Thursday, August 6, 2009

Have an "Ice" Thursday

It's here.

Concert Day.

For the first time ever, tens of thousands of Maritime Canadians have descended upon Moncton, NB, eagerly handing over cash and credit card info to soak up a re-charged version of a brand, essentially unchanged for the past three decades.

Australian rockers AC/DC have rolled into town, supporting "Black Ice", their fifteenth studio album released worldwide in October 2008. It's their first album since the release of Stiff Upper Lip in 2000, also marks the longest gap between AC/DC's studio albums to date.

Incredibly, the product remains relevant while the band refuses to compromise its winning brand formula:

- Angus Young attired in a school boy outfit doing the Chuck Berry duck walk.
- Brian Johnson howling the vocals, doffed with trademark flatcap.
- Malcolm Young and Cliff Williams supplying a stationary stage presence from the flanks, designed to keep the spotlight on the guys up front.
- Phil Rudd maintaining a rock solid beat - minus any drum rolls.

With AC/DC there are no concept albums, no keyboards, no disco, no ballads, no gospel choirs. And "Black Ice" is their best argument in years — maybe decades — that elegance and longevity can be discovered within simplicity. AC/DC discovered their strengths early, stuck to their musical guns and remain a staple in a world of constant change. Even when Englishman Brian Johnson replaced the late Bon Scott in 1980 on vocals, this rock and roll war machine re-tooled and kept churning.

And now the "Thunder from Down Under" has the Moncton area buzzing with unparalleled anticipation.

Hardcore fan Don Coleman captured the feeling when he and some of his Albert County pals got together and fused imagination with a video camera.

Based on earlier tour stops, here is what fans can expect tonight at Moncton's Magnetic Hill concert site once AC/DC hits the stage.


Rock n Roll Train
Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be
Back In Black
Big Jack
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Shot Down in Flames
Black Ice
The Jack
Hells Bells
Shoot to Thrill
War Machine
Dog Eat Dog
Anything Goes
You Shook Me All Night Long
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock


Highway To Hell
For Those About To Rock

When the Young Brothers started in the early 70's, nobody knew who they were, yet they built their careers and their brand by sticking to foundational principles, clearly evident in "Black Ice", AC/DC's longest studio album to date. Some fans call it the bands best release since 1980's legendary "Back in Black".

But how do they pull it off?

In other words, why do legions of fans gobble up even more records, concert tickets and merchandise from a band that has not changed either its look or sound (for the most part) since 1973? How many other acts do you know that have gone this far by just sticking to the basics?

Is there something in the AC/DC approach that could amplify your brand?

"There are all sorts of cute puppy dogs, but it doesn't stop people from going out and buying Dobermans" ANGUS YOUNG


marketing maven said...

Gair - rock out for me... wish I was going!! I will look forward to a play-by-play from you in the coming days and I'm sure I'll feel as if I was there!

Steve said...

Great thoughts on AC/DC! They are a fantastic brand. I posted a similarly-themed piece back in May on the topic: