AC/DC - Tampa, FL 12/21/2008

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AC/DC - Tampa, FL 12/21/2008

Postby dabstudio » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:32 am

Sean Daly (St. Petersburg Times) review of the AC/DC concert-

TAMPA -- When it comes to reviewing an AC/DC show, the ultimate grade is hinged not on guitar theatrics or Satan-inspired setlist. Nope, it’s all about hearing loss. And after listening to the Aussie legends dismantle the St. Pete Times Forum on Sunday -- seven rows from the stage, no less -- I can confidently say: WHAT?!

Oh, this was awesome, filthy, eardrum-shredding fun. Thirty-five years after being born to the Gods of Loudness and Libido, AC/DC still takes great pride in drilling its way into our heads, hearts and all points south. Led by the hellhound howl of Sarasota resident Brian Johnson and schoolboy-uniformed guitarist Angus Young, the hall of famers had no use for nuance or ballads or, you know, quiet.

Instead, touring for the first time since 2001, they were about as subtle as the life-size locomotive that exploded from the stage to start the 100-minute spectacle.

Or the three-story inflatable stripper who straddled said train -- and kept the beat with her body parts! -- during "Whole Lotta Rosie."

Or the approximately 17-hour Angus guitar solo during "Let There Be Rock," a mind-blowing, fastest-fingers display that took him from a riser in the middle of the venue (where he spun around on his back, never missing a note) all the way to a bridge behind the stage.

If you're still not impressed, keep in mind that wee Angus is 53. Bless that scrawny little sucker for still doing his infamous pasty-white striptease, too.

The crowd of 17,181, many of whom sported light-up devil horns on their shaggy heads, ate it up with roaring gusto. They even kept alert during the smattering of so-so songs from gone-platinum new album "Black Ice." Perhaps that's because the fresh stuff sounds a whole lot like the old stuff?

Never mind the negatives. This was a sinfully delicious throwdown, stuffed with all sorts of bar-fight shout-alongs that made your throat hurt as bad as your head: "Back in Black," "You Shook Me All Night Long," the utterly sublime "Shoot to Thrill."

The night's highlight was a double-defib assault of "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and "Thunderstruck," both of which were punctuated by Angus' prickly picking and infamous duckwalk. (For all the wowser special effects, the slyest was a moving camera under the stage, which tracked Young during his signature strut. Love it. That shoulda used that more.)

As Angus and Brian gamboled out front (gotta love Brian, built like a dockworker, smiling the whole time), rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd (who basically had a lit ciggie in his mouth the whole show) kept the foundations shaking but strong.

For all the bawdy hijinks, an AC/DC concert is also about tradition, about the good old days. So yes, a giant bell dropped from the heavens for "Hell's Bells." Angus sported his own devil horns for an encore version of "Highway to Hell." And they rolled out six (!) cannons for show-closer "For Those About to Rock." You better believe each of those weapons fired at least once. KABOOM, etc.

For those about to consult an ear specialist, we salute you.
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