AC/DC - Live at River Plate
Beyond ludicrous. AC/DC, never ones for the soft option, commit to the archive this hefty record of their mammoth Black Ice world tour. Genuinely, the scale of the thing makes your nose bleed. Taking to the road for the first time in seven years, the rock behemoth strode the globe ticking off arenas, stadiums and festival headline slots with nary a glance at their creaking limbs. South America, still pumped up on all things that go Kerrang! like it's 1982, remains the ultimate metal audience. The likes of Iron Maiden still do outrageous business there and Argentina, specifically Buenos Aries' River Plate Stadium, is the fiery backdrop to this hi-def concert film.
Shot over three nights in late 2009, AC/DC tear it up in front of a throbbing mass of 70,000 fans. For three nights. That's the best part of a quarter of a million punters still stumping up the readies a good 40 years on. Their economy might be crippled but this lot are as involved as any audience ever caught on film. Notably younger than their European following, they turn the floor into a hissing sea of bouncing, swaying flesh. Even to the new stuff, which is, let's be fair, dull as ditchwater, they make like Tigger and add to their pogoing an unholy singalong to every legendary riff. You can hardly hear the intro to 'Hell's Bells' for their "whoa-whoa"s. A few songs in, Brian Johnson jogs (unaided - respect) along the walkway that projects from the stage an Ark Royal length along the pitch and raises his arms and just laughs his head off. 'I've got a bus pass', his actions seems to say, 'and I've got 70,000 people eating out of my hands! Angus, get your shirt off - we've pulled!'
Angus, of course, gets his shirt off. Inflatable hookers float above the stage, bells, cannon, steam trains populate the huge backdrop. It's like Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' shows but with less narrative (debatable, actually, now that you mention it) and better songs. They play everything, of course. During 'Whole Lotta Rosie', you genuinely fear for the bobbing sweatpit. Filmed with about a million cameras and impeccably staged and performed, 'Live at River Plate' is hefty ammunition for those who bemoan the new order, claiming that the new breed just can't rock it like the old school. On this evidence, they might just have a case.