Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
September 28, 2015
Writing and photography by TourBusLive.com
Stuck in our own Highway to Hell (the entry roads to Dodger Stadium are not pleasant – even more than an hour before showtime), we saw the fans arriving. Some were walking up the streets towards the great stadium (even already wobbling, judging by the party cups we saw in hand). Others were alongside us in cars blasting KLOS, which was playing AC/DC ADD (Alllllll Damn Day). Others were already inside the parking lot and steadily making their way to their seats.
But they were all there. AC/DC fans, who came by the thousands (more than 56,000 strong, actually), all gravitating towards the stadium as if they were on a pilgrimage to see icons – to witness miracles – to get a glimpse of the gods. Most of them were dressed in their proudest AC/DC vintage tour t-shirts (or new bootleg shirts that the street sellers were pushing, walking dangerously close between our dead-stopped cars along West College). Some of the fans donned finely hand-crafted jackets decorated with their favorite of the band’s album cover art. And many of the faithful were wearing those cool red flashing horns the band was selling at their merch carts. But most impressive were the fans who mocked guitarist ANGUS YOUNG by wearing replicas of his on-stage costume – the schoolboy uniform – grown men stuffed into outfits two or three times too small so that they could emulate their guitar idol. It was indeed inspiring.
Yes, these dedicated fans arrived, from far and near, representing every age group, every social class, every hair color, every size, every shape, every ethnic background, and every imaginable state of sobriety. And all of them had one goal in common – to witness the return of one of the most beloved hard rock bands in all of history – AC/DC!
The band was back in Los Angeles (last in the Southland in late 2009) to support their latest album ROCK OR BUST – the band’s seventeenth studio album (Columbia Records, 2014). Together, lead guitarist (and only original member remaining) ANGUS YOUNG, singer BRIAN JOHNSON, bassist CLIFF WILLIAMS, rhythm guitarist (and Angus’s nephew) STEVIE YOUNG, and drummer CHRIS SLADE (recently returning to the lineup after having been with the band from 89-94) poured their hearts and their music out on the stage for just short of two hours of full-fledged rock and roll on this late-September Monday evening. And although the music was as good as ever, for this fan, sorely missed was the band’s former rhythm guitarist and original member (and Angus’s older brother) MALCOLM YOUNG – who recently departed due to his increasing battle with dementia (we all sincerely wish him well).
Nevertheless, watching Angus Young make his way up and down stage (that Chuck Berry hop stillgot the crowd cheering) reminded us why we loved this band in the first place – there is nothing better than the hard-driving, head-banging force of songs like “T.N.T.” and “Thunderstruck” – nothing better than feeling that music in your chest – like your heart is going to beat right out of it! The 40-something guy next to me actually said, “Man, I feel like I’m 18 again!” Yeah, I hear you brother…ditto!
The whole show was thrilling from start to finish. Seeing Angus’s iconic black Gibson slung over his shoulder – firing on all cylinders – was already worth the price of admission! And if the music alone didn’t push your emotions to HIGH – the pyro, the canons, and the confetti shower at encore should have finished the job.
Thanks, AC/DC – for making this old fan feel just like a schoolgirl again. Maybe next time I should borrow one of Angus’s outfits!
SPOTTED IN THE CROWD:
TOM MORELLO (Rage Against the Machine), DUFF (Guns N’ Roses), SCOTTI HILL (Skid Row), KOBE BRYANT (LA Lakers), and LOTS of AC/DC fans with those little red flashing HORNS on!!