AC/DC is playing tonight in the Garden…and I’m going.
My stomach is churning and my hands are a little shaky.
I’ve never been this excited for a concert. I’m not a huge concert person, normally, but I’ve seen my fair share of big shows. Yet this is somehow fundamentally different.
AC/DC, I’m coming to realize as the concert approaches, transcends all normal laws of music. Technically they’re heavy metal. But ask any ten people who like AC/DC if they’re fans of heavy metal music and you’ll get a non-committal shrug. Because while AC/DC’s albums get stacked in the heavy metal section, they don’t actually play heavy metal. They’re a rare band that is capable of breaching all genres. Because they don’t have a genre. They just rock.
Their music will flood a dance floor at a crowded bar full of twenty-somethings as well as at a wedding full of fifty-somethings. You can put on “You Shook Me” in a car with three generations of my family in it and every head will start bopping along. They fit in at Bar Mitzvah’s and biker bars. They happily play in commercials for vacuum cleaners and video games. Their songs prop up movie trailers for action movies and spoofs of action movies. They let their music show up everywhere without ever having to worry about losing their artistic credibility simply because they never had any artistic credibility to begin with. They’re AC/DC. They just rock.
That’s part of the excitement for tonight: universal draw. A real pulling together of people. An actual melting pot at the Garden with no judgments. I plan on screaming along with drug addicts and bankers and not giving a shit.
But part of the excitement is also due to my notion that tonight will be nothing but a constant onslaught against my senses that will never let up in a way no other concert I’ve been to has ever been. AC/DC doesn’t slow things down with a ballad. They don’t pause to give speeches about world crises. And, yes, they will play a few songs from their new album that I won’t know. But who cares? You don’t need to actually know their songs to know their songs. It’s not like I’ll know their new songs any less than I know the middle stuff on their old albums. You think I actually know the words to “Have a Drink on Me” or “Who Made Who?” Hell no. You never actually sing along, you just belt out something in a falsetto scream that sounds like Elmo powering through some roid rage and then be sure and hit the chorus right. When I was four years old my brother played “Dirty Deeds” for me and I was running around the house singing along to a song I thought was called “Thunder Chief” in minutes flat. And it was all good. Because it’s AC/DC. Any new songs they play I’m sure I’ll catch on to quickly enough by the third verse.
Which leaves me with only worries for tonight. Worries that are wonderfully unique. Worries like, “How am I ever going to pick a good time to go to the bathroom?” Or, “They’re still allowed to fire off real cannons during a concert, right?” And, “If someone head butts me, do I high-five them back or return their head-butt greeting in kind?”
But the worries are fading as now it’s getting time to leave. My concert t-shirt is on. My whole body is wired. A smile is permanently spread across my face.
AC/DC is playing at the Garden tonight. And I am very much prepared to rock.