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I am a fan of rock band AC/DC and was fortunate enough to be able to see them perform live at Hampden Park on their last world tour, which is something I thought I would never get to see.
Prior to seeing them live, the nearest I could get to the experience was to watch their live performances on video and dvd.
Stiff Upper Lip was first released on VHS and I first purchased a copy back in 2002. A couple of years ago I purchased it again on dvd format.
Matching the studio album of the same name, the Stiff Upper Lip tour was another great success for the band who blasted back onto the scene following the death of their original frontman Bon Scott in 1980, with one of the biggest selling albums of all time, 'Back In Black' and also a new frontman, the Geordie singer Brian Johnson.
The concert featured here on this dvd was recorded on June 14, 2001 on the band's Stiff Upper Lip Tour at the Olympiastadion in Munich, Germany.
AC/DC always put on a huge show and here is no exception. Both the production and sound quality are superb on both VHS and dvd versions. I own all the AC/DC live releases and enjoy watching them all, however, there is one which was filmed in Spain (No Bull) where I am a little disappointed with the sound quality and actually prefer the VHS copy to the dvd. Thankfully there are no problems here and you can enjoy 140 minutes of watching the band perform live and also feature in an interview.
AC/DC know how to make a grand entrance. Indeed when I saw them live in 2009 a steaming train burst onto the stage as the band make their entrance. Here on Stiff Upper Lip the entrance is just as thrilling as guitarist Angus Young appears on stage doing his legendary duckwalk whilst playing the opening riff of Stiff Upper Lip, before being joined by Brian Johnson's vocals and then suddenly the thunder breaks loose and a gigantic bronze statue of Angus (which Angus himself jokingly refers to as 'Junior' in the interview included on the disc) breaks through the background. It is an impressive sight.
The impressive staging doesn't end there however, as the concert also features the trademark giant 'Hell's Bell' which lowers from the staging during a performance of 'Hells Bells' as Brian takes a long sprint back up to the stage from the runway which goes down into the crowd, before taking a leap and swinging on the rope suspended from the bell to be in sync with its clanging chimes.
Also featured is the giant inflatable 'Rosie' which appears during 'Whole Lotta Rosie' and also there is a rising platform which Angus performs a long solo on much to the delight of the fans.
Speaking of Angus, fans have came to expect a cheeky strip tease on stage when AC/DC perform and once again he does not disappoint as he performs a hilarious strip down to his boxers, which usually always bear a flag of whatever country the band are performing in. Performing on stage in his trademark schoolboy uniform complete with plaster on his knee is always fun to see, but the man is actually a guitar genius and no outfit, duckwalk or staging can take that away from him. Ten minute solos as he runs around the stage are flawless as he pauses only to cup his hand to his ear to gesture to to the crowd to make even more noise. And they duly oblige of course.
The remainder of the band are relentless providing the pounding rhythm throughout and much credit should be given to Malcolm Young (brother of Angus) on rhythm guitar as he does his famous 'plugged in' stance from beginning to end. Phil Rudd on drums and Cliff Williams on bass guitar together provide the beat and rhythm to compliment the Young brothers guitars effortlessly and indeed the whole show appears slick and flawless througout.
The performance of 'Thunderstruck' with its amazing build up to pounding drums and chants of 'Thunder' before Angus takes up the riff, is my favourite perfomance here, just as it was when I saw the band live myself. Other stand out performances for me here are 'Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be' and 'Shoot To Thrill' but there isn't any part of the concert I don't enjoy. 'You Shook Me All Night Long' is a crowd favourite as is 'Let There Be Rock' but the passion from the thousands packed into the stadium never fades as inflatable guitars are waved aloft and flashing horns worn on thousands of heads.
The interview and backstage footage is also worth a watch, but of course the concert is the main reason you want to watch this dvd. It is always good to include some bonus footage or interviews however and I found them interesting to watch here.
If you are a fan of the band then Stiff Upper Lip is a must have for your collection. I am only hoping I get another opportunity to witness them performing live before they decide to call it a day, as watching this dvd brings it home to me time and time again just how good AC/DC are.
