AC/DC’s Electrifying Debut: A Look Back at Their First Concert
On December 31, 1973, a pivotal moment in global music history unfolded as AC/DC played their first ever concert. Formed just a few months earlier in Sydney, the group, initially led by Dave Evans, embarked on a journey that would revolutionize rock music. Evans’ distinct vocal style laid the foundation for the band’s early sound, contrasting sharply with the raw energy that Bon Scott would later bring when he joined in 1974.
Chequers Nightclub: The Birthplace of a Rock Phenomenon
The historical debut took place at Chequers, a club nestled in the heart of Sydney. Chequers was a linchpin in the city’s rock scene during the early ’70s, hosting numerous up-and-coming bands. Interestingly, this iconic venue has since transformed into a sauna. However, on that fateful night, as 1973 gave way to 1974, the heat and energy were all generated by a groundbreaking new rock band.
A Setlist of Classics: Covering the Greats
In their debut performance, AC/DC primarily entertained the crowd with covers of songs by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Chuck Berry. They performed electrifying renditions of classics like ‘Twist and Shout’ and ‘Johnny B. Goode’, infusing these hits with their unique flair. Despite playing well-known hits, their unique style and raw energy left an indelible mark on the audience, showcasing the band’s potential to be more than just a cover group.
The Immediate Aftermath: A Career Set in Motion
The impact of AC/DC’s first performance was immediate and unmistakable. Early reviews praised their vibrant energy and potential, setting the stage for their rapid ascent in the rock world. The band was quickly booked for several shows over the following week, signaling the start of what would become a legendary career in rock music.
This December marks the 50th anniversary of AC/DC’s first gig, and “Behind the Hits” celebrates this milestone with a 3-part series delving deep into the different eras of AC/DC’s remarkable career.
Episode 1 – AC/DC: The Bon Scott Era: This episode offers an exclusive look into the rockstar life of Bon Scott, one of Australia’s greatest frontmen. It features insights from AC/DC band members including Bon Scott himself, Angus and Malcolm Young, and Mark Evans.
Episode 2 – AC/DC: The Brian Johnson Era: Transitioning from the Bon Scott era, this episode explores the band’s evolution with Brian Johnson as the lead vocalist, marking a new chapter in their storied history.
Episode 3 – AC/DC: Beyond a Band of Brothers: The final episode delves into the band’s deep connections, exploring the dynamics that made them more than just a group of musicians.
Hear firsthand accounts from the band members and key industry figures like Iva Davies, Molly Meldrum, Michael Chugg, Michael Browning, Mark Opitz, and Fifa Riccobono. This series offers an unparalleled glimpse into the behind-the-scenes moments and pivotal events in the band’s journey.