all about karma, I'm convinced of that, and when you add music to
the mix, well something special happens. See, back in the day when
I was involved in the promotion of artists like Kiss, Lynyrd Skynyrd,
and The Who, I had access to tickets, well, the best tickets. They
were for radio people, music writers and the like. I handed them
out like candy on Halloween, but I always held onto a batch for
For example, I gave a bartender two for an Elton John show. He went
and told me it changed his life because he got to see John Lennon's
last performance. I didn't know John was going to be there but see,
that was the bartender's karma.
Another time I met a guy who commuted on the same train as I did.
We became train buds and had conversations about whatever on the
otherwise boring trip into the city. We never got around to discussing
what we did for a living. We just didn't care. One day he told me
his son was driving him crazy because he was a huge Kiss fan and
he wanted to go to their sold-out gig at the Garden. Wow, I thought,
as I pulled two tickets out of my pocket and gave them to him. He
couldn't believe it.
did this all the time. It was my thing and I loved that I could
get the people into the shows.
it's been a few decades since I was in the position to do that and
I found myself in the third row at Giants Stadium for AC/DC. My
son Mike got the tickets. He didn't spend anything other than the
face value, just went online and these are the seats he got. That's
his karma and my karma got me the seat next to him. Rock and Roll
one time that bartender saw EltonJohnLennon and another time that
kid saw Kiss, but now it was payback and I saw one of the greatest
concerts of my life performed by AC/DC.
don't say that lightly. Seen 'em all folks, Stones, Elvis, Rancid,
Little Richard, Pantera, Springsteen, Metallica, Allmans, Green
Day, Dylan, Queen, and
well you get the point, but AC/DC at
Giants Stadium goes down as one of the all-time best concerts I
have ever witnessed. I won't rate them one to fifty or anything
like that, but if I take all my favorites and throw them in alphabetical
order this show tops the list. AC/DC are what rock is all about
loud, nasty, dirty, real, and a whole lot of fun.
was a steady and heavy downpour as we drove out to the show. The
forecast called for flood warnings and rain until the next morning
looked like we were going to get real wet. Ok, so, water
right? I had a slight concern about lightning. Mike mused, "How
cool would it be to be struck by lightning and die as AC/DC played
'Thunderstruck' live?" Hey, I'm in no rush, but if we all gotta
go that would be pretty awesome. Soon as they checked our tickets
and we walked onto the very same ground where The New York Giants
play professional football, the rain ended. There was not a drop
for the entire rest of the evening
technical/theatrical parts of the performance were nothing less
than sensational. The stage is huge and they have designed a visual
presentation that can be enjoyed from wherever you are sitting.
At the start there is a wild piece of animation on the huge screen
behind the band. Locomotive # 666 roars down the tracks with cartoon
images of Angus and the lads, along with some devilish babes creating
mischief, and seems to crash through the screen and explode on stage
behind the band playing "Rock 'n' Roll Train," the first
track off its latest, "Black Ice."
show is a two-hour Angus Young extravaganza. The school boy uniform
is part of that fun element I mentioned, but his playing is no joke.
There is no rock/blues player alive today who can touch the astonishing
Mr. Young. Go ahead, make your list, but I repeat no one can touch
Young. Ask any of the over 40,000 who witnessed the extended solo
he took on "Let There Be Rock," elevated above the center
of the 50 yard line. That alone made the show unforgettable. Angus
Young doesn't play
he is the riffs
the solos are just
an extension of his soul or as Brian Johnson told the crowd,"That
guy's got the devil in his fingers!"
brother Malcolm on guitar, Cliff Williams on bass, and Phil Rudd
on drums are THE rhythm section to end all. They are the anchor
and, at the same time, the tug boat pushing the whole thing constantly
Then there is Brian Johnson, the 61-year-old singer of song, the
ballsy front man, in a black sleeveless vest, jeans and cap, who
right from the start never loses his smile. His vocals on "Back
in Black,'' "Thunderstruck,'' "The Jack,'' and "Highway
to Hell, "are
perfect is what they are, and when
he arrives on stage and says, "It's good to see you!"
he means it. This guy loves what he does and the fans that support
him. He's everyman, the perfect traveling companion on the Highway
to Hell, a guy you'd love to share a pint with.
band paid tribute to their first singer, Bon Scott with Shot
Down Flames, and Dog Eat Dog. In the mid-70s
the band released its debut album High Voltage. At Giants
Stadium they played these songs with higher voltage:
N Roll Train"
"Hell Ain't A Bad Place to Be"
"Back in Black"
"Shot Down in Flames"
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"
"Shoot to Thrill"
"Dog Eat Dog"
"You Shook Me All Night Long"
"Whole Lotta Rosie"
"Let There Be Rock"
"Highway to Hell"
"For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)"
loved it and as a bonus, an enthusiastic fan who sat next to me
said, "I will pray for you from Hell" as we bid farewell
at the end of the evening.