The show, which took place on Saturday 7th October was an absolute banger, and consisted of twenty-four songs, however some biggies didn’t make the set, while other deeper cuts surprised even the most ardent acca dacca aficionado. There was also the small matter of which songs from 2020’s ‘Power Up’ they’d debut. Here we put the finger on ten facts about the Power Trip set.
1. They Played 12 Brian Johnson-era Songs, and 12 Bon Scott Classics.
Giving an even nod to both eras, the set was equally divided between the Bon and Brian tenures. Although Johnson has spent significantly more time with the band and sang on more albums - 43 years vs Scott’s 6, recording 11 albums vs. Bon's 6 - the Bon era is unquestionably where most of their greatest material comes from. The question is; was this split a conscious decision?
2. They Performed Six of ‘Back in Black’s Nine Songs.
Bon may have had most of the best tunes, but Brian helped give AC/DC their greatest success. Certified an incredible 25 x platinum, 'Back in Black' is one of the best-selling albums of all time, and is arguably their greatest work. It’s no surprise then that so many of its songs ended up in the set. The band performed - in order - the title track, ‘Have a Drink on Me’, Hells Bells’, ‘Shoot to Thrill’, ‘Givin the Dog a Bone’, and ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’.
3. ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)' Got its First Outing as Set Opener.
A real fan-favourite, ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)' got its debut as a show opener at Power Trip. In fact, the 1979 track has only been performed a handful of times - nine, to be specific - with Johnson at the helm, where it last made the set on their short 2003 run. The song however, was brought back when Axl Rose stepped in to cover the remaining dates on the ‘Rock or Bust’ tour in 2016, when Johnson was forced to pull out of the tour due to hearing issues.
4. They Debuted Only Two Songs From ‘Power Up’.
Only ‘Shot in the Dark’ and ‘Demon Fire’ from their latest album made the set. Okay, so this was different; ‘Power Up’ has been out for three years, and the Indio show wasn’t a normal tour opener, but AC/DC usually push their new album harder. The opening night of the ‘Rock or Bust’ world tour in Arnhem, Netherlands in 2015 saw three songs from that album, while 2009’s ‘Black Ice’ had five songs debuted on its opening night in Cleveland, Ohio in 2009 by comparison. Perhaps if we’re lucky enough to see a rumoured 2024 tour, they’ll break out 'Realize', or 'Though The Mists of Time' which deserve an airing.
5. There Were No songs From the 1980s After ‘Back in Black’.
Okay, there was one, the colossal show-closer ‘For Those About to Rock (We Salute You), but other than that, they completely ignored their most bombastic period. Clearly they can’t play them all, but in ‘Who Made Who’, ‘Sink the Pink’, and even ‘Heatseeker’, the ‘80s contain some real AC/DC gems. While we’re asking, ‘Fly on the Wall’ - last appearance, 1986 - and even the never performed ‘Nervous Shakedown’ or ‘Kissin’ Dynamite’ would make great additions for the deep-diving fan.
Actually, six, if you count their 1975 Australian debut ‘High Voltage’ (which doesn’t include the song ‘High Voltage’). These were; ‘Flick of the Switch’ (1983), ‘Fly on the Wall’ (1985), ‘Blow Up Your Video’ (1988), Ballbreaker’ (1996), and ‘Rock or Bust’ (2014).
7. They Performed Every Single Bon Scott Title-Track.
From ‘High Voltage’ to 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ to 'Let There Be Rock’ to 'Highway to Hell’, AC/DC played every single album title track, save for ‘Powerage’, which doesn’t have one. ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’ is also the name of their 1978 live set, while ‘T.N.T’ is the title of their 1975 Australia-only release, adding to the tally of six title-tracks in all. Additionally, three from the Johnson-era made it in ‘Back in Black’, ‘For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)’, and ‘Stiff Upper Lip’.
8. ‘Riff Raff’ Made Its Live Debut With Brian Johnson.
The opening track from 1978’s live album ‘If You Want Blood You’ve Got It’, ‘Riff Raff’ is taken from Keith Richards’ favourite AC/DC album ‘Powerage’. The band however retired it with the passing of Bon Scott. Although it returned to the set in 2016 with the Axl Rose-fronted version of the band, Johnson had only sang the song once, during a TV Special recorded for VH1 in 1996. Its addition to the Power Trip set then, marked the first time that Johnson had sang it in front of a live audience.
9. Nine of Their Ten Most-Played Songs on Spotify Made the Cut.
If you want to gauge a band’s most popular songs, a quick look at Spotify tells you all you need to know. With ‘Highway to Hell’, ‘Thunderstruck’ and ‘Back in Black’ all having surpassed over 1.2 billion streams, it’s no surprise that these made the set, with ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ and ‘T.N.T’ not far behind. Also on that list are 'Shoot to Thrill', 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap', and 'Rock and Roll Train'. The only song in the top ten not to make the set was 1976’s ‘It’s A Long Way to The Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll)’. Given its long time association with Scott, and that they haven’t played it live since 1979, this is hardly a surprise, however.
10. They Didn’t Play Their All-Time Number One Most-Performed Song.
At 1,743 performances according to Setlist.fm, ‘The Jack’ is the song that AC/DC have performed more than any other. Traditionally extended for Angus to perform his striptease, it was a mainstay until the ‘Rock or Bust’ tour. The band have even performed it at Power Trip's venue, the Empire Polo Club, back when they played at Coachella in 2015. With the lengthy routine being dropped altogether, they may have felt it was time to retire the song.
Whether fronted by Bon, Brian, Axl, or even original vocalist Dave Evans, the world is a better place for having AC/DC in it. Let's hope that Power Trip is just the beginning of the next chapter in their fifty year story.