisely didn’t get too deep into album cuts, making sure there was enough room for hits. It’s an interesting juxtaposition to partake in meat’n’potatoes rock with one of the biggest stage rigs out on the road as of late, but the band aim to please and did so once again in substantial fashion.

They are the biggest rock band in the world right now and this show proved it with ease.

Belfast boogie rock quartet the Answer have had their work cut out for them as the opening band on the AC/DC tour, but after previous European support stints with the Rolling Stones and Deep Purple these young upstarts know how to work a crowd and how to get the attention of fans busy fumbling down to their seats.

Front-man Cormac Neeson looks like a young Robert Plant but knows his Steve Marriott inside out: his between song stage banter is right off Humble Pie’s classic live album Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore. His sing-shout approach helped turned heads at the beginning of their set, but it was a solid band performance that had curious onlookers glued to the stage.

In a brief 30-minute set they played a number of songs off their Euro-only debut as well as one new song from their upcoming North American full length on The End Records this March. Some UK press outlets are already calling them the best new rock band of this decade, if the showmanship and composure they showed here is any indication they might just live up to those words.

Originally published in January 2009 by exclaim.ca.

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.