Speaking as someone who is generally perceived be the epitome of an “indie boy” (well, that’s what my girlfriend calls me) I’ve, until recently, been a bit sniffy about the kind of rock (rawk?) music which tends to attract fans to the Download Festival and the last day of Reading.
Speaking of Reading, it was long rumoured, in fact generally assumed, that the ‘rock day’ headliner this year would be AC/DC – they’ve been trying to get them for years, they are on tour – the planets were aligned on this one.
But it didn’t happen, and there isn’t even a ‘rock day’ on the main stage at all. But the organisers should have moved heaven and earth to get them – because their performance at London’s O2 Arena last night was without the doubt the best arena show I have ever seen.
Everything about it was perfect – the punishing volume, the choice of songs (five new album tracks and THE HITS), the audience’s frenzied reaction, and the sheer spectacle. You can read about all that in our news story.
But when I was on the way home, I couldn’t help thinking that if those boys were to headline a festival, they would make everyone else sound unspeakably lame. Although having said that, if they had done Reading, the organisers would have had to do something about the sound restrictions. Maybe that’s what AC/DC were concerned about, as they were in talks, but subsequently chose to do their own summer stadium shows instead.
Anyway, the idea of watching Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon and even the mighty Radiohead doesn’t seem quite as exciting now. In fact, I’m worried that whoever I see in the future will just pale in comparison to what I’ve just witnessed.
To those who rocked, I salute you – including this bloke, who was one of the many middle-aged men wearing schoolboy outfits in homage to Angus Young: