Live Review: AC/DC, The Hives, Kingswood

24 November 2015 | 2:38 pm | Jonty Czuchwicki

"For all their flaws, AC/DC's legacy will always live on."

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AC/DC are undoubtedly the biggest band to ever emerge from Australia. They are also one of the biggest touring acts currently in existence. This was evident in the monstrous production they brought with them to Adelaide Oval. There were firework-spitting cannons, an extended platform stage and of course the iconic Hells Bell along with a few other surprises.

Kingswood opening for AC/DC seemed a grand scenario in which the band could take full advantage of the mega-stage and large scale production. Unfortunately the volume was far too quiet and didn't do justice to the band's top notch performance chops, being especially quiet for those seated in the grandstands.

Sweden's The Hives gave a great performance. Singer Pelle Almqvist was practically taking the piss out of the dubiously tough crowd but the band certainly rocked out hard, proving worthy of their support slot for AC/DC. Their tracks are full of rock hooks and the energy was superbly high.

AC/DC played a mammoth set. Without a word to the audience between songs, it was nothing but an onslaught of pure rock'n'roll. The unceremonious departure of Phil Rudd has allowed Chris Slade to take the drum throne once again, holding tight rock beats for the duration of the performance. Stevie Young held down the rhythm guitar for the duration of the set, and the bass lines of Cliff Williams rumbled throughout the arena. For everyone who knows the lyrics to every song line-for-line, Brian Johnson is practically inaudible — and, sure, the style permits this, but the result came across as more of a nasally gargle.

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Luckily Angus Young was still the absolute star of the show. Even someone who hates AC/DC would find value in watching this fine man play guitar. Where some tracks began to sound samey, the guitar soloing always turned the audience's reaction into one of absolute awe. For a man of 60, Young still performs with the vigour and enthusiasm any musician could hope for. Amidst a setlist that included Back In Black, Highway To Hell, You Shook Me All Night Long and Thunderstruck, the highlight of the show was without a doubt the near 15-minute guitar solo delivered by Young. For all their flaws, AC/DC's legacy will always live on.