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AC/DC Play Last ‘Rock or Bust’ Show in Philadelphia: Photos, Set List, Review

The AC/DC tour with Axl Rose at the mic has finally come to an end, with the last of the rescheduled dates in North America taking place last night in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center. A sold-out crowd of nearly 20,000 were on hand for the show, the 22nd of the group’s shows performed around the world since singer Brian Johnson had to bow out due to an issue with his hearing.

Opening up with “Rock Or Bust,” Angus Young and Co. ripped through the 25 song set – the longest of the tour, and maybe ever in AC/DC history – in what would mark the end of longtime bassist Cliff Williams’ tenure in the band. Angus honored Williams as the final notes to “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” rang out by coaxing him to the front of the stage in acknowledgement of his nearly 40 year run with the group.

Yet while it was the end of the Williams-era for AC/DC, the show felt nothing like a finale other than it being the end of a tour, despite the bassist’s exit leaving Angus as the sole original member. The energy Rose has injected into Young’s playing seems to be off the charts; the guitarist looked spry and fresh at 61 years of age, duck-walking, jumping about and running nonstop throughout the two-hour set. And while there were some refunds given for the Philadelphia show and the other 20-odd rescheduled dates with the Guns N’ Roses frontman, for the most part he was warmly received.

There seems to be a sense among fans – and maybe Young as well – that the group has endured so much tragedy and discord, from the 1980 death of original singer Bon Scott through the more recent bizarre legal saga of drummer Phil Rudd and ultimately Johnson’s departure, that existing on any level at all is a bonus. The crowd was awash in a sea of $15 light-up devil horns last night. Fans rocked fervently to the hits “Thunderstruck,” “Back In Black” and “Highway to Hell” in appreciation of Angus continuing to hold the AC/DC torch aloft and refusing to let the band be – pardon the pun – shot down in flames.

What the future holds for AC/DC is anyone’s guess, but what once seemed absolutely incongruous with Rose in the singer slot has revitalized a unit that while not particularly stale, has benefited from his dedication to nailing the material and bringing out songs that hardcore fans have been hoping against hope to hear for years. When the opening notes of “Problem Child” kicked in during the encore after “Riff Raff,” thousands of jaws dropped at the same time upon realizing this was the song’s first performance by AC/DC in a decade and a half. It’s hard to imagine even the most zealous fans not appreciating that and, even if it’s out of sheer curiosity, wondering what will come next.

AC/DC Performing ‘Problem Child’ – 9/20/16

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AC/DC 9/20/16 Philadelphia Set List

“Rock Or Bust”
“Shoot To Thrill”
“Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be”
“Back In Black”
“Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder”
“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”
“Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation”
“Thunderstruck”
“High Voltage”
“Rock ‘N’ Roll Train”
“Hells Bells”
“Given The Dog A Bone”
“If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)”
“Live Wire”
“Sin City”
“You Shook Me All Night Long”
“Shot Down In Flames”
“Have A Drink On Me”
“T.N.T.”
“Whole Lotta Rosie”
“Let There Be Rock”

Encore:
“Highway To Hell”
“Riff Raff”
“Problem Child”
“For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)”

Revisiting AC/DC's Chaotic 'Rock or Bust' Tour

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