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AC/DC in concert
`AC/DC` are a Heavy Metal / Hard Rock band from Australia / Great Britain. Here they are photographed & captured in Analog from the stage & pit area during a concert in America in 1980. For more information & to follow the band on social media use the following external links.
AC/DC concert pictures ~ Bill O’Leary
A word from the photographer
On This Night: AC/DC
This was a big night, my first time shooting AC/DC after years of listening to their music. Only 6 months earlier, Bon Scott had died tragically, he was quickly replaced by Brian Johnson in time to record the Back In Black album. This album eventually becomes the biggest selling rock album in history. This show was to take place at The Palladium Theater, a vintage theater in lower Manhattan, in the heart of New York City.
As I did with many shows, I would ask a friend to come along, as I usually had a “plus 1” with my pass, or 2 tickets for the show. At the time I had a girl that I was dating who liked AC/DC very much, so off to the show we went. This particular day, Friday, August 1, 1980, New York City along with the entire east coast, was suffering thru a week long heatwave with temperature’s in the very high 90’s F. with 90% humidity. As we entered the venue, we had heard that the air conditioning had broken down, or been cut off by the electric company due to heavy usage of the entire system in lower Manhattan. Add 3000 heavy metal fans to the mix and it was unbearably HOT and SWEATY !!
The opening band was Def Leppard who were touring in the United States for the very first time that same summer. They rocked the crowd for 30-40 minutes with a great performance. After a brief intermission between bands, the lights go down and the frenzy begins to the sound of a massive iron bell being rung, with smoke and flashing lights.
Opening with Hells Bell, the entire place went crazy. Because of the heat inside, probably around 115F degrees, many fans were agitated, including one in particular, that for some unknown reason, decided he was going to try and grab my camera bag, and me, and pull me off of my seat that I was standing on trying to get the best shots I could during the mayhem. I managed to dispose of this threat rather quickly and continue shooting. Meanwhile, about 3 or 4 songs into the set, I look to my right, and my girlfriend had just dropped and passed out at the foot of her seat.
The shoot must go on
Security was all over the inside of the venue dragging people outside to the sidewalk where it was a good 20-25 F degrees cooler than inside. Prior to that I had noticed when quickly looking around that MANY people were dropping like flies, passed out from the heat. I saw that she was with security and in good hand’s so I decided to shoot the last of my roll of 36 exposure film as quickly as I had ever shot, EVER.
As I was quickly finishing, someone in the front row to the right of me had been grabbing at Angus Young’s socks or shoes, clearly aggravating him, and before I knew it, he literally thru down his guitar and dove in to the crowd head first in a fist fight, arms swinging everywhere, quickly followed by two roadies. The band kept playing as Angus got back onstage, probably within a minute at most, and continued the song. Because of the mayhem, I did not shoot any of that, I was just astonished at the whole scene.
The girlfriend ?
Not even 5-6 songs into the show, I bailed out and looked for the closest exit. Upon walking out the door, there were 40-50 people being fanned and cooled off all over the sidewalk area in front of the venue, it looked like a war zone of wounded. My girlfriend was right there safe and coherent, thanks to the great security staff. In the end I shot two rolls of film, 72 images, the fastest I had ever shot a show, my guess would be maybe 20-30 minutes of the show at most. We left for a cooler environment and had one hell of a story to tell. If anyone was wondering, my girlfriend was not upset with me at all….
Location and date of these concert captures
The Palladium Theater / New York / America / 01.08.1980
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Watch the slideshow of AC/DC concert pictures