AC/DC – Live @ Western Springs. Auckland, New Zealand
AC/DC – Live @ Western Springs, Auckland 2015. Rusty iron and horns framed the dome stage at Western Springs Stadium last night; a crowd of lights packed into the ceiling of the stage hung like bats waiting to come to life
Review by Jessie Booth. Photos by Darkroom
I was quite disappointed that I had to miss Villainy but Shihad put on a roaring performance. Jon was literally sprinting across the lengths of the stage to amp up all sides of the crowd, and to hear them end on Home Again just lit up the cockles of my heart; so much Kiwi pride.
As soon as Shihad finished their set, the covers behind them came down to reveal a wall of Marshall amps. As the night got just dark enough, the screens lit up with AC/DC’s epic galactic themed introduction clip with meteor sounds that pushed the speakers to create waves you could feel. A run of fireworks created a grand entrance and smoked out the last remaining dregs of sunlight, and the bat-like lights under the dome came alive at an electrifying level; it was time for the legends themselves to take the stage.
The show started with Rock or Bust which was perfect, given that this is the track they named their tour after. Angus and Brian were constantly sweeping the stage, keeping the energy high and making use of their giant platform.
Brian was moving, and grooving and his voice had that lightening crack you hear on the record. But the absolute highlight of the night was, of course, Angus Young. To his signature skip, to one handed shreds and floor windmills, it was all done in true Angus style. Several times in the evening Angus looked at the crowd with that gaping goldfish stare; thumbs and index fingers to his forehead, brow low, and eyes straight ahead; and boy, did the horns go up all over the stadium! Thunder was accompanied by lightning bolts across the screens and, for lack of a better term, thunderous kick drum you could just feel in your bones. A giant bell lowers itself in the middle of the stage and tolls for Hells Bells.
Gradually through the night, Angus’ uniform becomes more dishevelled, with the loss of a hat, a tie to the floor after its use in a guitar solo then the unbuttoning of the shirt when the sweat began to pour.
And then comes the incredibly extended guitar solo, to which Brian Johnson takes a broad stance at the side of the stage to let Angus unleash- and check his silhouette! This solo lasted at least 10 minutes and included a rising platform and clouds of confetti- I was not disappointed. And then Brian said thank you and good night.
Flames take the top of the Marshals and smoke, like the opening of hell, makes way for their encore. Like they really could have finished a show without Highway to Hell.
Then the cannons line up along the marshals For Those About To Rock We Salute You. They end with canon fire, and red and gold fireworks create a night of smoke and light and sound.
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Full set list:
Rock or Bust
Shoot to Thrill
Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be
Back in Black
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Rock ‘n’ Roll Train
Baptism by Fire
You Shook Me All Night Long
Shot Down in Flames
Have a Drink on Me
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock (with Angus Young guitar solo)
Highway to Hell
For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)