There was no reason for concern, however, because "all we do" was enough to thoroughly entertain a diverse crowd for multiple hours. This was not a Stone Roses headlining set at Coachella, full of great but decidedly niche rock songs; this was epic, crowd-pleasing music that stretched across the polo fields and rang through the desert sky. AC/DC proved their headlining mettle three songs in, when the familiar riff to "Back In Black" transformed the Empire Polo Fields back to Cal Jam '78.
The band drew liberally from the new Rock Or Bust album, including the title track and "Play Ball." Not surprisingly, though, it was the old favorites, like a smoldering "Shoot To Thrill" and the larger-than-life "Thunderstruck," that had the Polo Fields enraptured. Those songs were a few of the several highlights for guitarist Angus Young, who instantly shot to the top of the list of the greatest guitar heroes in the festival's 16-year history.
AC/DC Announces Stadium Tour of Australia & New Zealand
As one would expect from the marriage of AC/DC and Coachella, a seminal old-school moment defined the set. Moments after a massive gong appeared onstage and began ringing out to introduce "Hells Bells," Johnson leapt on the fake clapper and swung across the stage on a giant rope, ever the showman and looking just as spry as his iconic voice sounded across the Coachella grounds. AC/DC kept it simple during their sprawling headlining set: they came, they rocked, and they conquered a festival that was not necessarily in their wheelhouse.
"We're back!" Johnson wailed on "Back In Black," tweaking the lyrics to be more inclusive. AC/DC did indeed come back -- and they did it in the deep end.