You know a band is the real deal when they sound better live than in the studio. AC/DC, despite recording many of the greatest rock anthems ever, managed to top their studio output with a rip-roaring live version of “Thunderstruck” at the River Plate Stadium in Argentina.
The live cut had brothers Angus and Malcolm Young in fine form on guitar, as well as other members from their second classic lineup, Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd. Frontman Johnson was doing what he does best during the performance, whipping the Argentines into a frenzy before unleashing his one of a kind rock ‘n’ roll roar. Watch the band tear it up below.
South America’s love for hard rock is well-known and the audience don’t disappoint here, with the fever-pitch response from the crowd making the show really special. Rudd powers the whole affair behind the drum kit, and his sound is suitably thunderous and actually sounds a lot bigger than the original recording. The original song was recorded by drummer Chris Slade during one of Rudd’s absences from the band, so it’s a change of pace to hear Rudd’s slithering groove on the track live.
The Young brothers also benefit from the band’s live production, and the guitar tones are just monstrous. Whoever does AC/DC’s live sound should get a raise. Rhythm guitarist Malcolm has one of the best right hands in the business, which is in full display on the driving riffs on “Thunderstruck”. Shredder Malcolm also pulls out all his iconic moves for the show and delivers 100% with his rollicking solo on the song. Watch the band play “Highway to Hell” from the same concert in the video below.
AC/DC fans are some of the most dedicated on the planet, so of course they had to chime in below the video, adding comments such as “I think this is one of the greatest live performances I’ve ever seen. What a crowd!” and “The fact that they were in their 50s / 60s here and still were able to rock like this is amazing and shows you how awesome AC/DC is.”
“Thunderstruck” was released as the first single from AC/DC’s 1990 studio album The Razors Edge. The song has since become a live staple for the rockers, having been performed at nearly all of the band’s shows since its release. It’s also their third most popular track on Spotify, having been streamed 1.2 billion times on the platform.
As Angus recounted in the 2003 re-release of The Razors Edge, “the song started off from a little trick I had on guitar.” His brother Malcolm then added the grooving rhythm guitar part that glues the song together, and the rest is rock ‘n’ roll history.
The track is a bit of an anomaly in the band’s discography, as the bulk of the band’s classic songs were all recorded in the early ‘80s or even before that in the Bon Scott era. “Thunderstruck” however arrived as part of their 12th studio album, which was quite late into their career. The song became an international hit, and along with third single “Are You Ready”, helped mark a commercial comeback for the band in the 1990s. If you would like to see more from AC/DC, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel. You can also visit their official website for more information.