AC/DC live Veltins Arena 2024 tour

The band powered through a monstrous 24-song setlist

AC/DC live Veltins Arena 2024 tour
AC/DC [Courtesy/Veltins Arena]

AC/DC are back on the road for the first since 2016. The massive run is a celebration of the hard rock hitmakers’ 50th anniversary, and their first time supporting their latest album on tour. The European trek kicked off tonight at Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on 17 May. The legendary rockers powered through a monstrous 24-song set that spanned their entire career, packed with some of their biggest hits and a few rare gems.

They started the set with “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It).” From there, they pulled tracks from 11 of their studio albums, including two new tunes from their latest, Power Up – “Shot in the Dark” and “Demon Fire.” Other highlights included “Back In Black,” “Shot Down in Flames,” “Stiff Upper Lip,” “Dog Eat Dog,” “Highway to Hell,” and many more.

Check out the full setlist and fan-filmed footage below.

The rest of the Power Up Tour will see the group performing in Spain, Austria, Belgium, France, the UK, and more. Very special guests for the run are American rockers The Pretty Reckless. Due to overwhelming demand, second shows were added in Seville, Spain, Dresden, Germany, and Hannover, Germany. Check out the full tour itinerary below. More dates around the world are expected to be announced soon.

The Pretty Reckless are not strangers to the big stage, having supported Shinedown on their Revolutions Live Tour in 2022, and the Foo Fighters last year. The Pretty Reckless released their acclaimed fourth album, Death by Rock and Roll, back in 2021. The album features special guest appearances by Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil and Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron on “Only Love Can Save Me Now,” and Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello on the hit single, “And So It Went.” The album peaked at No. 5 in Germany and No. 6 in the UK. It topped the UK Rock & Metal Albums chart, and scored Top 5 notches on Billboard’s Top Rock and Top Hard Rock Albums charts.

Back in January, The Pretty Reckless entered the studio to begin work on their fifth album.

Last October, AC/DC made their triumphant return to the stage after a seven year hiatus. The band performed after Judas Priest with previously retired bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Matt Laug sitting behind the kit. While they didn’t scratch any songs off this list, they did debut two tracks from their 2020 album, Power Up – “Demon Fire” and “Shot in the Dark.” The band’s seventeenth studio album, Power Up peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and topped the charts in several other countries around the world.

The rest of the set was filled with some of the band’s biggest hits, and several rare gems that haven’t seen the lights of a stage in decades.

AC/DC live Veltins Arena 2024 tour
AC/DC [Courtesy/Veltins Arena]

AC/DC kicked off their set with their 1979 fan favorite, “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It).” It was the first time the band opened with the song in 20 years. From there, they launched into their massive hit, “Back in Black.” The played “Dog Eat Dog” for the first time with frontman Brian Johnson since 1996, and “Riff Raff” for the first time with Johnson on the mic since 2009. AC/DC played both songs back in 2016 when Axl Rose of fellow Power Trip performers Guns N’ Roses was filling in for Johnson on vocals. Johnson was forced to step away from the band while dealing with hearing loss. Axl played the final 22 shows of AC/DC’s Rock or Bust Tour.

AC/DC also pulled out “Stiff Upper Lip” for the first time since 2003. Other highlights included “Shot Down in Flames,” “Thunderstruck,” “Have a Drink on Me,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Shoot to Thrill,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Train,” “Highway to Hell,” “Whole Lotta Rosie,” and many more. 

While bassist Cliff Williams has retired from touring, the band has confirmed that Chris Chaney (ex-Jane’s Addiction, Alanis Morissette) will be joining them on tour. Another alumnus of Alanis’s band – drummer Matt Laug – will once again be performing with AC/DC on the upcoming run of dates. Laug made his debut with AC/DC at Power Trip back in October.

“We are thrilled to finally announce the Power Up European Tour,” AC/DC said. “Angus [Young], Brian [Johnson], Stevie [Young], and Matt [Laug] will be joined by Chris Chaney to carry the torch for Cliff. The tour will see us play shows across Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, England, Slovakia, Belgium, France & Ireland this Summer. We can’t wait to see you all out there.”

