My Dream Setlist for AC/DC

So in late September 2020, I did a post talking about which songs AC/DC should add to their setlist, so if you haven’t checked that out, you can click the link here! Since then, the band announced that drummer Phil Rudd, bassist Cliff Williams, and vocalist Brian Johnson were back in the band; and they released a new album in November 2020 titled Power Up. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the band hasn’t announced any gigs at the moment, but there is hope that they could possibly do one more tour. With that said, I’ve created my dream setlist for AC/DC, as if it were a gig promoting the band’s Power Up album. So, let’s get on with the music!

Because AC/DC has never toured in Hawaii, we’re going to change that by making the band do a gig at Aloha Stadium; with the band’s popularity, they need a big venue to hold all of their fans. The concert starts at 8:00 p.m. and the intro to “Rock ‘n’ Roll Train” from Black Ice (2008) gets the crowd going. Everyone stands up and starts losing their mind as Angus Young runs out on stage, Johnson smiles at the crowd, Stevie Young prepares to do his uncle proud, Rudd puts his game face on, and Williams does his best to stay out of Angus’ way. After starting off on a high note, the band performs “Let’s Get It Up,” one of my favorites from For Those About to Rock (1981). When Axl Rose toured with AC/DC to finish off the Rock or Bust tour in 2016, he convinced the guys to bring back some old favorites, one of them being “Live Wire” from High Voltage (1976), which is the next song on the agenda. 

Johnson then tells the audience that it’s time to do a song off their most recent album, so they perform “Realize;” I prefer that one over “Shot in the Dark.” From 2020 to 1978, the band shifts gears and performs “Down Payment Blues” from Powerage. The rarities keep on coming as AC/DC then performs “Burnin’ Alive” from my favorite album of theirs, Ballbreaker (1995). Next up is “What Do You Do For Money Honey” from Back in Black (1980) because it’s too dang good to ignore. Since this tour takes place in summer 2022, when COVID-19 is long gone, it makes the perfect segway into the next song, “Rock the Blues Away” from Rock or Bust (2014).

The next thing I know, the intro to “Gone Shootin,’” another track from Powerage (1978), begins and the crowd goes bananas; I don’t even know where I am anymore as I’m banging my head to the groove. Could this get any better? Yes, because for Angus’ striptease, the band brings back “Jailbreak” from the Australian version of Dirty Deeds (1976); get ready for a 15 minute long guitar solo, baby! Now, it’s time for some Flick of the Switch (1983) and the song is title track; even if the casual fans don’t know it, that riff is bada** that they have to love it! The fingering is a bit complicated, but Stevie loves the challenge. To kick it up a notch, the band performs “Girls Got Rhythm” from Highway to Hell (1979), which they haven’t played since the Ballbreaker tour.

All of a sudden, the screens show a montage of the band through the years and the band performs “Through the Mists of Time” from Power Up, an emotional, yet beautiful performance. After everyone cries their eyes out, it’s time to pump people up again by performing “Satellite Blues” from Stiff Upper Lip (2000). At this point, the crowd is probably going to get annoyed if AC/DC doesn’t play “Thunderstruck” from The Razors Edge (1990), so that’s exactly what the boys do next. Fight me on this, but I prefer Rudd’s playing on “Thunderstruck” rather than Chris Slade’s busy playing, which is odd because Rudd wasn’t around when the song was released. On the topic of thunder, next up is “Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder,” another track from Rock or Bust; it’s time for Rudd to show Slade how to work a hi-hat. 

Going back to Flick of the Switch, the band then plays “Bedlam in Belgium” because why not?!?! Let’s go back one album further and have the band play another track from For Those About to Rock, how about “Inject the Venom”? With Rudd on drums, heck yeah! Next up, the band plays “Shake Your Foundations,” a kicka** song from Fly on the Wall (1985), a truly underrated album. Flash forward to 1995, again, the band performs “Hard as a Rock” from Ballbreaker, which they haven’t performed since 2003. We are now at the portion of the show where Rudd goes full human metronome mode and the band jams out to “Let There Be Rock” from the 1977 album of the same name; be prepared for another massive, long guitar solo.

