In a hail of faux-cannon shots and fireballs, AC/DC played a “final dress rehearsal” for its Black Ice World Tour last night (Oct. 26) at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in front of thousands of contest winners and invite-only industry personnel. The trek kicks off tomorrow at the venue.
The lights went down at 8:10 as an animated AC/DC film played and a giant locomotive moved out to center stage, surrounded by fireworks. Guitarist Angus Young, in his trademark black school-boy uniform, played the opening notes of new single “Rock N’ Roll Train” and got the crowd quickly shouting its approval.
The 13-song show soon segued into AC/DC classics like “Back in Black” and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” with singer Brian Johnson and company testing out the elaborate stage set: 21 Marshall amps with a bridge across them, assorted pyrotechnics, a phallic stage extension with a raised platform at the end and a glass panel laid into the main stage so a cameraman could catch Young’s guitar-handling from underneath.
A giant bell descended for “Hell’s Bells” and Young climbed the ringing rope to open the song. A plus-sized blow-up doll was deployed for “Whole Lotta Rosie,” straddling the train prop and manned by a tech tasked with tapping her car-sized foot to the beat. Besides “Rock N’ Roll Train,” the title song from “Black Ice” was the only other new tune played.
The show came on the heels of blockbuster first day sales of the Wal-Mart-exclusive “Black Ice” album, which sold an estimated 193,000 copies on Oct. 20, according to sources.
Here is AC/DC’s set list:
“Rock N’ Roll Train”
“Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be”
“Back In Black”
“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”
“You Shook Me All Night Long”
“Whole Lotta Rosie”
“Let There Be Rock”
“Highway To Hell”
“For Those About To Rock”