Last night marked a very singular kind of world premiere for AC/DC’s new album Rock Or Bust, as Columbia Records took over NYC’s Webster Hall for a two-hour, free public playback of the full album two weeks before it hits stores on December 2. Most listening parties we end up at are more intimate affairs at best and background playbacks at worst, but this was on a different level altogether.
Swarming with fans across Webster’s extensive 1,500-capacity main performance hall, we saw everything from standup cutouts of Angus Young to exclusive AC/DC shirts, two prop cannons on stage and (only visible if you arrived at the start or stayed through to the end as fans left) the band logo’s famous lightning bolt adorning the floor. And that’s not even including Brian Johnson, Angus Young and producer Brendan O’Brien, who surprised everyone in attendance by walking onto the stage after the full playback concluded to introduce a new video for the title track. Rarely have there been so many forty-somethings grinning like kids on Christmas in one place.
And as for the album itself, it’s not just an AC/DC record – it’s a really good, groovy AC/DC record! Stevie Young sounds right at home with the band, and the hooks, riffs and vocal lines are so ironclad that Phil Rudd’s legal woes won’t slow Australia’s favorite sons down anytime soon. If you told us they wrote this at age 30, we’d fully believe it.
A few photos from the night after the jump.