We knew that AC/DC had some pretty hefty demands to be met in order for them to headline Download Festival 2010, but it wasn’t until we arrived on site that we realized just how far the festival has gone to accommodate the bona fide legends. AC/DC have their own stage set up next to the Main stage. It looks absolutely ridiculous. It’s bigger than the “Main” stage. It’s an enormous monument to OTT band demands being indulged without question. How in the name of holy fuck can a band get away with this?
Because they’re AC-fucking-DC, of course, and last night they put on the single best festival performance we’ve ever seen. At any festival. Ever.
When a band’s opening number (‘Rock’n’Roll Train’) is the weakest song they play all night, you know you’re witnessing something beyond special. Tonight the band dropped every single song you could possibly want to here – ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’, ‘Highway To Hell’, ‘Back in motherfucking Black’ – it was like soundtrack to every beer’d up, apocalyptic houseparty you’ve ever had.
Angus Young is so rock’n’roll he probably gets asked to do an encore when taking a bath. Song after song, classic after classic, we’re pummeled into subservient adoration by his still-faultless playing. It’s so awe-inducing that by the time a giant, inflatable woman with giant, inflatable breasts, appears onstage straddling the evil train that’s at the centre of AC/DC’s enormous stage set, we don’t question how silly it is. It’s Rosie, and there’s a whole lot of her.
It’s perverse and paradoxical that AC/DC end their set – and have done almost at almost every show they’ve played since 1982 – with ‘For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)’. No Angus, you’ve got it the wrong way round. It is us, the 90,000 fans here at Download, that should be saluting you. If, as rumoured, this turns out to be AC/DC’s final show on British soil, then they’ve went out with the biggest bang Donington will probably ever see. (words: Hugh Platt)
AC/DC @ Download Festival 2010 setlist
Rock N’ Roll Train
Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be
Back in Black
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Shot Down In Flames
Shoot To Thrill
You Shook Me All Night Long
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock
Highway To Hell
For Those About To Rock