It’s one thing to hear that Axl Rose will be the new lead singer of AC/DC. It’s still a corollary of that one thing when Angus Young jams with Guns N’ Roses. It is quite another to experience the odd disconnect of watching AC/DC actually play a show with Axl as the frontman.
Oh, as you can see, it’s solid: Axl’s voice has held up remarkably well, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else could hit the same high notes with a gravelly undertone like Brian Johnson’s so consistently. On the other, Axl’s leather cowboy look, while in character for him (and technically “back in black,” I guess), looks weird on an AC/DC stage, and Angus Young bopping around the stage without Johnson looking down and screaming in his general direction feels a bit like a Garfield Minus Garfield comic, visually at least. To the ear, from a safe non-deafening distance at least, they sound like the supergroup that they are.
Sure, Rose sounds like Rose, and undoubtedly there are some who wish AC/DC would have pulled a Judas Priest and gone with a tribute band vocalist more prone to direct mimicry. Yet it’s hard to be too much of a purist about it all when Johnson didn’t exactly sound like Bon Scott, either.
Videos of the band’s first show with Axl in Lisbon are all over YouTube (Vulture.com started us down the rabbit hole), but here are just a couple of hot samples:
Is the Axl and AC/DC tour a Highway to Hell, Paradise City, or the perfect line in between? I know where my heart lies, but let’s hear your opinions below. Because for those about to comment…we salute you.
featured image: YouTube/amrita