Friday, 13 November 2009

AC/DC has special appeal for hard-rock-happy El Paso, Don't miss concert this weekend

El Paso -- There's a simple reason why Sunday's AC/DC concert at the Don Haskins Center sold out nearly 9,000 tickets in four hours last month.
"Because it works here," UTEP Special Events Director Carol Roberts Spence, who thinks the Australian hard rock legends could have filled the Sun Bowl. "This is an AC/DC town. This is the quintessential band, the perfect harmonic convergence of music in this community."
El Paso is and always has been a hard rock and heavy metal town, and this is one of the defining bands of the genre. But El Paso is also a town notorious for slow advance ticket sales, so a sellout in four hours is "unheard of" here, Roberts Spence said.
"We haven't seen that in years," she said. It "sold out in a heartbeat."
Maybe that's because AC/DC hasn't performed here in 21 years. The band last played El Paso on July 21, 1988, at the County Coliseum, according to venue officials. That show was packed, too, prompting an El Paso Times reviewer to marvel: "How this crowd got past the fire marshal I'll never know."
Anthony Bozza understands the group's appeal. The former Rolling Stone magazine writer recently wrote "Why AC/DC Matters," a 137-page examination of the band, its accomplishments and its nearly unprecedented success.
Only the Beatles have sold more records worldwide. AC/DC, which started in 1973, has sold 200 million of them, 22 million copies of 1980's "Back in Black" in the United States alone.
The band -- known for hits such as "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)" -- is the model of consistency, even though it has endured one tragedy (the 1980 death of singer Bon Scott), a handful of personnel changes, and some creative and commercial peaks and valleys.
Angus Young of AC/DC. no-frills rock 'n' roll. No B.S. They're all playing everything. There are no effects, no lip-syncing, no guitar overdubs," Bozza said. "They record live in a room. That's (also) what you get when you see them onstage doing it."
He marvels at their energy onstage, especially that of impish lead guitarist Angus Young, who still runs and duckwalks around the stage nonstop for two hours like a madman in a schoolboy's uniform.
"One thing that's so amazing about them is -- as classic rock bands age, they always start adding players to round out the sound. You see the Rolling Stones now and they have a little pack of backup singers on one side, and a guy who plays guitar on a couple of things," Bozza said. "That's not the case with AC/DC. It's just them. They do it all by themselves.
"To see them do it and see Angus run around and sweat literally 3 pounds of body weight at 54 is pretty incredible."
The group, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, will sweat on three generations of fans Sunday night.
"You can market them as a family show," Roberts Spence said. "The granddaddy, daddy and son all will be jamming to 'Hell's Bells.' "
"They are huge," said Glenn Garza, midday jock for rock station KLAQ-FM (95.5), who'll see them for the first time.
"They are a rock standard like Aerosmith or Kiss," Garza said. "People have grown up with them, raised kids to their music, and now grandkids, even. They span generations."
Bozza, whose book is a reaction to critics who have dismissed the group for years, said the fans see what the critics don't.
"There's always kind of been very little mention, or a few mentions that just kind of covered it like, 'AC/DC's back, we love them, it's loud and obnoxious music for bikers and strippers,'" he said in a mocking tone. "No one is seeing it's the roots of rock 'n' roll -- turned up to 12."
Make plans
Who: AC/DC, with The Answer.
When: 8 p.m. Sunday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Opening act Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights will play from 8 to 8:30 p.m., and AC/DC goes on at 9.
Where: Don Haskins Center, UTEP.
How much: Sold out. Some tickets, at $93.50 plus fees, could be released Sunday.
A small number of fans -- about 800, UTEP Special Events Director Carol Roberts-Spence said -- had to buy tickets for the AC/DC concert online using a ticketless system.
Ticketmaster, the country's largest event ticket company, experimented with the system last year for Tom Waits' show at the Plaza Theatre. The concept, which is now widely used by major touring acts, is designed to cut down on scalping and other resales.
The paperless system requires fans to produce the credit card with which they bought their tickets and a valid ID. They also have to bring everyone for whom they bought tickets. The credit card is scanned into a handheld device, which prints out a receipt with the seating information.
"I advise them to get there early, definitely, especially if they are on the floor in the first 10 rows (where ticketless tickets are located). It is sold out," Roberts-Spence said.
The south and west entrances of the Don will be closed to better facilitate the processing of ticketless purchases at the east and north entrances.
Oregon Street is closed between Robinson Street and Glory Road; part of Glory Road will be closed to accommodate all the band's trucks and buses, she said.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Fans to AC/DC: Change Your Set List

Fanas of AC/DC have issued a formal complaint to the band via to opportunity the gig setlist. The Black Ice tour has featured the same songs in the same order since the start of the tour.
From the site:
"On the recent Black Ice World Tour, during which some of us having travelled across Europe, the United States and flown between the two continents (with flights already booked to Australia to catch the Australian leg), we have listened to you play the same great songs each and every night. We absolutely appreciate every song you play, but we can't help but wonder if the band is getting a little bored of playing the same songs night after night.
Are you aware there are thousands of fans just like us who have spent months discussing the Black Ice World Tour setlist, every one of them hoping that the band will play something other than songs geared towards casual fans? - the sort of fans that put money in your pockets, but who don't have the same level of passion for your music as us. They may cheer at the concerts, they may go home happy... but they only came to hear Thunderstruck. They don't eat, sleep and shit AC/DC like we do.
As the greatest band on Earth, we think it is a travesty that you are not playing songs that are dear to yourselves and your long term loyal fans - the songs from albums that critics wrote off, but which we both know are some of the finest from your back catalog.
So, we'd like you to consider changing the setlist. We won't be rude and say "play this" or "don't play that" - we'll leave it to you to decide - surprise us!
Please give us, and the many thousands like us, some hard hittin', heavy rockin' tracks that we, the true long term fans of AC/DC, know and love.
Thank you for your time and your music."
Here is the AC/DC setlist for the Black Ice Tour:
'Rock N' Roll Train' (from Black Ice, 2008)
'Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be' (from Let There Be Rock, 1977)
'Back In Black' (from Back In Black, 1980)
'Big Jack' (from Black Ice, 2008)
'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' (from Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, 1976)
'Thunderstruck' (from The Razors Edge, 1990)
'Black Ice' (from Black Ice, 2008)
'The Jack' (from TNT, 1975)
'Hells Bells' (from Back In Black, 1980)
'Shoot To Thrill' (from Back In Black, 1980)
'War Machine' (from Black Ice, 2008)
'Anything Goes' (from Black Ice, 2008)
'You Shook Me All Night Long' (from Back In Black, 1980)
'TNT' (from TNT, 1975)
'Whole Lotta Rosie' (from Let There Be Rock, 1977)
'Let There Be Rock' (from Let There Be Rock, 1977)
'Highway To Hell' (from Highway To Hell, 1979)
'For Those About To Rock' (From For Those About To Rock, 1981)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

AC/DC Music Now Available Digitally?

(Music Radar) The Beatles' entire catalogue is available digitally- for now, it seems - on a US-based website called, with individual tracks going for 25 cents (15p) each.
The website is also streaming the currently remastered albums in their entirely, allowing listeners to listen to them for free. All of which is rather strange and shocking news to EMI and Apple Corps, who have fiercely blocked the online sale of all Beatles music.
(BW&BK also reports: In addition to the Beatles, one can find selections from AC/DC and Def Leppard on BlueBeat, artists who haven't licensed their full catalogs to iTunes.)