AC/DC and WHITE LION in concert Tuesday night at the Salt Palace. One show only.
If you like your music loud, wild, out of control and incomprehensible, then you should have been at the Salt Palace Tuesday night. About 10,000 people were there, and the AC/DC show brought the house down.This concert was a parent's and security guard's nightmare, but a dream for anyone with a rebellious itch to scratch.
Angus Young, the group's lead guitarist, was sort of the symbol of this youthful rebellion. He arrived on stage (via a rocket from below) in a schoolboy uniform, but that didn't stay on for too long. The arena got hotter and hotter, the music got wilder and wilder, and then it was time to strip away the vestiges of dignity - oops, I mean authority. I think.
Anyway, the drumbeats began and Angus started his slow striptease. First the jacket, then the tie, then the shirt. All the while he egged the crowd on. When the yelling finally reached epic proportions, Angus found a way to push it even further - he mooned the crowd.
But Angus seemed to bare his soul as well. He was all over the stage, dancing maniacally and shaking sweat from his hair. His longest solo must have lasted about 15 minutes, and if screechy heavy metal guitar is up your alley, so was Angus' music. He also walked into the crowd (much to their delight), rode up an elevator in the set, and appeared from below again, this time sporting a set of devilish horns for the stirring rendition of "Highway to Hell."
Other extremely popular sing-alongs were "Back in Black," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "That's the Way I Want to Rock and Roll" and especially "You Shook Me All Night Long." Stage props made some hits even bigger. "Hell's Bells" was made authentic by the big AC/DC bell that rose up out of the stage, and the two-hour show's big finish was "For Those About to Rock, We Salute You," complete with very big and very loud cannons.
White Lion put on a good opening show and had the crowd singing along to its hits, at least. And that is no small feat - it was almost impossible to make out what the lead singer was saying. But a fellow concertgoer told me this is not a high priority anyway.
The crowd was fairly well behaved for the opening act, but as the main show grew closer, something happened. All of a sudden, almost everyone in the upper level reserved seating absolutely had to find a way down to the floor, which was general admission and packed full of people who wanted to get close to the band. The only thing stopping the people on the upper level from getting down there was the security force.
Sad to say, the security force was not much of a match for ingenuity and surprising gymnastic ability. People were vaulting the walls and iron gates above the bleachers at first, and then, when it became apparent that not all of them could make it that way in time, some went where there were no bleachers and just dropped straight down about 20 feet. At this point things started getting a little wild. There was a fight, security stepped in and, after a struggle, several teens were dragged out by their necks. Any urge I had to vault to the lower level was quashed.
Now I may not have been dragged out, but I did get a little more carried away than I thought. To be perfectly honest, I thought this show would be the calculus of my rock 'n' roll education. It wasn't. If you take this kind of show for what it is, you can't help but have some kind of a good time. Everyone at the Salt Palace seemed to. On my way out I passed a sweaty, tired-looking guy with a big smile on his face, talking to his buddies. "Wow, man, was that LOUD or what?" "Whoa, yeah. . . . " That about says it all.