AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson once theorized that rock fans liked his band because it was full of ugly guys who dressed poorly, and therefore anyone in the audience felt he could pick up a guitar and join. That's probably true, since this band has basically been playing the same two-chord song for more than 16 years. But damn, does it ever play it well.
Sunday night at Capital Centre the Australian band absolutely blew the roof off, thumping, screeching and squealing through nearly two hours of the Real Stuff, taking skin off the knuckles of every fist-pumping fan in the packed arena.
While most metal bands flaunt hair, guitar heroics and Dungeons and Dragons lyrics, AC/DC plays the ultrasonic blues, sweats a lot, doesn't talk between songs and practically sniggers through each of its raunchy tunes. Lead guitarist Angus Young, not one to waste time with wimpy harmonics and deft hammer-ons, scrawled his solos over every song with the subtlety of nails raking a chalkboard. But while Young was the visual center of this band -- his demented schoolboy-with-a-Chuck-Berry-twitch persona is still funny after all these years -- the rhythm section of bassist Cliff Williams and newcomer drummer Chris Slade anchored the best beat in hard rock. The single-note bass lines and no-fill drumming on songs such as "Thunderstruck," "Sin City" and "For Those About to Rock" showed off the band's biggest talent: turning out hard rock that shakes heads and hips.
Without relying on too many gimmicks (although the audience was showered with fake money during "Moneytalks"), AC/DC put on a true rock-and-roll feast. It ain't gourmet food, but like McDonald's, it's fast, consistent and not too healthy.