Even if there’s only a slight chance of AC/DC reuniting for one final album and tour, I want to prepare myself for the day I get to see these rockers in person. The lineup would consist of hopefully, Angus Young, Brian Johnson, Stevie Young, Cliff Williams, and Phil Rudd. After watching many virtual AC/DC concerts, I’ve noticed two things 1) They tend to play a lot of songs from Bon Scott’s era, and 2) They completely tossed aside their catalog from 1983 – 2000. Black Ice (2008) is an exception because AC/DC still played “Rock ‘n’ Roll Train” on the Rock or Bust tour, but come on! I feel so bad that Brian never got to play his songs live anymore unless it was from Back in Black (1980).
So, which songs would I add to AC/DC’s setlist? The songs that I picked range from Back in Black (1980) to Stiff Upper Lip (2000).
1. “C.O.D.” from For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981)
It’s got a good groove, thanks to the dangerous riff and Phil Rudd’s drums, and it’s my favorite song on the For Those About to Rock album. The title track gets a lot of recognition, and I’m not complaining about that, but come on, give the other songs a chance! I know artists have to play the hits to get audiences excited, but “C.O.D.” is such a badass song! Brian Johnson’s vocals may not be all there anymore, but I’m sure he’ll find a way to deliver.
2. “Shake Your Foundations” from Fly on the Wall (1985)
Fly on the Wall (1985) got a lot of hate because of the lack of production, yet it worked because they went against what 80s bands were doing at the time. It was loud, raw, aggressive, and something that made your parents extremely scared. AC/DC wasn’t going to wear black eyeliner, leather jackets, change their hair, and add synthesizers to their stuff. F*ck that, they’re AC/DC! “Shake Your Foundations” sounded great on the respective tour, and the title of the song screams, ‘Play me live, and I’ll tear the roof off this place!’
3. “Flick of the Switch” from Flick of the Switch (1983)
Flick of the Switch is one of the many underrated albums in AC/DC’s catalog. It took me a while to get into this song, but it’s one of the better tracks on the album. I love the 80s hair metal bands like Poison, Mötley Crüe, and Def Leppard (though technically they are not hair metal, however, they were at their peak during that time), but, I feel so bad that AC/DC hit a rough patch during the 80s. But you know, honestly, if you look at For Those About to Rock and Flick of the Switch, other than the production, it’s still AC/DC, so there was no reason for people to hate the latter in the first place!
4. “Girls Got Rhythm” from Highway to Hell (1979)
Malcolm Young is a genius! The riff is different, addictive, and almost like an earworm (a good one)! I haven’t heard anything like it before. When people think of Highway to Hell (1979), they think of the title track, but it was so much more than that. I’ve heard that song a million times in movies, Wild Hogs being the main one, but I never dug deep into it (it sounded cool, though). I regret not doing any research on AC/DC back then, like a lot of oldies bands, because I only thought of the big hits and suspected that they had nothing else. The majority believe that “Highway to Hell” is the real banger on that album, but I think it’s “Girls Got Rhythm”!
5. “Hard as a Rock” from Ballbreaker (1995)
The opening riff is very melodic, and the band took a more blues approach with this album compared to The Razor’s Edge (1990). The Ballbreaker (1995) album is one of my favorites because it marked the return of Rudd on drums; it’s like AC/DC’s energy was restored when Rudd rejoined the group. I can name a few of my favorite tracks: “Boogie Man,” “Cover You in Oil,” “Hail Caesar,” and “Whiskey on the Rocks.” But the real badass track is “Hard as a Rock,” which they played on the Stiff Upper Lip tour as well, but not for the Black Ice tour. Many criticize AC/DC for their inappropriate lyrics, but I think it’s funny and wildly entertaining; the crowd seems to agree with me!
6. “Nervous Shakedown” from Flick of the Switch (1983)
It pisses me off knowing that they never played “Nervous Shakedown” live when it’s the best track on Flick of the Switch, and you can fight me on that one! I mentioned this on the album review, but the slower tempo allowed Young and Williams to perfect their backing vocals. The chorus is insanely catchy, and I love the guitar tone on this song; it’s smooth, but it’s also got an edge to it. The slower-tempo tracks are safer to headbang to because you’re not breaking your neck. It’s Phil Rudd’s drum parts, and Simon Wright did a not bad job mimicking them, but it’s time to see if Rudd can master the groove on stage!
7. “Stiff Upper Lip” from Stiff Upper Lip (2000)
This one YouTube comment said that it’s hard to drive at the speed limit with this song playing in the car, and I totally agree! I’ll never understand why AC/DC stopped playing “Stiff Upper Lip” in concert when it clearly was a killer show opener; even Cliff Williams was banging his head in the background! I’m a little bit biased towards this song because the first video performance I watched of AC/DC was them performing “Stiff Upper Lip” in Munich. I remember my jaw dropping when I saw the bronze Angus statue pop out of nowhere and the larger than life crowd at that gig; it was phenomenal! I’m not saying they have to open their shows with this song again, but maybe have it in the middle of the setlist with the other rarities, in case people forget “Stiff Upper Lip” even exists!
8. “What Do You Do For Money Honey” from Back in Black (1980)
AC/DC doesn’t need to play any more tracks from Back in Black, trust me, but if they swap out “Shoot to Thrill” with this, I’d be a happy camper! I apologize to those of you that like “Shoot to Thrill,” but “What Do You Do For Money Honey” needs a return to the spotlight. It’s the ultimate headbanger with the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, catchy chorus, Mal and Angus’s synchronized guitar riffs, devil horns out, and volume cranked to the max! I fell in love with this track after hearing it on Stiff Upper Lip Live, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. How Angus Young plays guitar so inexplicably while banging his head and running around like a maniac is still a mystery to me. As mentioned before, Johnson’s vocals have declined since the 80s, but his energy and interaction with the crowd make up for it.
Agree with my list? Let me know which songs you think AC/DC should add to their setlist, whether they played it live before or not, in the comments below!
Take care and see ya real soon!