AC/DC will play its first full North American show in over five years tonight (April 10th) when the band headlines the first of two shows at the Coachella Festival in Indio, California. Aside from two songs performed at the Grammy Awards in February, this will also mark the first full appearance by the new AC/DC lineup, in which guitarist Stevie Young has replaced Malcolm Young and drummer Chris Slade has stepped in for Phil Rudd.
Vocalist Brian Johnson told the Los Angeles Times that he received words of support and encouragement earlier this week from Paul McCartney, who played Coachella in 2009. Johnson explained, “I ran into him downstairs (at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles) this (past Tuesday) morning. He goes, ‘Brian, you get on that stage and I’m telling you, you see all these kids looking for the hip-hop acts. Then they see you, and they’re like, ‘Who’s he? Oh, yeah — me dad talks of him.’ But he said it’s great because you’re doing your thing, and eventually all the kids go, ‘He’s cool, this dude!'”
Johnson added, “It kind of takes you right back to the start, when you had to win over an audience. I’m excited.”
Johnson told us a while back that the band was confident its hardcore fans will always be there: “Yes, I would hope they would come back and see you again. I think we’ve put down a good foundation. We never take anything for granted, you know. How can you? Times change, things change, so you’ve just got to keep doing what you’re doing, basically, and just hope that they’ll come back for more.”
Coachella, which takes place on both April 10th to 12th and April 17th to 19th, is also headlined by Drake and Jack White in addition to AC/DC.
This year’s headliners will possibly earn between $750,000 and $2 million each, according to Billboard.com.
AC/DC’s 16th studio album, Rock Or Bust, has sold around 513,000 copies since debuting at Number Three on the Billboard album chart back in December.
It’s the band’s first album without Malcolm, who is suffering from dementia. Rudd is out after being arrested last November on charges of threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis.
The band will return to North America later this summer for 13 more tour dates, starting on August 22nd at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts and wrapping up on September 28th at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.