Stiff Upper Lip
You Shook Me All Night Long
Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be
Hard As A Rock
Shoot To Thrill
Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution
What Do You Do For Money Honey
Bad Boy Boogie
Up To My Neck In You
Back in Black
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Highway To Hell
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock
For Those About To Rock
Shot Down In Flames
Backstage footage and interview with the band
Stiff Upper Lip currently retails on Amazon priced at £16.98 but it also possible to pick up used copies from £1.98.
This is the 2nd DVD release of the AC/DC boys in action and by all acounts it rocks even more then the 1st DVD (See AC/DC No Bull review) Recorded last June during their German leg of the Stiff Upper Lip tour, this DVD captures all, and more, of what AC/DC are all about - pure electric, rock! They kick off the show with Stiff Upper Lip, which is from the album of the same name that was released in 2000. During this tune we get to see the huge statue (nicknamed 'Junior') of Angus Young appearing from behind the stage and is a great idea for a stage set. The set also includes a rather long 'runway' from the stage to a tower in the middle of the stadium, where there are cameras and audio equipment. Needless to say Angus makes good use of the runway during his solos, there's a camera that follows him up and down to produce a great running shot. Another feature of the set are 2 enormous schoolboy caps with devil horns attached, these are on either side of the stage and a notable trademark of Angus. It's little things such as the camera angles and lighting that gives the DVD a great atmosphere to the viewer and if you're lucky to have surround sound then this will be an experince not to be missed! The sound quality is much improved over No Bull, there is a notable difference between the two DVD's. Although the concert starts in daylight - when the night falls early on that's when you get that feeling of 'being there' - I can't explain it, but I think you know what I mean! The best thing about this obviously are the songs themselves - each one is superb. There are some surprise choices in this DVD, the complete list is Stiff Upper Lip- Awesome opening song! You Shook Me All Night Long - A great sing-a-long tune. Problem Child - An oldie and a goldie from Let There Be Rock. Thunderstruck - Need I say more! :) Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be - Another from LTBR H
ard As A Rock - A favourite from the Ballbreaker album. Shoot To Thrill - One of my very favourite AC?DC tunes. Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution - A classic tune, get's the crowd going big time. What Do You Do For Money Honey - A surprise choice from the Back in Black album. Bad Boy Booige - THIS IS MEGA AWESOME!!! It's also the Angus strip tune! Hells Bells - Even in his 50's, Brian still hangs around on that huge church bell on stage - top stuff. Up To My Neck In You - This has a brilliant, but simple, riff. One of my highlights of the DVD. The Jack - The perinnial crowd pleaser. Back in Black - One of the best AC/DC tunes ever!! Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep - Wicked song - check out that handtapping during the solo! Highway To Hell - :) Whole Lotta Rosie - Blinding performance as ever. Let There Be Rock - This is totally AMAZING. I can't say enough of how good this performance is. T.N.T - Again another classic. For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) - What a way to go!! Shot Down In Flames - Yet another encore, another brill track indeed. There are a couple of rare live tracks in there, mixed with the golden oldies. I think that this is good because obviously having 2 DVD's with the same songs on them would be pointless. Although many of the tunes on this DVD also appear on No Bull, but hey they still rock! Even if the combined age of the band is about 50, they give a performance that many rock bands today would envy. I still sometimes forget that Angus is in his 40's, yet he has so much energy to run around! Malcolm Young yet again gives a star performance on the rythem guitar - this guy must be consider one of the best guitarist ever. He his underrated a little by some, but there's no doubting his skill. Sound options: Dolby Digitl 2.0 Dolby Digitl 5.1 DTS Surround There are the usual DVD options/extras such as subt
itles (if you can't undertand what Brain's singing!), a 10min documentary of the lads just before they go on stage, which includes interviews with all of them. In short I'd say that this DVD is better, slightly, then No Bull, but if you're going to buy this then getting No Bull too is a must do!! I hear rumours that AC/DC are working on new material, it doesn't look like they'll be quitting just yet - so whatch this space....