DFW Music News

How an AC/DC Tribute Band from DFW Wound Up Playing with the Calgary Philharmonic

The North Texas tribute band Back in Black hopped on a plane to Canada last week to play a live performance in Alberta on Friday with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mike Mroz, the band's lead guitarist and Angus Young impersonator, Live Nation hooked them up with the 60-piece orchestra. "They thought it would be a great thing to put AC/DC together with a symphony and Calgary was the first to take them up on it," Mroz says.


The group scored for the music for the symphony for 12 of AC/DC's most famous songs with the help of one of their fans. Mroz said they couldn't wait to fly up and hear how the whiskey soaked sounds of AC/DC's heavy metal would sound with classically trained musicians.

"We worked with a guy here in Dallas who has worked with symphonies before and is a big AC/DC fan," Mroz said. "When we were doing all the scoring, we went with the less is more way of thinking. They sold about 200 million records for a reason, so we didn't want to change the songs and we just added some bells and whistles to their greatest hits."

The show didn't go off completely free of hitches -- the band and symphonies had trouble syncing up for the first couple of songs, but Mroz said they found their footing soon enough. They also performed a few symphony-less encores for the crowd.

"It was a little stressful because the symphonies were reading right off the charts we supplied them," he said. "So if the drummer does a solo and the beat goes longer, we'd come out of sync with the symphony. The first three songs, we kept going out of sync with them and we realized we had to be careful and pay attention to the song structure."

Mroz said the show was such a success that they are currently working on setting up a similar show for the hometown crowd at the Winspear Opera House. He considers such an undertaking quite a major accomplishment for the band and his career.

"When I started this band in 2000, I just started it for fun because I didn't care anymore and wanted to have a fun night of playing and the stupid band just took off," he said. "Then we're all over the US and last Friday night, I'm on an incredible stage with a symphony behind me. It was just truly amazing."

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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.