After “Let There Be Rock,” the band goes backstage to cool down before returning for the encore. Of course, we have to include “T.N.T.” from High Voltage because it’s a must at an AC/DC show; my lungs were born ready! To keep the adrenaline going, the second to the last track is “High Voltage,” also from the 1976 album of the same name. Unfortunately, the show must come to an end and what better way to close the show than with “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)”? Those cannons are mighty loud and I could lose my hearing the following day, but who cares! I just witnessed the best AC/DC concert ever!

Unlike my dream setlist for Def Leppard, I picked a lot of singles that the casual fans could get into and most of these tracks were performed live. However, I also wanted to focus more on the Brian Johnson era of AC/DC because besides stuff from Back in Black, the band mainly focused on the Bon Scott era. While the Def Leppard setlist included ALL of the songs I wish to hear live from the band, the AC/DC setlist only included some of the songs I wish to hear live. In the end, I’m still happy with the songs I picked. I know Johnson’s voice died down over the years, but if the band performs the songs in a lower key, Johnson can pull it off! 

Feel free to comment below your dream setlist for AC/DC!

Take care and see ya real soon!

Lana

64 thoughts on “My Dream Setlist for AC/DC

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    1. I really hope so. I know they’re eager to start playing again. Though, I am a bit concerned as Brian performed with the Foo Fighters on the Vax Live concert last month and his voice got even worse since 2016. That dude really needs to quit smoking.

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  1. Can’t fault your set list one bit, though I would never do that anyway. The great thing about AC/DC is that they have such a rich discography that they could play anything and no one would go home disappointed. I saw them in 1985 and they were fantastic! I didn’t even mind that they didn’t play one of my favourites, “Rock and Roll Damnation” because they played all sorts of other great tunes.

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    1. It is a daunting task coming up with a setlist, especially for a beloved band. I think differently about them playing anything. As mentioned numerous times with Def Leppard, I don’t like when they play the same hits over and over again. So when AC/DC plays stuff like “Gone Shootin,'” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation,” “Jailbreak,” and “What Do You Do For Money Honey,” that’s what it’s all about. I’m fine with their some of their hits (excluding “Shoot to Thrill” and “Whole Lotta Rosie”) Unfortunately, I didn’t get into them officially until last year and they never came to Hawaii anyways, so I never saw them live. Even if they didn’t play “Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation” for that gig, I still would’ve killed to see “Shake Your Foundations” performed live (as I believe that was the ‘Fly on the Wall Tour’), so you are lucky!

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  2. I don’t know if I could do a post like this. Way too daunting for me to choose!

    I can’t argue with this your setlist though. I’d love to see the mid-’80s output get some representation. I would add is It’s A Long Way with bagpipes and everything. And I don’t think they have ever played Overdose live. Those would be fun to see.

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    1. Yeah, it would be cool to see your take on the setlist, but totally understandable that it may be hard for you. As they are one of your favorite bands.

      Absolutely! The boys have totally ignored the mid-80s for years (and any Brian album besides Back in Black) because the Bon albums are more “popular.” Brian didn’t seem to mind singing the Bon songs, but it’d be nice to have Brian sing the songs he wrote since he came up with great lyrics. Unfortunately, they’ll probably never play “It’s A Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)” because they don’t want to disrespect Bon (at least that’s why Brian never sang it). But I’d love to hear his rendition on it. Too bad they don’t have other songs that require bagpipes. “Overdose” would be cool too!

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      1. The Rock or Bust shows with Axl are my favourite thing AC/DC has ever done. I so so so want a live album from that tour.

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      2. You know, I always knew you were weird Harrison!

