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Monday, August 3, 2009

Moncton, NB will be the biggest show on AC/DC tour

Thursday's concert by legendary Australian rockers AC/DC will likely be the biggest and flashiest on the band's seven-date Canadian tour, with Moncton's outdoor venue bringing in more than baseball and football stadiums in other parts of the country and the U.S.


"Right now, Moncton is the biggest show on the tour," said Ken Craig, the production manager for Donald K. Donald Events.



Although promoters won't say exactly how many tickets have been sold for Thursday's show at the Magnetic Hill Concert Site, it's expected that AC/DC will draw a crowd similar in size to the 80,000 that came for the Rolling Stones in 2005. Last year's concert by the Eagles drew a crowd of 55,000 to Moncton, while approximately 50,000 turned out in Halifax last month to see Paul McCartney.


Craig, who works out of an office in Ottawa, has been busy over the last few weeks co-coordinating logistics with the AC/DC crew for all seven shows in Canada this month.


It's a huge job to make arrangements for the dozens of tractor-trailers needed to move staging and electronic gear all over the country.

More than 200 people will be working at the site over the next few days to set up the stage, light towers, video screens, sound equipment and special effects for the AC/DC show. Everything needs to be in place before Thursday's sound checks.


The job of taking it all apart and cleaning up the mess begins immediately after the show ends on Thursday night.


The latest leg of AC/DC's Black Ice World Tour kicked off in Boston Tuesday night with a show at the Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots NFL team. From there, they went to Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey Friday night and played last night at the Times Union Arena in Albany, N.Y.


Most of the baseball and football stadiums in North America have a capacity of 50,000 to 70,000 and are mainly reserved seating with huge grandstands and temporary seating on the floor. But the Magnetic Hill Concert Site is a huge natural amphitheatre situated on the side of a grassy hill. City officials say it could accommodate a crowd of 100,000. By comparison, last year's free show by Paul McCartney on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City drew an estimated 250,000 people.


It was reported earlier this year that U2 had sold 90,000 tickets for an October show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.


AC/DC's Canadian tour will take the band to the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Scotiabank Arena in Ottawa, the Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg, Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton and B.C. Place in Vancouver.


The Magnetic Hill site set-up for AC/DC will be basically the same as it has been for previous concerts by the Rolling Stones, Eagles and Bon Jovi. One of the main differences will be a larger licensed area that extends closer to the stage to accommodate more people. At the Bon Jovi show, people who wanted to get closer to the stage had to finish their drinks and leave the licensed area.


Another big difference, which showed up on the site plan provided by the city this week, is a different set of barricades in front of the stage. Normally, there is a steel fence or barricade set up about 10 feet in front of the stage to act as a wall between the crowd and the band. For this show, a second barricade will be set up a few metres further away from the stage to provide more protection from crowd surges. With so many people, there is a possibility that those against the fence could be crushed. The secondary barricades are set up like wings fanning out from a secondary stage that extend out toward the sound and light towers. This secondary stage will allow the performers to walk or run (or in Angus Young's case, do the duck walk while playing guitar) out into the crowd.


According to online reviews this week, the AC/DC show runs a little over two hours, beginning with a two-minute video and ending with two-minute fireworks display. Opening acts for the show are Irish blues-rock group The Answer and Canadian heavy metal band Anvil, who played for 34 minutes and 44 minutes respectively. According to reports from the Foxborough show, AC/DC opened the show with Rock N' Roll Train, with a giant steam locomotive smashing onto the stage, and finished with the anthemic For Those About To Rock, We Salute You, punctuated by exploding cannons and fireworks. Through the set, AC/DC performed such well-known hits as Back in Black, Big Jack, Shot Down in Flames, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Thunderstruck, The Jack, Hells Bells, Shoot to Thrill, War Machine, Anything Goes, You Shook Me All Night Long, T.N.T., Whole Lotta Rosie, Let There Be Rock and Highway to Hell.


Read the rest of the article here. Source: Times & Transcript.


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