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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

AC/DC

No Bull – The Directors Cut DVD

Review by Greg Olma

AC/DC is one of those bands that is legendary, but if we were to really dig into their album releases stating in the mid-80s through the 90s, we would find a number of records that don’t stand up to previous material.  Sure, there are some great tracks here and there, but I find myself skipping a lot of the material, whereas the earlier records were great start to finish.  While their discs may have been spotty, their live performances were always top notch, and this DVD proves beyond a shadow of doubt why they are and always will be legends.  Filmed in Madrid Spain, this show begins with a wrecking ball (in honor of the Ballbreaker album) and really starts off the concert in fine form.  Oddly, they kicked off the concert with a Back In Black tracs, namely the title track, when on previous tours they opened with a new song.  It really makes no difference because they still play four songs off their (at the time) new Ballbreaker album.  Songs “Hard As a Rock,"“Boogie Man” (which includes the Angus Young strip tease), “Hail Caesar” and the title track fit into the set nicely. Although they are not classic AC/DC, they are all worthy of being included.  One of the best features of an AC/DC concert is that they don’t shy away from older material in favor of newer tracks.  At this show, a third of the set was from the Bon Scott era, which proves not only the strength of the material, but the fact that the band will continue to celebrate all eras of the group no matter how many albums they release.

This DVD is shot insuch a way that it makes you feel like you were at the concert.  No quick cut-aways or jumpy pictures, this film focuses on the action just like a concert attendee.  You get close-ups, but there are also the far shots that give you a glimpse of just how large the stage show was on the Ballbreaker tour.  The band was also firing on all cylinders at this show.  This tour saw the return of Phil Rudd on drums who, in my opinion, is the only drummer for the band.  His no nonsense style is perfect for the music, and the others, while good, never matched the striking performance of Rudd.

Extras on the DVD are just okay.  We get four songs that focus on Angus Young completely, and a couple of bonus tracks from the tour.  “Cover You In Oil” was another Ballbreaker track that was performed on that tour, and “Down Payment Blues” from the hugely underrated Powerage record was performed in Florida on the same tour.  All in all, it's not a lot of extras but considering the main feature, bonus material is not really needed.  I would recommend this DVD because no matter what album the band released, on stage, they always delivered the goods.


This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.


 
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