Concert Review: KC/DC at Zona Rosa Town Square, Kansas City, MO 7/14/12

Cover bands are conflicting. They are often made up of incredibly talented musicians and can put on a great show. They also are borrowing somebody else’s music, personas and stage act. KC/DC fit the bill here, they play no original music but are very popular and put on a great show.

The fact of the matter is that aging rockers AC/DC don’t tour much anymore and if they do come around you are looking at likely $100 or more to fetch a ticket where you will spend more time staring at a video board than the actual performers. A cover band like KC/DC is a nice alternative option to this. They know the songs and are a lot less of a hassle to see.

The Zona Rosa Town Square is a small block of grass surrounded by the many, many retail shops in the area. It has a stage and seating around the edges. It is also equipped with a fountain right in middle for kids to play in on a hot day and a restaurant in back with the balcony facing the stage of the park. It makes for an interesting place to see a show. KC/DC played a free admission show here on a hot Saturday night on July 14th.

KC/DC performing live at the Zona Rosa Town Square on 7/14/12.

KC/DC performing live at the Zona Rosa Town Square on 7/14/12.

The band would have two different singers represent the two singers of the actual band they were portraying. They would dress the part with the signature Angus Young school boy uniform, the Bon Scott shirtless singing and the hat over the eyes singing of Brian Johnson. The approximate 2 1/2 hours of music would be split into two separate split sets by the band. Each half would have both a Bon Scott era set and a Brian Johnson era set.

The show would roughly run 6:00 – 9:00 and start very hot before fading into a very nice July evening. The crowd that would be early enough to see the start of the show would be greeted by not getting to hear any of the major AC/DC hits. The band would tear through songs like “If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It” “Live Wire” “Have A Drink On Me” and “Big Gun” early without hitting any of the major radio hits. While it was nice to hear these songs that are all very good, it was frustrating not to hear “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” or “Back In Black” thrown in until the show was going on 2 hours after the start.

The Bon Scott doppelganger would do justice to Scott’s drunken snarl on the early AC/DC tracks while the Brian Johnson doppelganger would do competently fill the vocal requirements for second era of the band’s tracks. The band behind them would remain for all songs and do a very good job with the music. The soaring solos and strong rhythm beat were all delivered to satisfaction. The Angus Young stage antics were severely lacking but would be hard to pull off for a couple reasons; It was really, really hot and it would be hard to play competently while spinning around while laying on the stage so it was an understandable absence. The backing vocals by the band would be weak and stick out as sub-par but could also have been hurt by the lack of crowd participation. Sing-along parts simply didn’t work in the outdoor venue. There was no alcohol served as it was a very family friendly environment so the audience seemed hesitant to jump in and sing along. In a smaller bar with a tightly packed drunken crowd the audience would likely howl back at the band at a deafening tone.

KC/DC performing live at the Zona Rosa Town Square on 7/14/12.

KC/DC performing live at the Zona Rosa Town Square on 7/14/12.

KC/DC’s audience would grow to a large number for the second set and end up easily doubling the amount there at about 6:30. The band’s hits would then be trotted out for display as “Whole Lotta Rosie” “TNT” and “Hells Bells” would all get played along with the other big hits. Most songs were delivered very well with the exception of “Highway To Hell” where the singer and backing vocals were out of sync and distract from the song. “Big Balls” was performed by the Brain Johnson era singer instead of the Bon Scott doppelganger for some reason. The song lacked the alcoholic growl of the AC/DC version that was originally sang by Scott because of this, it was a curious choice to have the other singer do it.

The show was littered with a couple of pre-recorded intros, like a train coming before “Rock and Roll Train” and a newscast of Bon Scott’s death before “Hell’s Bells” that would sound distorted and not fit well with the set. These small blemishes were overshadowed by the anthems the band would play however. The highlights of the show were songs like “Problem Child” “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” “TNT” and “Back In Black” The band would more than fill the quota on these songs as they would prove to the crowd that a cover band is well worth seeing.

KC/DC performing live at the Zona Rosa Town Square on 7/14/12.

KC/DC performing live at the Zona Rosa Town Square on 7/14/12.

 

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