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When you listen to rock 'n' roll, there are tons of bands that are such icons that if you haven't listened to them, you just can't claim to be a rock aficionado. Legends in there own time, these bands have influenced hundreds of other bands to get on stage and give it there all. Most of these bands don't exist in their original form anymore and often don't tour (except maybe the Rolling Stones as they will probably tour till they die) and so us classic rock lovers who are younger, often don't get to appreciate these bands in there element: live on stage.
In the information age though, we at least can get a glimpse through all the concert footage that has been uploaded to the Internet. I've found a lot of great online videos of all sorts of bands, some good, some not so good, but all are worth watching if you're a rock and roll fan. I've always felt that AC/DC was one of the bands I would have loved to see play live at their height and I've found a few videos online that confirm this.
Like most people I imagine, my first AC/DC experience was through the song "Back in Black" and my first AC/DC album was also Back in Black. I'll admit that on my first listen, I loved the song, but was not overly impressed with the band as a whole. I mean they had a great rock 'n' roll sound similar to Led Zeppelin, but where Led Zeppelin had diversity, blues and depth, AC/DC had a more straight forward rock feel. As I listened to other albums by this band, I came to appreciate their work more and more. It may be simplistic at times (if you want to call it that, I call it fun), but they weren't going for the diversity of Led Zeppelin, they just wanted to rock, and they do rock...hard. The music is catchy, exciting and powerful with great guitar work. AC/DC is one of those bands that has really grown on me as there are times when we all need to just let loose and rock out, and they are the band to rock out with.
Not everyone is going to be an AC/DC fan, and I can respect that as their hard rock minimalist and raunchy style is not for everyone. Even if you're not a fan, check out the video I've included just to see the intensity this band had when on stage. It is raw, rough and appropriately, quite electric.
Here's a small sample of a set in 1977 that I found. This is the opener to the set I believe: "Let There Be Rock." Thank you to YouTube and Legenden0 for uploading it.
There are other songs on YouTube as well from this set you might want to check out and a fair amount of AC/DC live footage, but I've also found what looks like this entire 5 song set in one video here: AC/DC 1977 Concert Set
I've had a hard time finding exactly when this took place as I've seen some sources that place it in England, while other versions have subtitles and say something about Swedish television. The only consistent thing I've found is the year of 1977, which makes sense from the songs they play. I don't think its the best concert footage of this band I've seen, but I like this one because it is the AC/DC lineup with Bon Scott on vocals and shows Angus Young standing on the balcony rail and the amps rocking out (in the full video).
An interesting point that made me briefly question whether this was a live show or actually the band miming for TV, is that it appears that there is no cable connecting Angus Young's guitar to his amps and it is especially apparent when he goes into the balcony. Had this been a more recent show I wouldn't have thought anything of it, but my first impression was that '77 would have been too early for wireless guitar transmitters. I must be wrong though and that type of system was what he was using as this performance looks quite real. Or maybe the band just mimes incredibly well.
I don't think anyone can disagree with the fact that this band definitely put on quite a show, even if you don't like their music. Unlike the epic grandeur, mysticism and blues of Led Zeppelin or the darkness of Black Sabbath, AC/DC sound like a rock 'n' roll explosion from start to finish. It is an utter kick in the teeth musically, full of the pulsing energy that the band would become infamous for. It is a great little set, but I do wish they played "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap". I guess that song had not yet been released. (I'm pretty sure it was recorded and just not released in the US till the early 80s).
Along with bands like the Who, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC at their height, playing live, is probably as good as rock and roll gets. There simply aren't many bands that play with this kind of fire, raw power, and fun.
I haven't been able to confirm if this show is on any of the AC/DC concert DVDs yet, but if it is, and I bet it is, you can bet I'll add it to my collection eventually.