        However, besides the deep cuts, I enjoyed hearing all these songs in the original key again with Axl. It’s a shame Brian’s voice isn’t all there anymore, so he has to sing it in a lower key.

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      3. Ha! If you hadn’t told me of the key change I probably couldn’t have told you it was there. That’s how musically untalented I am.

        But the funniest thing is that I do not care one bit for anything else Axl Rose has done, but I absolutely love him in AC/DC

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      4. Oh, well since Axl’s voice is higher, he was able to sing the songs in the original key. Stuff like “Thunderstruck,” “T.N.T.,” “Whole Lotta Rosie,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Train,” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” were done in the original key. Except “Rock or Bust” was too high for my taste.

        I hate when bands change the key of their songs because it takes away the edge and power in my opinion. But due to band’s age, it’s understandable. Then again, there’s Bruce Dickinson.

        That’s understandable. I like that Axl is a nicer person in AC/DC, so of course I can listen to that instead of his stuff with Guns ‘N Roses. But not enough that I would want a live album.

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      5. I figure most people are in your camp, hence why we are yet to receive said live album. Still, there’s an awesome bootleg out there so I’m not completely starved.

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      6. Yeah, it’s not exactly in common lexicon now is it? Traditionally bootlegs are thought of just being audio, but as Lebrain can tell you, taping shows with a camcorder to sell as VHS bootlegs is a practice that has gone on for a while. Of course, nowadays it’s with a phone and it’s a Youtube video.

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      7. Yeah, Mike explained it to me and I was still confused lol. So what I’m getting at is bootlegs are concert releases (video, audio, whatever) from people that are not the actual artists, therefore, they are unofficial releases?

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      8. More or less. A label can put out product that they have the rights to even if the artist has left the label (eg- Rocka Rolla, Live at Last), and that’s not a bootleg. But for the most part, yes, virtually any unsanctioned releases (be they audio or video, live or studio) are bootlegs. Some of them try to masquerade by saying “promotional use only. Not for sale” but that’s a flimsy excuse that probably wouldn’t hold up in court.

        Anyway, hope I didn’t confuse you further.

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      9. Oh ok, yeah I wasn’t including old labels, just ordinary people releasing audio/videos of bands they like. That seems common for people to say that “it’s not for monetary purposes” to avoid getting in trouble.

        I got what you were saying. I think I get what a bootleg is now. I have another question, though, since Kiss did a release recently of recordings that were considered bootlegs, does that mean they’re not considered bootlegs anymore?

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      10. Glad to be of help, and yes, the Official Bootleg discs like Kiss and Deep Purple have done are not bootlegs, though the previous bootlegs of those shows remain as such.

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      11. Happy to help. I’m the kind of guy that wants a live album from every tour, and live renditions of songs from one-hit wonders, so I’m up to my ears in bootlegs (most of them the wonderful invention that is Youtube, due to the scarcity of physical ones these days)

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      12. Going back to a live album with Axl, it was part of AC/DC’s history, so I guess it’d be cool to have. Live albums from every tour doesn’t sound like a bad idea, as long as they don’t repeat the same songs over and over again. Another thing that’s cool of bootlegs (which I just thought of) is if the artist messes up, it’s on the recording.

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      1. Fun fact, when I did my ‘Songs with the Same Title – Kiss Edition’ post, I picked Kiss’ “War Machine” over AC/DC’s “War Machine,” but I’ve regretted it ever since.

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  3. Props for including “Down Payment Blues” which is a favorite deep cut of mine. “I know I ain’t doin’ much, doin’ nothin’ means a lot to me.”

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      1. If I do another encore, it’ll lead into another encore and the show will never end lol!

        Though, I forget “Ride On,” so I’m bummed about that.

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      2. Oh but I can’t show favoritism, as Def Leppard is my favorite band. If I do another setlist for AC/DC, I have to do one for Def Leppard too. Oh I’m getting ahead of myself, my goodness.

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