AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip
On our annual Mike And Aaron Go To Toronto trip this year, Mike and I also did our annual swapping of goodies. This is as much fun as the trip itself, saving stuff up we know the other will like. This year, Mike gave me a bunch of CDs. Awesomely, this one was in the batch!
My lovely wife and I (she was my lovely girlfriend, then) lived in Montreal from 1999-2001. She was a student working towards her Masters degree at Concordia University, during that time.
Late on the evening of August 15, 2000 (I Googled the date) we were out for a walk along Ste-Catherines, as we were wont to do as we lived downtown and we walked everywhere. Montreal is a very walkable city, and it’s very vibrant too, especially downtown in the summertime. We loved never knowing what we were going to see around the next corner. There was always some sort of festival, event, or just people being people everywhere we went. I still miss the city for this reason.
We were just approaching the big, old Hudson Bay building when the rains came down, instantly and hard. We ducked under the awning of the Bay for shelter, just hanging out and waiting for the rain to let up a bit so we could keep going. A blast like that surely would not last long. Suddenly, from east of our position, we heard a lot of hooting and hollering and, as quickly as the rains came, a large group of young people in black t-shirts came running through the rain towards us. They were a jubilant mob, cheering and high-fiving and laughing as they went. In Montreal, this is not an unusual sight.
I shouted to one fellow, to ask what was going on. He shouted back, “The AC/DC concert just ended!” So I shouted back at him, as he disappeared up the sidewalk, “How was the show?” And a whole bunch of the group all yelled back, “IT WAS FUCKING AWESOMMMMME!!! WOOOOOO!!! AC/DC YEAHHHHHH!!!!” Etc and so on…
It was a beautiful thing. Those people were all full of the adrenaline of seeing their heroes live at the Bell Centre, ears still ringing and sure to not get much sleep that night – last call in Montreal was 03:00 so they were clearly headed for the pub for a couple of hours’ drinking before heading home (probably for more drinks). They were running up the street in the rain, pure joy in motion. And THAT is what I thought of when I thought of this album.
Quite simply, it’s a totally satisfying blast of rawk thrown headfirst into a molten pool of blues. This is (yet another) prime example of AC/DC’s supreme, indelible sound. Monstrous riffs hewn from solid rock, verve and swagger and great rawk songs enough to send a mob of young people running up the street in the rain because they could not contain themselves or their own energy. This is a great, great record. Thanks heaps, Mike!