AC/DC performed the first European concert with Axl Rose as lead singer Saturday night in Lisbon, Portugal. The band rolled through a career-spanning set that included old favorites (“Back in Black,” “Shoot to Thrill”) and new ones (“Rock ‘n’ Roll Train”). The band also played “Riff Raff” for the first time live since 1996 and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation” for the first time since 2003.
Rose stepped in for the Australian band’s longtime lead singer Brian Johnson after doctors told Johnson he was unfit to perform due to severe hearing issues. The Guns N’ Roses singer reached out to AC/DC members offering to be Johnson’s replacement. AC/DC guitarist Angus Young performed onstage with Guns N’ Roses at this year’s Coachella, solidifying Rose’s temporary place in the band.
In a rare interview, Rose said that singing for AC/DC has been as much an honor as a personal challenge. Rose said classic AC/DC tune “Hell’s Bells,” for example, is the hardest song he’s ever had to sing. He added that the tone of the forthcoming shows would be respectful for Johnson. Rose will join his musical heroes on the road for the remainder of their European summer tour.