AC/DC shook Toronto all night long


After four decades of touring and recording, AC/DC, surprisingly, still has it.

Over 40,000 loyal AC/DC fans, many of whom wore headbands with blinking red devil horns, flocked to see the classic rock group perform at Downsview Park last Thursday.

Fans waited eagerly through the 40-minute blandness that was the opening act, Vintage Trouble, a hard rock/soul band.

AC/DC soared on stage, after an amusing five-minute video introduction.

They wasted no time and launched into their set list beginning with the title song from their latest album, Rock or Bust.

Legendary 60-year-old lead guitarist Angus Young ran out in his usual school-boy uniform, wielding his Gibson SG as if it was a weapon of war.

The 20-song set was a succession of hit after hit, with hardly a break in between songs. Some of the highlights included “Back in Black,” “Highway to Hell,” “Thunderstruck” and “You Shook Me All Night Long.”


AC/DC light up the stage at Downsview Park

The band has been on tour since April but you wouldn’t know it. The Aussie rockers were shockingly tight, despite losing founding members Malcolm Young, the band’s rhythm guitarist who is suffering from dementia, and drummer Phil Rudd, who is serving an eight-month house detention for drug possession as well as threatening to kill someone.

Even though there have been major changes within the group, it still hasn’t changed some of AC/DC’s quintessential live trademarks, such as the giant scantily clad blow-up doll that inflates above the group during their tongue and cheek song “Whole Lotta Rosie.” Nor have they cut the old fashioned church bell that dangles from the top of the stage during “Hells Bells.” Oh, and who could forget Young’s duck walk.


The infamous “Rosie” blow up doll

Sharing the spotlight with the charismatic Young was lead singer Brian Johnson. Though his voice has deteriorated somewhat in recent years, he still managed to get through their songs adequately, although he struggled with hitting some of the higher notes.

The main disappointment of the night was the lacklustre crowd. The audience, which ranged from 60-year-old bikers to 10-year-old children, seemed dazed for most of the show. Although, when Young burst into a 10-minute ear-biting blues solo during “Let There Be Rock,” the audience seemed to perk up chanting the guitarist’s name in a ritualistic fashion.



As the band played their final song “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” fireworks exploded from the top of the stage, lighting up the night sky.

Going to an AC/DC concert is truly an incredible spectacle with the massive stage, explosions and fireworks, deafening music and cheeky props. It’s rare to see a bunch of 60-plus year-olds strutting around on stage without it seeming like self-parody. But somehow they can still pull it off.