AC/DC, Anvil & The Answer in concert at Gillette Stadium (Foxboro, MA) – 7/28/09

The AC/DC show was the third Heavy Metal concert of the season and fourth show this summer (I went to Billy Joel/Elton John 2 weeks ago at Gillette Stadium). Originally, I wasn’t going to go, I saw AC/DC on the STIFF UPPER LIP Tour years ago and I didn’t really want to pay the $100+ for a decent seat. I ended up getting the fever for the concert when Anvil was added to the bill and ticket deals started popping up on Ticketmaster. I grabbed 2 tickets at $50 each and went with my father-in-law to the show. Great seats: Section 102, Row 18, Seats 14 & 15 (on the aisle)…..2 sections over from my endzone Patriots season tickets!

The Answer setlist:

The tickets said the show started at 6pm so we were in the arena for 5:45pm and I showed my father-in-law the stadium. Around 6:30, The Answer came on…..they played about 30 minutes and there were definitely 6 songs. There was a small crowd and they got a decent reaction. Unfortunately, the two Answer CDs I own are sitting on my desk in a pile of discs I haven’t really listened to yet so I wasn’t familiar with any of the songs. The Answer has an AC/DC-ish sound so they are definitely a good fit for the opening slot on the tour.

Anvil setlist:

March Of The Crabs
This Is Thirteen
666
School Love
Winged Assassins
Race Against Time
White Rhino
Metal On Metal

I have been an Anvil fan for a long time. A lot of people say that nowadays because of the buzz the Anvil movie has created and the backing by VH-1 Classic but I remember listening to FORGED IN FIRE on a record store turntable back in 1983 and I’ve had some of the early albums since they were released. The latest album, THIS IS THIRTEEN (2007), is a great record and it’s getting a re-release this Fall and the band is gaining momentum with heavyweights like AC/DC in their corner. Rumor is that Angus Young himself wanted Anvil added to part of the tour because he thought the Anvil story was incredible! No matter the reasons, Anvil took the stage and I went mental! I missed the band this past April when they played a small venue outside Boston on their movie promotional tour so this was my glory moment.

Lips, Robbo and Glenn 5 tore into the instrumental ‘March Of The Crabs’ and then gave up ‘This Is Thirteen’. I sang every word to the title track and the people behind me thought I was some weirdo. Actually, I sang every word to the entire set! The highlights for me were ‘This Is Thirteen’, ‘Winged Assassins’, ‘School Love’ and ‘Metal On Metal’. I could have done without a second instrumental but ‘White Rhino’ was a Robb Reiner drum solo showcase. I had looked up the band’s Castle Donnington set earlier in the day and they played a few classics that I hoped they would play at this show (‘Jackhammer’, ‘Mothra’ & ‘Forged In Fire’) but time was a factor and AC/DC was the main attraction. The band had a great response from the growing crowd and there were a few old school metalheads out there besides me who knew the songs. I was able to hopefully convert a few teenagers and turn them on to Anvil with my encyclopedic Metal mind and enthusiasm for the set. Anvil were my conquering heroes of the night and I went up right after their set and proudly bought my $35 Anvil tour shirt!

AC/DC setlist:

Rock ‘N Roll Train
Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
Back In Black
Big Jack
Shot Down In Flames
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Thunderstruck
Black Ice
The Jack
Hells Bells
Shoot To Thrill
War Machine
Dog Eat Dog
Anything Goes
You Shook Me All Night Long
TNT
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock (with extended Angus solo)

Encore:
Highway To Hell
For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

The band everyone came to see…..AC/DC came on about 30 minutes after Anvil as the sun was setting on the stadium and the band absolutely kicked ass! AC/DC’s music is timeless, everyone knows the songs and the crowd was singing along to almost every word. It was a high energy set of 20 songs, 5 came from the new album BLACK ICE (2008), 4 from LET THERE BE ROCK (1977) and 4 off the classic BACK IN BLACK (1980). The set had a few predictable songs along with the BACK IN BLACK tunes like ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’,  ‘Dirty Deeds’ and ‘TNT’ but there were a few songs for the diehards like ‘Dog Eat Dog’, ‘Let There Be Rock’ and ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’.

