Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Full Circle

My ears are ringing, my feet are killing me and I stink of stale beer. The kind that gets thrown on you that is.

But I'm a happy man.

Tonight I finally got to see a band I first heard of back in the late 70's during my school days. Blame my brother, I was minding my own business being a "mod" - black Harrington jacket, listening to bands like The Beat, The Selecter, The Specials and so on. But HE was a "smelly" - a person who liked rock music. And one album in particular spent what seemed like its whole life on his red plastic Decca turntable, called "Let There Be Rock" by AC/DC.

Night after night of listening to this group of Aussies belt out such masterpieces as "Whole Lotta Rosie", "The Jack", "Let There Be Rock" and so on caused me to defect to the dark side. I realised I liked rock music. The Harrington had to go.

And so my love affair with heavy metal began, there have been many bands over the years (and there have been many years) that I have got "into" as they say, but I never actually got to go and see the band that started me on this rock'n'roll road into bad hairstyles.

That all changed tonight.

I got to see my beloved AC/DC in the flesh at Hampden Park, Glasgow on a balmy summer evening just as dusk was falling. And though they must be like 75 or something by now, they were just as I imagined they would be; full of energy and life, belting out all the classics I knew - and some of the ones I have only known for a week. A brilliant 2 hours+ set with fireworks and big screen visuals, but best of all with the one and only Angus Young. Still in his school uniform, a man whose fingers danced over the guitar frets like some mad possessed demon, a seemingly impossible number of chords (my brother taught me that word) flowing from his blurring digits in a symphonic wall of sound that can only come from AC/DC's front man.

He worked the crowd with the skill and showmanship the like of which I have never seen. The stadium was packed to capacity and he had every single person in the palm of his hand as he darted back and forth across the stage, bathed in sweat but clearly loving every minute, feeding off the energy of the crowd. The hits just kept coming and coming, it felt more like a "Greatest Hits" rather than just another gig to promote the latest album. It was as if they were playing the set just for me.

If I could have changed one thing, it would have been to have my grumpy old "Bro" standing next to me, punching the air and "hollering" in his american manner.

I think he would have enjoyed it too.