AC / DC- No Bull – live DVD

Ash Akhtar 09/12/2008

Rating: 4.5/5

It takes balls to destroy your stage set before you play your first song: but with the use of a wrecking ball - that's just what AC/DC do.

Shot during one of the three shows the band played at Madrid's magnificent Plaza De Toros in 1996 during the mammoth year long Ballbreaker tour, No Bull lasts two hours and features 20 tracks spanning Acca's epic career. This re-release improves not only on the original '96 version (sporting newly mixed and mastered sound along with a stunning transfer to DVD), but also on their earlier, inferior 1991 performance, Live at Donnington.

Second only to The Beatles when it comes to band record sales; and with latest album Black Ice accompanied with the announcement of a world tour, support for the group continues to be fervent. On the evidence of this performance, those holding tickets to the 2009 tour have a great deal to look forward to.

Immediately after demolishing the set, the band opens to the capacity crowd with rock anthem Back in Black. This level of confidence is consistent throughout the concert, with entertainment high on AC / DC's agenda.

The solid drumming of Phil Rudd is beset by the rhythms of Malcolm Young and Cliff Williams leaving eminent showmen Angus Young and Brian Johnson free to run free. And when I say run free - they both literally run from stage left to stage right utilising every centimetre available - pausing only to catch breath and rock some more. It's almost unsurprising to see Angus perform a hilarious striptease during his solo on the bluesy Boogie Man. His performance alone will leave you exhausted.

With each song typified by Angus and Malcolm's signature staccato, overdriven, open-chords; driving rhythm and Brian's screeching vocals; the cynical viewer may wonder what this band of elders has to offer. It's simple: AC / DC embody every rock n' roll cliché. Pyrotechnics, extended guitar solos (this DVD is a guitarist's wet dream), exaggerated writhing, cannons, overblown sets (the vast inflatable of Rosie), cages, the devil and sexual innuendo are all present here. But what separates AC / DC from every other 'rock' band employing these techniques is the incredible quality of their back catalogue.

Though the DVD offers a couple of less well known songs along with some miserly extras; I heavily recommend buying this DVD, grabbing your air guitar and cranking the volume to 11.

For those about to rock - I salute you.