Last Night: AC/DC at American Airlines Center

AC/DC, The Answer
American Airlines Center
January 23, 2009

Better than: Watching Spinal Tap for the hundredth time while smoking crack in a trailer park in Balch Springs.  

In front of a sold out crowd at the American Airlines Center, legendary hard rock icons AC/DC delivered nearly two hours of thundering, unapologetically simple, balls to the wall white noise to a well inebriated crowd of 40, 50 and 60 somethings.

Sure, there were a few younger people sprinkled into the mix, but for the most part, the crowd reflected the age of the band itself.

The enthusiastic audience shouted along with unabashed glee as guitarist Angus Young and singer Brian Johnson delivered heavy metal chestnuts from four decades. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be," "Back in Black," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and "Hell's Bells" were all featured in the first third of the set, along with surprisingly well-received new material such as "Big Jack" and "War Machine."

The giant, inflatable prostitute that made its appearance during "Whole Lotta Rosie" was just one of many incredible stage props that kept the evening interesting, seeing that AC/DC is certainly not a band known for much variation in its songs. Canons Cannons exploded during "For Those About to Rock" and huge flames shot out into the air during "Highway to Hell" as many in the crowd relived high school memories by the dozens.

In the end, AC/DC was nothing more and nothing less that what it has always been: A predictable and powerful display of rock and roll vigor. Seeing that Angus and crew are all about the same age as my own father, such a demonstration of aerobic stamina was even more amazing. Long may they continue to deafen.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
After all these years, I would have thought that hardcore religious types would have forgotten about AC/DC and dedicated their attention to someone like Marilyn Manson. Yet there they were in the from of the AAC last night, giant crosses and all, shouting Jesus' name at those who dared buy a ticket, stupidly associating the concert with some sort of demonic ritual. If anything, AC/DC's childish use of satanic imagery is more of a condemnation of such silliness than any sort of endorsement.

Random Note: A lady a few rows in front of me loved her nachos just as much as she did AC/DC. Throughout the first four songs, she devoured chip after cheese coated chip, barely taking time to look up and notice the potency of what came from the stage. When she finally laid the platter at her feet, all that remained was a few drops of congealed grease. Perhaps the lady could take a few cues from Angus' aerobic display and purchased a decent pair of running shoes?

By The Way: Ireland's The Answer played an inspiring opening set to a surprisingly appreciative audience, many of whom were still making their way to their seats with beer and various Lucifer-associated paraphernalia in hand. Mining a more Zeppelin-inspired groove, The Answer may well be the next big thing in hard rock, fusing boogie excess and hippy/stoner ennui in ways that should delight high school slackers around the globe.

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