In 2009, I was lucky enough to get tickets to see AC/DC play at Hampden Park, something I never thought would happen.
And so on a hot June day in 2009 I was blown away witnessing one of the greatest rock bands in the world perform to a sell-out Hampden crowd. It was a day and night I shall never forget and I noticed at the time it was being filmed and rumours of a dvd went around.
I have since been informed that a number of the concerts on the band's 'Black Ice' tour were filmed and it was decided that the River Plate concerts in Argentina would be the ones to feature on dvd.
Initially I was disappointed that the Glasgow concert would not be the one to feature on dvd, but having bought and watched this River Plate dvd I can understand why this was the chosen venue. I have great memories of a fantastic concert at Hampden Park with a great atmosphere, as thousands of fans sang along and jumped around to a band that certainly have lost none of their energy or enthusiasm for performing live, however, the Argentinian crowd featured on this dvd are something else entirely. After the opening first few minutes it was easy to see why these concerts were chosen to feature on a dvd, the fans are quite crazy!
Shot entirely in HD with 32 cameras, 'Live at River Plate' stunningly captures what is both a memorable and amazing performance by AC/DC as the fans never stop jumping and singing, not even for one second. Indeed watching the fans reaction is equally as entertaining as watching the band themselves.
Yes, it was the band's first visit to Argentina for 13 years, but this was also the case everywhere else they visited too, as many fans had not seen the band perform for a number of years. Many fans like myself, were probably thinking they would never get to see them perform live again, so this tour was also embraced by the fans as a celebration and everyone gave thanks to the band for making it happen. The atmosphere is something really special.
Lead guitarist Angus Young may be getting on in years but he doesn't show any signs of slowing down anytime soon, as he dons his trademark schoolboy uniform and duckwalks across the stage, cupping one hand to his ear to the adoring crowd, who of course yell just that little bit louder to show their appreciation.
From the opening 'Rock 'n' Roll Train' which begins with a cartoon video montage of the band on a train with screeching wheels whilst thundering along the tracks and ends with a train bursting onto the stage complete with a smoking funnel as the band launch into the opening bars, to the final song 'For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)' featuring canons blasting from the stage, this is a concert never to forget.
Being AC/DC, the word 'hell' features a lot, as the band power through their 'hell' classics such as 'Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be', and 'Hells Bells' complete with a large bell suspended from above, which singer Brian Johnson duly takes a long running jump at from the runway, to swing upon and finally 'Highway To Hell' where Brian invites the fans to join the band on their way to hell, to great cheering and enthusiasm from the frenzied crowd, many of whom are wearing flashing devil horns and who will undoubtedly follow their heroes to the ends of the earth if they asked them to, by this time.
Angus Young's riffs are backed solidly throughout by his brother, rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young who once again looks as if someone has plugged him in, as he pounds his way through each song along with bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd backing every note.
Once again the fans are treated to another Angus trademark - his cheeky and hilarious striptease during 'The Jack', as well as over ten minutes of guitar playing genius as he solo's on 'Let There Be Rock'. Add to the mix a giant inflatable 'Rosie' for 'Whole Lotta Rosie' and there is plenty of entertainment value included whilst watching and hearing the sound of AC/DC.
Standouts for me are an amazing 'Thunderstruck' and 'You Shook Me All Night Long' which brought back good memories of my night at Hampden Park. Not every song they played at Hampden is included here and I would have liked to have seen 'Anything Goes' from the Black Ice album included as it was one of my favourites. It seems like the whole set is not included on the dvd but what is included is amazing to watch all the same.
Also included on the dvd as bonus features are a documentary entitled 'The Fan, The Roadie, The Guitar Tech & The Meat' as well as the show's opening animation.
The documentary shows the set being built and everything that goes into getting the show ready and the problems faced, such as River Plate stadium actually having a school underneath and because of this they could only make a noise at certain times of the day, which posed a few problems when building the set. Also featured are some of the fans who are truly fanatical about the band and I can honestly say I have never seen fans like these!
The band themselves feature and finally 'The Meat' which is a reference to the steaks they have been enjoying in Argentina, which are apparently something quite special and also the reason they wanted to perform there joked Angus.
Live At River Plate is an absolute must-have for fans of AC/DC, the filming and picture quality as well as the sound is top notch and captures the band at their very best. AC/DC are as explosive here as the fireworks which feature at the end of the concert.
I enjoyed watching it twice within a few days of my copy arriving after its release last month and it is one I will watch over and over again.