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Reviewed by David
Special guest: The Answer
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Ericsson Globe
Date: 22 February 2009
The Answer set length: 40 minutes
AC/DC set length: 110 minutes

The Answer

The Northern Irish have (unlike many other support acts for such large arena bands) well deserved their spot. And their 70s blues-/hard rock is well fitted to the main act. The lads did their job this evening with dignity as well, although not as tight as I had hoped for (might have been the acoustics in a half empty Globe that tricked me a bit though). Anyway, the response was polite but stiff for The Answer. But their new record Everyday Demons is actually better than, just for example, Black Ice, so I enjoyed some of the new ones in the short set, like Demon Eyes, On And On and Tonight.

But it is always on the edge of impossible for a rather unknown act to get attention from a crowd gathered to see a band whose songs 'everybody' knows. It is easier to open a club gig for a band with a similar style, before a crowd that already are interested in finding new music, besides the obvious. But with bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica and AC/DC you can surely count on a large portion of posers in the venue, who only want to see their one favourite band and then go back to wearing suits, listening to Rix FM and doing accounting or whatever in their office.

6 chalices of 10


(sorry, no setlist)


Finally. Angus Young and Brian Johnson, in person, very much alive indeed. A year ago I thought this was impossible - a chance lost forever - but now I can draw a red marker over AC/DC on the list of 'bands yet to see' (which brings Running Wild to the top, by the way). Because of this circumstance I will obviously not be able to make comparisons with the good old days. I will only go through what I actually saw this night in Globen (now officially Ericsson Globe - how stupid that sound, by the way …)

Strangely enough AC/DC is bigger, much bigger, now - after seven years abstention from the stage, than they were when they toured for Stiff Upper Lip. It is like if their own myth just has had a life of its own during these years and made the band grow without lifting a finger. Therefore the new album Black Ice quite sensationally has become one of their most successful recordings ever, without really backing it up with an outstanding song material, in my humble opinion.

But AC/DC is also more than just a band playing old hits. It is a total show from the start to the finish. To make it somewhat chronological it started with an animated video with a runaway train, which ends up crashing on stage of course, this time in form of a giant steaming dummy. With that follows the natural starter Rock 'n' Roll Train, from Black Ice. It will be yet another four songs from that album, of which I gladly would have traded two or three for something rare from Flick Of The Switch, Fly On The Wall, Ballbreaker or Stiff Upper Lip (keeping the above mentioned starter and War Machine).

Then we got the classics. Brian hanging in the rope of the big bell in the intro to Hells Bells. A whole lotta inflatable Rosie riding the train and shaking her foundations to Whole Lotta Rosie. And of course the cannons saluting the grand finale For Those About To Rock. These are the things that you almost expect at an AC/DC show, whether it is your first or your tenth. Still a few times more than most of the bands out there deliver to their fans from the stage. A question of budget, yes, but not entirely.

Not all classics have made it fresh through the years though. I love the old, slow, repetitive blues - on a small pub, with a beer in my hand - but The Jack in front of 15 000 in Globen did nothing more than lowering the tempo for a while. On the other hand, songs like Dirty Deeds, Thunderstruck and T.N.T. pounded out harder than ever.

One thing one might wonder is why we got the exact same set of songs as the previous gig two days before in the same venue. I know many fans went to both, so at least one song could have been altered one might think.

I belong to those who grew up with Brian Johnson as the singer of AC/DC and still prefer him. I must admit though that he only reaches the level of 'pretty good' this evening. It is not breathtaking to hear him hiss, but he does a solid performance without any real dips. As for the rest of the band, they will have to excuse us all, but besides the singer and thus formal 'front man' there is only one man who deserves and gets our attention. But he does it enough for all of them.

Angus Young fumbled a bit with the fingers in the intro to Thunderstruck, but otherwise he seemed at least as young (hmm …) as the last 20 years or so. He kicked, jumped, ran, stripped to his underwear and pulled himself up in a sky-lift and did hit patented circular crawling, high above the audience on the floor. The guy simply gives it all, every time he gets on the stage, and literally sweats for his pay. If he doesn't die of a heart attack on stage, no one will. You can understand why he needed a few years off. And they seem to have done him good as well. Maybe, there still is a few more rounds in that sinewy body. Let us hope so.

8 chalices of 10


Rock 'n' Roll Train
Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be
Back In Black
Big Jack
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Shot Down In Flames
Black Ice
The Jack
Hells Bells
Shoot To Thrill
War Machine
Anything Goes
You Shook Me All Night Long
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock (incl. guitar solo)
Highway To Hell
For Those About To Rock We Salute You

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