Arriving at the mighty Etihad Stadium, I was confronted with a rough sea of tatts, tank tops and teeth (missing). I tell ya, AC/DC fans are a mongrel mob of welders, boiler makers and brick layers- and that's just the women!
Waiting in line, surrounded by fibreglass barriers and ill-equipped, scared security guards, the ACKA fans were close to boiling point as they desperately waited to breach the turn styles. I could hear several different Bon-era tunes being drooled simultaneously with similar levels of tone-deaf charm. Once inside the arena, it was like entering some sort of disgusting roman labyrinth- Bald heads, varying states of undress, sweat, fists, spent drink receptacles, screaming, machismo, near-violence and tension.
Outside the quaint corner hotel in Richmond, a crowd of about one fifty line up politely, waiting to file into the loving embrace of a like-minded celebration of all that is high brow. I haven't seen so many freelance journalists, community radio show hosts and people currently ''between jobs'' since the last Melbourne garage rock show I went to sometime in 08. The discussion I overheard made me wish I done better in school.
''Eugene you stately gentleman you. Have you heard the new Miles box set?''
''Sebastian my good man, I have not had the pleasure of hearing it, but I have read everything about it. You see Eugene, and everyone else within earshot of this conversation, I read books. Furthermore, in pre-performance discourse, I must always espouse the musical and social importance of Miles Davis, lest I appear poorly informed or ignorant.''
''Oh yes Eugene, you are always approaching difficult issues with a terrific level of understanding and context. No wonder you have so many subscribers to your blog''
Back at the dome, the walk to find a decent vantage point was akin to a dash across no man's land. Broken vestiges of humanity on all fours doing the Technicolor yawn, others copulating in the stair wells, rampant drug use- you would've been forgiven for thinking you were at a Collingwood home game. I managed to find a half-decent vantage point, which in stadium rock terms, means a decent view of the giant TV screens just as the band walked on stage.
Prior to the Neck's performance, the audience were milling about comfortably in their linen trousers, reflecting on a hard day spent at the record store and generally fraternising in a safe cultural environment. I'd like to see the bar staff's stock sheets from the evening, as I don't think the bar's red wine sales have ever eclipsed beer sales like they did at this event.
The AC/DC set was an absolute pearler. They wanted to be there. As I was watching them perform, a 40-something woman stood beside me and jumped all over the railing. This woman looked like she'd been gutting chickens for the last 25 years and she had the smell to match. With arms flailing, and beer going everywhere, she continued to yell like, well, a mad woman. A man of about 20 joined her on the railing. He also began screaming profanities.
''How fuckin' unreal is this? Fuck yeah. Mate, this is fuckin' awesome...''
He then put his arm around the woman's shoulders, took her off the railing and as they walked away, he said to her,
''Come on mum, let's get a beer over at this one.''
When you think about, The Necks and AC/DC could almost be the same band. They're both old. They're both at the pinnacle of whatever they do. They both continue to release flawless albums. And both of their fan bases are idiots.