AC/DC, who played at 16,000 at the Capital Centre last night, are rock's current shock troops. One doesn't enjoy an AC-DC performance as much as survive it. And the band gave fair warning. The performance started with a dozen well-spaced but resounding bangs on a huge bell that descended onto the stage. In the course of the evening, they never really stopped ringing the audience's bell.
Australia's AC/DC is one of those heavy metal rock bands that have noisily infiltrated the concert circuit and crept from opening spots to headline status by developing a devoted core of metallurgists. Outside of frenetic guitarist Angus Young, their reputation exceeds them. Lead singer Brian Johnson has replaced the late Bon Scott. Johnson's singing style left much to be desired.
Humble Pie opened the show with a pounding set that saw aging guitarist-vocalist Steve Marriot come across as a rude, sexist and ridiculous faded rock star. You missed Jerry Shirley's drum solo? Roll some empty oil barrels down the staircase. There, you didn't miss it after all.
The raging sound levels reached to the back of the Capital Centre. From there, Humble Pie came across as what they really were -- loud, but with little talent. All in all, the evening provided its own sacrifice and absolution -- ear today, gone tomorrow.