Magnetic Hill Music Festival – AC/DC !

Posted: 14th December 2009 by refrainmusic in Concerts

Most rumors start as a whisper, this whisper started about 4 years ago, it grew and grew into a roar! The minute that the city announced that it had scored the biggest concert in the Maritimes, ever, with the Rolling Stones…people thought…’hmmm, if they can pull that off’. So it began, the whisper grew louder and what was that whisper? Fans…many fans, expressing their desire that one of the most popular rock and roll bands of all time be brought to ‘the hill’. What started as a whisper began to ring like ‘hells bells’, a loud and resounding chorus…bring AC/DC!
AC/DC…that Australian band formed in 1973 by Scottish born brothers Angus and Malcolm Young. From their first successful album with then lead singer Bon Scott (R.I.P.) of ‘Highway To Hell’ to their second album that made them international stars Back In Black. They went on to release their third album, For Those About To Rock We Salute You, which rose to number one status in the US, a first for the band. As of 2008, AC/DC have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, including 71 million albums in the United States. Back in Black has sold an estimated 45 million units worldwide, making it the highest-selling album by any band and the 2nd highest-selling album in history, behind “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.
Fast forward to 2009 and one of the “worst kept secrets” in the history of concerts was about to come to fruition, the city signed the contract and one of the most popular tours in the world was coming to Moncton…August 6th / 2009…AC / DC was going to rock the hill! For Those About To Rock, We Salute You…indeed!
Now some at first wondered what the city was thinking, why you ask, because they booked this concert on a “Thursday”. Many didn’t understand that AC/DC were currently in the middle of a huge world tour, and if Moncton wanted to be ‘fit in’, that was the date that was available…honestly it didn’t matter.
Normally I would have been mixed in with the crowd for a show of this magnitude but that is one interesting thing about this venue. At the top of the hill are people’s every day homes, they live there year round and get one of the best seats in the house for every show. Now a friend of mine found out he could gain us access, for a fee of course, to one of the parties in the back yard of one of these homes. Perfect!
Concert day arrived and of course the city was a buzz with concert activity from ‘out of town’ folk rolling into town, to locals adjusting to the buzz and remember, it being Thursday with the concert gates opening at 4pm, there was ‘rush hour’ to contend with. “The Answer” the first opening act for today’s big rock show were taking the stage, people were rolling onto the hill, the sun was shining and it was gonna be a great evening. The Answer are a rock band from Northern Ireland that has recently begun to get some acclaim with their sound warranting opening gigs for the likes of Whitesnake, The Rolling Stones and of course, AC/DC…I definitely heard some Zeppelin influence in their style. Next up were, believe it or not, were those heavily influencing sounds of the band Anvil! Anvil has been around since the late seventies to early eighties and have been credited for influencing such bands as Metallica. Anvil has released thirteen studio albums, have been around for 31 years, have had a documentary made about them, and can still bang out a lot of noise on stage! They put on a pretty good show, swear like troopers, and rock hard!
As the sun set, the light dimmed, the crowd was still rolling in and from our vantage point we started to notice an odd ‘flickering’ amongst the crowd of spectators awaiting the arrival of the main act as they still were streaming into the site. We then realized, that the thousands of red colored ‘devil horns’ that we saw people wearing on their heads as they entered the site were now blinking on and off in the dim light of sunset. Sometimes Angus Young, the guitarist for AC/DC like to perform his “devils horns” act, usually just before playing “Highway To Hell”…adorning the top of the stage on either side were two gigantic red hat’s with devil’s horns and the letter “A” emblazoned on the front (later these would light up bright red while the band played). So now picture this, at least a third of seventy thousand plus people, scattered throughout the crowd, blinking through the whole show; it was like tens of thousands of red colored lightning bugs attending the biggest concert of the summer.
As darkness settled over the city and the lights of the city in behind the stage came to life, so too did the giant screen on the back of the stage, and so too did the crowd. As a video of a traing took us on a cartoon ride through AC/DC land, the crowd electrified, and began to roar with the anticipation of the band taking the stage. With a blast of electric guitar and blinding stage lights AC/DC took the stage and blew through two hours of fantastic rock & roll! They hit us with old standards like Highway to Hell, Back in Black, and For Those About To Rock (We Salute You), they teased us with new songs like Rock & Rock Train, Big Jack, and Black Ice, and they blew us away with a 15-20 minute Angus Young guitar solo, and songs like Thunderstruck and You Shook Me All Night Long! The band finished the night with a massive blast of fireworks shooting out above the stage, thrilling the crowd into even louder excited cheers!
The moon rose over the stage, fireworks flew into the air, the band rocked, the crowd roared (and blinked) through the night and seventy thousand plus rolled out of the Magnetic Hill Music Festival, once again, rocked, and rolled, and shook all night long!

Now the next whispers begin…some are whispering “U2”, some Springsteen, but we will have to wait until early 2010 to see just who it’s gonna be! For Those About To Rock…We Salute You!

Magnetic Hill - AC/DC stage!