The performance was the band’s first show in seven years
Last night, rock ‘n’ roll legends AC/DC made their triumphant return to the stage after a seven year hiatus. The band took the stage after Judas Priest with previously retired bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Matt Laug sitting behind the kit. While they didn’t scratch any songs off this list, they did debut two tracks from their 2020 album, Power Up – “Demon Fire” and “Shot in the Dark.” The rest of the set was filled with some of the band’s biggest hits, and several rare gems that haven’t seen the lights of a stage in decades.
AC/DC kicked off their set with their 1979 fan favorite, “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It).” It was the first time the band opened with the song in 20 years. From there, they launched into their massive hit, “Back in Black.” The played “Dog Eat Dog” for the first time with frontman Brian Johnson since 1996, and “Riff Raff” for the first time with Johnson on the mic since 2009. AC/DC played both song back in 2016 when Axl Rose of fellow Power Trip performers Guns N’ Roses was filling in for Johnson on vocals.
AC/DC also pulled out “Stiff Upper Lip” for the first time since 2003. Other highlights included “Shot Down in Flames,” “Thunderstruck,” “Have a Drink on Me,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Shoot to Thrill,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Train,” “Highway to Hell,” “Whole Lotta Rosie,” and many more. Check out some select the fan-filmed footage below.
After the completion of the band’s Rock or Bust World Tour, Williams announced in July of 2016 that he would be retiring after the band’s tour. He returned, however, in 2018 to record bass on Power Up. The confirmation of Laug’s involvement with the band for the upcoming festival may be connected to legal issues stemming from original drummer Phil Rudd’s 2014 arrest. Rudd was charged with attempting to procure the murder of two men, according to New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty Police District representative Kim Perks at the time. He was also charged with threatening to kill, possession of cannabis, and possession of methamphetamine. A day after he was arrested, one of the charges for attempting to procure a murder was dropped. In April of 2015, Rudd pleaded guilty to the remaining charges at the Tauranga District Court (New Zealand). In July of 2015, he was sentenced to eight months of home detention plus a $120,000 USD fine.
Laug is a storied rock music drummer. His career boasts stints with Alice Cooper, Mike Campbell and the Dirty Knobs, Slash’s Snakepit, and Alanis Morissette.