Brian Johnson was so nervous when he played his first show with AC/DC that he sang the same lyrics to two songs in a row.
Johnson’s first performance with AC/DC was in Belgium on June 29, 1980, just six months after Bon Scott played his last show with the band in the UK in January.
“The first thing I did, we did two songs, ‘Bad Boy Boogie’ and the other one,” Johnson said in an interview. “I sang the same lyrics to both songs. I was so nervous, I sang the first song and then I sang the second one with the same words. I couldn’t hear anything. I could see the audience going ‘he must be Avant guard. He is singing anything he wants”. I finished it and thought ‘oh God what have I done?’. Malcolm looked at me and went “what the fuck was that?”.
Brian’s concert debut with AC/DC was one month before the ‘Back In Black’ album was released. “It was the first time we sang Back In Black, because all the songs were finished then,” he said. “We finished and there was silence. Half of them hadn’t heard it yet. I thought ‘oh shit they don’t like it’. It was the first night. It was a very traumatic night.”
That first night in Belgium was also the first time ever ‘Hell’s Bells’, ‘What Do You Do For Money Honey’, ‘Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution’, ‘Shoot To Thrill’, and Given The Dog A Bone’ were performed live. Brian Johnson talks about his first AC/DC gig
AC/DC did not play ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ at the first Brian show. It debuted live in the Netherlands on July 3, 1980.
Brian Johnson has never performed ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’. The song was last performed by Bon Scott with AC/DC at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, UK on December 17, 1979. Ironically, to hear ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’ live at a major concert in Australia these days you have to go to a John Farnham concert.
PHOTO GALLERY: AC/DC in Melbourne by Ros O’Gorman
Here is both the first ever Brian Johnson AC/DC setlist and the last ever Bon Scott AC/DC setlist back to back. First AC/DC with Brian Johnson June 29, 1980, Namur, Belgium
Hells Bells Shot Down In Flames Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be Problem Child Back In Black Bad Boy Boogie Highway To Hell What Do You Do For Money Honey Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution Shoot To Thrill Given The Dog A Bone Whole Lotta Rosie Rocker
Shake A Leg Let There Be Rock Last AC/DC show with Bon Scott January 27, 1980, Southampton, UK
Live Wire Shot Down In Flames Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be Sin City Walk All Over You Bad Boy Boogie The Jack Highway To Hell Problem Child Girls Got Rhythm High Voltage Whole Lotta Rose Rocker TNT Let There Be Rock