AC/DC’s performance at Power Trip a few months ago saw the band take the stage with frontman Brian Johnson, lead guitarist Angus Young, rhythm guitarist Stevie Young, bassist Cliff Williams, and drummer Matt Laug. In July of 2016, Williams announced that he would be retiring after the completion of the band’s Rock or Bust World Tour. He returned to the fold, however, in 2018 to record bass on the band’s new album, Power Up

AC/DC live Veltins Arena 2024 tour
AC/DC [Courtesy/Veltins Arena]

The confirmation of Laug’s involvement with the band for the Power Trip was most likely connected to legal issues stemming from original drummer Phil Rudd’s 2014 arrest. Rudd was charged with attempting to procure the murder of two men, according to New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty Police District representative Kim Perks at the time. He was also charged with threatening to kill, possession of cannabis, and possession of methamphetamine. A day after he was arrested, one of the charges for attempting to procure a murder was dropped. In April of 2015, Rudd pleaded guilty to the remaining charges at the Tauranga District Court (New Zealand). In July of 2015, he was sentenced to eight months of home detention plus a $120,000 USD fine.

Laug is a storied rock music drummer, having done stints with Alice Cooper, Mike Campbell and the Dirty Knobs, Slash’s Snakepit, and Alanis Morissette, as previously mentioned.

At the time of his arrest, Rudd had already completed recording drums for AC/DC’s sixteenth studio album, Rock or Bust, which came out just days later on November 28. Despite Rudd playing on the record, AC/DC recruited former Shogun drummer Bob Richards to fill in for Rudd in two music videos the band shot for the album amid Rudd’s ongoing legal issues at the time. In February of 2015, AC/DC recruited former drummer Chris Slade to play with them at the 57th Annual GRAMMY® Awards. Slade was a member of AC/DC from 1989-1994 and played drums on their 1990 album The Razor’s Edge. The album hit #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and contains some of the band’s biggest hits. To date, the disc has sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone. Slade also appears on the band’s 1992 live effort, AC/DC Live. Slade would then join the band for their massive Rock or Bust World Tour, which began on May 5 at the Gelredome in Arnhem, Netherlands.

While best known for his stints with AC/DC, Slade has also performed with the likes of Asia, Gary Numan, Manfred Man’s Earth Band, Terra Nova, Bloodstock, David Gilmore, Uriah Heep, Gary Moore, Tom Jones, The Firm, Damage Control, and others.

In 2020, AC/DC released their seventeenth studio album, Power Up. The record peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and topped the charts in several other countries around the world. Once again, Angus and Malcolm Young’s nephew Stevie Young, who took over rhythm guitar duties for Malcolm after he stepped away from the band in 2014 due to his declining health, played on the record. Malcolm Young passed away back in 2017.

AC/DC Power Up Tour 2024 The Pretty Reckless

17 May – Gelsenkirchen, Germany – Veltins Arena
21 May – Gelsenkirchen, Germany – Veltins Arena
25 May – Reggio Emilia, Italy – RCF Arena
29 May – Seville, Spain – La Cartuja Stadium
1 June – Seville, Spain – La Cartuja Stadium
5 June – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Johan Cruyff Arena
9 June – Munich, Germany – Olympic Stadium
12 June – Munich, Germany – Olympic Stadium
16 June – Dresden, Germany – Messe
19 June – Dresden, Germany – Messe
23 June – Vienna, Austria – Ernst Happel Stadium
26 June – Vienna, Austria – Ernst Happel Stadium
29 June – Zurich, Switzerland – Letzigrund Stadium
3 July – London, England – Wembley Stadium
7 July – London, England – Wembley Stadium
13 July – Hockenheim, Germany – Ring
17 July – Stuttgart, Germany – Wasen
21 July – Bratislava, Slovakia – Old Airport
27 July – Nuremberg, Germany – Zeppelinfeld
31 July – Hannover, Germany – Messe
4 August – Hannover, Germany – Messe
9 August – Dessel, Belgium – Festivalpark Stenehei
13 August – Paris, France – Hippodrome Paris Longchamp
17 August – Dublin, Ireland – Croke Park

The post Watch: AC/DC Kick Off Power Up Tour in Germany first appeared on The Rock Revival.