Monday, July 11, 2011

AC/DC - Live At River Plate

Live At River Plate
J. Albert & Son Pty. Ltd./Leidseplein Presse B.V./Sony Music Australia

After breaking an eight year drought with the release of ‘Black Ice’ in 2008, rock ‘n’ roll legends AC/DC once again hit the road in support of the album. The ensuing tour (‘The Black Ice World Tour’) was another mammoth undertaking for the veteran act, with the tour seeing the band play in front of more than five million fans in more than twenty-eight countries over a twenty month period.
In celebration of the tour’s overwhelming success, AC/DC (Who comprise of vocalist Brian Johnson, lead guitarist Angus Young, rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist Malcolm Young, bassist/backing vocalist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd) have put together a new live D.V.D. ‘Live At River Plate’.
Filmed in Buenos Aires’ renowned River Plate Stadium over three nights in December 2009 in front of two hundred thousand fans, ‘Live At River Plate’ is a defining testament to AC/DC’s continued status as the world’s biggest and hardest rock ‘n’ roll act.
Shot with thirty two high definition cameras, and directed by David Mallet (Who’s worked extensively with AC/DC over the years via promotional video clips and on 1992’s live film ‘Live At Donington’ and 1996’s ‘No Bull’), ‘Live At River Plate’ is a visual masterpiece, with every aspect of the band’s huge stage show (The train is quite impressive, and ‘Rosie’ seems to get bigger every year. And then of course there’s the bell, the lengthy ego ramp, the fireworks and the massive video screens, etc), their individual performance and the positively massive size of the Argentinean venue and those contained within captured in all its rocking glory.
Set list wise, ‘Live At River Plate’ doesn’t boast any real genuine surprises, with many of the band’s classics (‘Back In Black’, ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’, ‘Thunderstruck’, ‘Hells Bells’, ‘Shoot To Thrill’, ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’, ‘T.N.T.’, ‘Let There Be Rock’, ‘Highway To Hell’ and ‘For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)’) remaining true to the set list that AC/DC has delivered year in/year out. But that’s not to say that AC/DC are relying solely on their past, with tracks such as ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Train’, ‘Big Jack’, ‘Black Ice’ and ‘War Machine’ from ‘Black Ice’ injecting some fresh blood into proceedings to keep both the band and the fans on their toes.
Performance wise, the band are in top form. Angus Young may not be moving around with the speed he used to years ago, and Brian Johnson’s vocals struggle a little more to hit some of the higher notes in some songs, but its hard to knock the band’s ability to serve up rock ‘n’ roll in its purest form, and keep the audience moving (And you really have to see this D.V.D. to believe it. These Argentinean’s really do move as one! It’s an incredible sight to behold) from the first chord struck, right through to the last note.
In terms of bonuses, there’s the three minute animation sequence that opens the show (Which cleverly mixes older AC/DC themes with newer ones) and the twenty-five minute documentary ‘The Fan, The Roadie, The Guitar Tech & The Meat’ (Which looks at the band’s stay in Argentina, their crew, the diehard fans and the band’s love of steak!).
AC/DC may be showing their age these days, but it certainly doesn’t affect their shows one bit. Brian Johnson pretty much sums it up when he says, ‘We don’t speak very good Spanish, but I think we speak rock ‘n’ roll pretty good!’ The crowd certainly agrees with the sentiment, and I do too.
‘Live At River Plate’ isn’t quite up to the task of robbing ‘Live At Donington’ of its classic status, but it’s still one hell of a show. Without question, this release comes highly recommended to AC/DC diehards.

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© Justin Donnelly