AC/DC @ Hampden Park, Glasgow, 28 June

Live Review by Claire Francis | 01 Jul 2015

When you’re a band that’s been around as long as AC/DC, you’re no stranger to your own strengths and weaknesses. “I hope you came for rock n’ roll, because that’s all we do,” screeches Brian Johnson as he and the group charge in with a pyrotechnical assault on Rock ‘n’ Roll Train. After four decades of classic hard rock, AC/DC are surely predictable, but as a legion of fist-pumping fans attests, there's plenty of comfort in the familiar.

The intervening years have thinned out their most enduring lineup (the respective departures of Malcolm Young and Phil Rudd spilling over into the tabloids in the past year) but Johnson and Angus Young hold the fort with seasoned aplomb. Johnson’s scream-slash-growl has held up well over the decades, and Young, faithfully sporting his school boy regalia, performs his vintage hop across the stage whilst playing with impressive dexterity.

AC/DC undoubtedly owe their longevity to their devoted fan base, and the band are experts in giving the people what they want. Johnson and co scream, thunder and stampede through their lionized catalogue with a sprightliness that belies their collective years. They glance across some newer material, but Back In Black, Thunderstruck and You Shook Me All Night Long are the most raucously received, delivered at knee-shattering volume thanks to a stockade of Marshall amps.

It ain’t a stadium gig without props, and the group don’t disappoint; a giant bell descends onstage for Hells Bells, Whole Lotta Rosie is adorned by an improbably voluptuous inflatable namesake, and Let There Be Rock climaxes in an explosion of confetti cannons, a pedestal stage and Young’s theatrically executed solo. It may be all they do, but AC/DC make reliable stadium rock something of a fine art.