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Pop Music Review

For Metal Mayhem, AC/DC Still Delivers the Goods

September 18, 2000|LINA LECARO | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Marilyn Manson and Eminem may have the market cornered on outraged parents these days, but back in the late '70s and early '80s, it was AC/DC--remember when everyone said their name was an acronym for "Anti Christ--Devil's Children"?

With threatening, riff-heavy melodies and devilish image intact, the Australian band still has all it needs to appeal to today's debauchery-hungry youth, but its show at Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion on Saturday was aimed more at those who grew up with them.

Opening with the popular grind "You Shook Me All Night Long," the bluesy metallers got everyone moving and offered a rousing intro to their expansive showcase of rhythmic rock. With a huge statue of guitarist Angus Young hovering over them, the band tore into such favorites as "Rock 'n' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution," "Whole Lotta Rosie" and "Back in Black" with unrestrained fervor.

Tunes from their new album, "Stiff Upper Lip," didn't fare quite as well as the hits with the mostly thirtysomething crowd, even if on the record they sound like classic AC/DC: whiskey-drenched grooves and shrieking vocals from the pits of hell.

Their demonic demeanor endures too, and they played on the sinister themes with anthems such as "Hell's Bells," "Highway to Hell" and "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," and some stunning pyrotechnics in which the Angus statue grew horns and blew smoke.

These seasoned rock fiends still have what it takes to keep up with today's metal maniacs, but when it comes to onstage mayhem, they may be mellowing. The usually shameless Young, clad in his trademark schoolboy uniform, went through his striptease routine, but at the end he pulled down his knickers to reveal American flag boxer shorts. Twenty years ago, we would've seen a whole lotta Angus.

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