METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich admits that watching AC/DC perform again after 7 years made him emotional
During an interview on SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation Power Trip Special,” Lars Ulrich of METALLICA discussed his experience watching AC/DC‘s performance at this year’s Power Trip festival in Indio, California. This event marked a significant moment as it was the first time AC/DC‘s lead vocalist, Brian Johnson, had performed live with the group since early 2016, following his hiatus due to hearing loss issues. During his absence, he was temporarily replaced by GUNS N’ ROSES frontman Axl Rose.
“It was — the word ‘triumph’ is kind of the one that came to mind,” Lars said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “It was just a triumph.
“I saw ’em here [at Coachella in Indio]. I think they played here in ’15, so eight years ago,” he continued. “And I saw ’em in San Francisco later that year. And obviously, as a lifelong fan — I mean, I saw AC/DC back in Denmark opening for BLACK SABBATH in ’76 or ’77. And then they came back on ‘Let There Be Rock’ tour and played a 1,500-seat venue with no support act and basically played all of ‘Let There Be Rock’. And it was literally fucking mind-blowing. And then I saw them along the way, when I came to America, obviously, on and off, and we played with them for a whole tour on the Black Album in ’91.”
Lars continued: “As a lifelong fan, I actually got a little misty-eyed a couple of times when Angus [Young, AC/DC guitarist] was kind of going out and you could hear the… When he walked out and played his solos on the ramp and stuff, it felt like people were sort of holding him up and really just loving him, appreciating him.
“And there was a unity. I’m actually getting misty eyed as we’re talking about it. There was a unity and it’s that unity that you and I have talked about and that thing about when this community comes together around what we all share, that it was just such a beautiful moment. It was just such a triumph. And Brian who looked like — I didn’t feel like there was anybody anywhere in Southern California that was having a better time than Brian… That shit-eating grin he had on his face. It was so great. What a wonderful moment.”
Prior to the festival, Lars commented on the festival’s other headline acts: “We love all five of the other bands. I saw AC/DC back in Copenhagen in 1977 for the first time; we did a whole tour with them in Europe in 1991. I fell in love with GUNS N’ ROSES five seconds after I heard ‘Mr. Brownstone’ for the first time on KNAC before the 1987 debut album came out. We played shows with IRON MAIDEN in the ’80s. We played shows with JUDAS PRIEST. We played shows with TOOL all over the place.’
He added: “Obviously, AC/DC, IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST were huge influences. Those three bands are a significant part of the reason that we wanted to be in a band. So to get everybody together in the same space is a bit awe-inspiring.”
Notably, AC/DC‘s performance at the Power Trip festival was distinctive in several ways. The band commenced their set with “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It),” a departure from their usual opening selections. Additionally, the concert featured live debuts of two tracks from their 2020 album, “Power Up” – “Demon Fire” and “Shot In The Dark.”
To complement their lineup for the Power Trip festival, AC/DC enlisted the services of drummer Matt Laug. It’s worth mentioning that the announcement of Laug‘s involvement did not provide any explanation for the absence of the band’s longtime drummer, Phil Rudd, who had rejoined AC/DC for the recording of their comeback album, “Power Up,” released in November 2020.