Thunderstruck (AC/DC Tribute Band) – Live In Vancouver April 26, 2008

Spread the metal:


Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Commodore Ballroom

Vancouver, BC  Canada

***Live Review By Lord of The Wasteland

What exactly is the draw of a “tribute” band?  Watching a bunch of nameless, faceless musicians play cover versions of a band’s songs could be seen as little more than glorified karaoke.  A real cynic might even ask what purpose a cover band serves when the band being paid tribute to is still a living, breathing entity.  KISS cover bands across the globe that performed in full makeup and provided to-a-tee choreography and theatrics were put to rest when the “hottest band in the world” reunited in 1996, so it is certainly a risky thing to devote your time and effort to paying faithful homage to your favourite musical act.

Which brings us to Thunderstruck, the longest-running AC/DC cover band in existence.  Hailing from right here in Vancouver, Thunderstruck celebrated its tenth-anniversary with a show that was rumoured to be a secret gig featuring AC/DC itself.  Currently in town recording their upcoming CD, all the elements were in place for this to happen but alas, the Australian rock ‘n rollers were nowhere to be found.  As promised, though, Thunderstruck gave their all for a lengthy, two and a half hour, 28-song set that covered the entire gamut of AC/DC’s thirty-year career.

Vocalist Ken shares the same rasp as Brian Johnson but also lapses into the nasally style of Bon Scott for the band’s pre-BACK IN BLACK material.  Of course, no AC/DC band worth its salt would be complete without an Angus Young and Dave really has all the moves nailed down.  The schoolboy outfit and cap, the duck walk, the floor seizure and every glorious, blues-inspired riff were done to perfection.  The rest of the band, while not as theatrical, certainly held up their end, as well.  The rhythm section of Bud and Tim kept a throbbing beat throughout and rhythm guitarist Roger tried his best to keep up to the manic Angus-like stage energy.  For “Hells Bells,” you’d swear it was AC/DC on stage, while the elongated jam of “Sin City” was ripped straight from the seminal 1978 live album, IF YOU WANT BLOOD (YOU’VE GOT IT).  Only FLICK OF THE SWITCH and BALLBREAKER were left out in the cold with no songs from either album featured but were not missed, either.  The “hits” were all there including the horrifically over-played “You Shook Me All Night Long” and a good chunk of BACK IN BLACK and HIGHWAY TO HELL filled the set but to their credit, Thunderstruck dusted off such off-the-wall gems as “Riff Raff,” “Heatseeker” and “Let’s Get It Up” to please the die-hards. 


Shoot To Thrill

Sink The Pink


Who Made Who

Girls Got Rhythm

What Do You Do For Money

Let Me Put My Love Into You


Hells Bells

Touch Too Much

Given The Dog A Bone

Walk All Over You

Riff Raff

Shake A Leg



Sin City

Stiff Upper Lip

You Shook Me All Night Long

Have A Drink On Me

Back In Black

Shot Down In Flames


Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Let’s Get It Up

Highway To Hell

For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)



Whole Lotta Rosie

Thunderstruck have certainly done their homework and obviously are passionate about the music of AC/DC.  Critics have dogged the Australian rockers for being nothing more than repetitive three-chord pap for thirty years but there is something about AC/DC’s music that immediately puts a smile on your face and Thunderstruck carries on that legacy with loving and faithful reproduction.

***Thanks to Stephanie at Live Nation for the last-minute press pass!

Thunderstruck—Official Site