Veteran rockers AC/DC played a high-octane performance in front of 5,000 ticket-holders in London to celebrate the opening of the Hammersmith Apollo, formerly known as the Hammersmith Odeon. The band had not played the venue in twenty-one years, and, in recognition, tickets were sold at 1982 prices: ten pounds ($16.00).
The tickets were sold, however, using modern technology, as fans had to log onto brewing company Carling’s Web site to get them, and all sold in less than four minutes.
“It was the first place we played when we came out of Australia,” explained lead guitarist Angus Young before the show. “It was really from here that we were discovered. We were signed out of here, and from here it got us all over Europe and to America.”
Though it was the band’s smallest U.K. gig in seventeen years, no expense was spared on the stage set: a giant bell was lowered for “Hells Bells” and cannons were wheeled out before “For Those About to Rock,” which closed the ninety minute set.
As well as being where David Bowie performed Ziggy Stardust for the last time, the venue has been the launch pad of live albums by Motorhead, Ted Nugent, Twisted Sister, Kate Bush and Rick Wakeman. On this night, members of Primal Scream, Prodigy’s Keith Flint and Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor were in attendance.
“The first time we headlined here Bon (late singer Scott) decided to get a tube to the gig rather than a car so he came along with all the fans from the train,” said guitarist Malcom Young. “[When] he got here, he couldn’t get in! [There] in front of the Hammersmith Odeon is Bon with all his fans trying to get in. He [finally] had to buy a ticket!”