AC/DC goes at full speed in brilliant concert


Age can be the worst enemy of a rock 'n' roll band.

As the wrinkles and aches and pains come, down comes the quality of a live performance, especially when it entails the kind of energy that an AC/DC show packed around 1981.

But this Aussie-tough quintet has somehow transcended the ordinary and managed to not only keep the enthusiasm but even improve upon it.

Last night's two hour and 15 minute marathon at the Capital Centre featured all of the crafty perks from previous AC/DC tours (toy cannons, "Hells Bell," the patented Angus Young strip-tease) but added features like a state-of-the-art caged stage, a huge inflatable doll for "Whole Lotta Rosie" and a money drop during "Moneytalks," with Young's face plastered on pseudo dollar bills.

While previous live efforts from the band have been marred by poor craftsmanship and a wobbly vocal effort from Brian Johnson, last night's show was brilliant by any standard.

Johnson, with his usual painful expression and sly grin, belted out the lyrics in classics like "You Shook Me All Nite Long" and "Back In Black" with perfection.

And as repetitive and monotonous as some of the band's mid-era music can be (Young perhaps summed it up best when he told Circus magazine last year: "Some people say we've made the same album 13 times but they're wrong. We've made it 14 times.") the show never slowed down through 21 songs, including a 22-minute reading of "Jailbreak."

The show opener, L.A. Guns, who played a lethargic 40-minute set, might be well-served to take lessons from their elders and concentrate on the music more than the pomp and pose.

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