Comments Off on AC/DC: Let There Be Rock, DVD review

AC/DC: Let There Be Rock, DVD review


Andrew Perry thinks AC/DC: Let There Be Rock is not a perfect AC/DC concert movie, but it’s certainly the best.

Earlier this year, AC/DC’s “Live at River Plate” DVD captured the fiftysomething Antipodean heavy-rockers, bringing the noise in Argentina last year, in one of South America’s largest stadia. With their time-honoured armoury of cannons, inflatable ladies, and stunts from their schoolboy-attired lead guitarist, Angus Young, the band have become an institution in latter years: since their full catalogue is still not officially available digitally, their CD sales were, at the last count, second only to the Beatles.

It’s always easy to forget that AC/DC’s gradual rise was nearly scuppered altogether back in 1980, when their original singer, Bon Scott, was found dead of alcohol asphixiation, in a Renault 5 in East Dulwich, aged just 33. Scott was quickly replaced by the Geordie screecher, Brian Johnson, and, within five months, they’d released “Back in Black” – the second biggest-selling album of all time, after Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.

For many fans, the late-’70s line-up of these ever-kerranging monsters of rock will always be the leanest, meanest and best. Arriving on the heels of “…River Plate”, this concert movie from the year before Scott’s passing, fairly conclusively proves them correct. Well, almost.

At that point, the quintet were hungrily on the cusp of breakthrough. Yet, they somehow agreed to let two French movie-making débutants, Eric Dionysius and Eric Mistler, bluff their way in to shoot “Let There Be Rock” for them in Paris. The duo’s blueprint, fairly obviously, was taken from the artier end of the rock-doc spectrum – stuff like Jean-Luc Godard’s unfathomably abstract Rolling Stones film, “One Plus One”, and Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains the Same”, where, between songs from Madison Square Garden, you’re suddenly launched into a fantasy sequence centred around each band member.

AC/DC, of course, were the energetic upstarts, out to dethrone those two titanic combos, who, by the late ’70s, had become remote and disinterested. Their mandate was a no-nonsense re-activation of blues-based rock & roll. The scene where their blue-eyed drummer, Phil Rudd, acts none-more-woodenly in a cod-thriller scene in an airfield, surely wouldn’t have impressed their intended demographic – the young, leather-jacketed heavy-metal hordes, who had no time for such dinosaur-rock twaddle.

The live footage, too, is unncecessarily stylised, with intrusive use of slo-mo, shadow, crane-borne camera angles, and sweeping Nouvelle Vague cinematic set-pieces. All for good old “Acca Dacca”!

But – and it’s a big ‘but’ – through all this mumbo-jumbo, the performance itself is electrifying, unmissable. Today’s ’DC sorely lack the natural chemistry between Young’s hyperactive fifth-former, and Scott’s casually virile predator. Scott – stripped to the waist for most of the show, exposing a hairy, glistening torso, and wearing painfully tight jeans, neglectfully ripped around the crotch – stands largely statuesque, as he yowls tales of fast living and loose women such as “Live Wire”, “Highway to Hell” and “Girl’s Got Rhythm”.

When not doing so, he’s no dancer, simply shaking his luxuriant black mane arhythmically – the quintessential headbanger. In interview snatches in hotel rooms and on Parisian streets, Scott brags in a rather shy and charming way about his predilection for sex and booze. A few months later, he’d expired in excessive pursuit of them.

At the show’s climax, he gracefully gives way to Young, as if to say, “It’s your show from here on in, little fella…”. Virtually catatonic with energy, the guitarist drools, strips, makes lascivious gestures, twitches on the ground, and then over-cranks his guitar so far during “Whole Lotta Rosie”, that it conks out, only for a switch to be finessed with all the blurry speed of a Formula One pitstop.

This, then, is not the perfect AC/DC concert movie, but it’s certainly the best.

Filed in: Entertainment

Share This Post

Recent Posts

© 5253 Daily-Tips.Net. All rights reserved.