The show started out with a quick cartoon on the big screens to get the crowd pumped up…..nothing like seeing a devilish Angus, fighting some women and an out of control train to get the crowd cheering! The band roared into ‘Rock ‘N Roll Train’, complete with a big train engine on stage above Phil Rudd’s drums, and then into the deep track of ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’. I was psyched right away but the crowd picked up a lot more when they heard the opening riff to ‘Back In Black’. With the exception of the new songs and a couple of oldies, most of the set was songs everyone knew, AC/DC gets a ton of airplay in New England. I thought all of the new songs went over pretty well live but the highlights for me were ‘Rock ‘N Roll Train’, the heavy ‘War Machine’ and ‘Anything Goes’. That’s not to say that ‘Big Jack’ and ‘Black Ice’ were bad, I just like the others better. The good news is that there was a lot of sing-a-long to the new songs so the BLACK ICE record has reached a lot of people.

The other 15 songs were all AC/DC classics from both the Bon Scott years and Brian Johnson’s tenure. Obviously, the more popular songs were crowd favorites but I was excited when they played the songs off LET THERE BE ROCK. ‘Dog Eat Dog’ and ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’ were surprises for me. ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ had the band’s trademark “Rosie” balloon riding the big train above the drums and the set closer, ‘Let There Be Rock’, clocked in close to 15 minutes with an extended Angus guitar solo. The cool thing was the catwalk the band had from the main stage to a small stage in the middle of the floor…..this is where the majority of Angus’ solo was played, complete with pyro, confetti and smoke! A couple of other crowd favorites were ‘The Jack’ and ‘Thunderstruck’. Gillette Stadium is the home of the New England Patriots and ‘Thunderstruck’ has been a staple at the games since the mid-’90s to get the crowd pumped up for kickoffs. It’s almost a team anthem! The crowd went nuts for that song. During ‘The Jack’ the cameras focused on a lot of pretty girls in the crowd and put them on the big screen. Two people the camera caught (not women) were actors David Spade and Chris Rock…..Spade was clear as day singing along and fistpounding but Chris Rock was shown just as the camera started to pan away. It was cool though and the crowd threw up a big cheer, maybe bigger than some of the girls on the screen!

The band closed with the classic ‘Highway To Hell’ and the full cannon blast of ‘For Those About To Rock’…..both expertly done. As the band left the stage there was a nice fireworks display that delayed the bulk of the crowd, this helped my father-in-law and I get out of our section and up the ramps to leave before the bulk of the crowd created a massive jam to get out. Overall, AC/DC was in top form and had a great sound. Say what you want about all the songs sounding the same or the band getting older (Brian Johnson is 62!), the band can Rock and they blew apart the Foxboro crowd. Definitely a great concert and I’m glad I went. If the rumors are true and this is the band’s final tour, I’m glad I got to experience them live one more time.

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7 comments on “AC/DC, Anvil & The Answer in concert at Gillette Stadium (Foxboro, MA) – 7/28/09

  1. I am so happy for ANVIL. They always have been one of my fave bands too and its great what is happening to them. They deserve all of it. Hail to them forever and hail to you Steve. Have a great summer. Greatings from Spain,
    Rene

  2. Again, it’s so awesome AC/DC took Anvil out. It’s only for a few shows though, right?

    Great set list from AC/DC. Good to see they didn’t restrict BLACK ICE to just one or two songs.

  3. Hey man, thanks for posting this! I was curious to see the Anvil setlist so glad someone else out there cares! I’m seeing them open for AC/DC tomorrow in Moncton, NB Canada.

    I’m excited for March Of The Crabs, School Love, Winged Assassins and of course Metal On Metal. Too bad though about no Jackhammer after MotC and no Mothra.

  4. I was sitting on a park bench one summer, looked at the guy next to me…I said” you’re steve from Anvil. he said yeah. He lives on the opposite side of my street. Wow! a legendary metal god is my neighbour.

  5. then while at the CNE on September 6th, 2009 i saw Rob Reiner standing there with some other person. Got our picture taken with him. (Me and my gal)

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