The first six shows of AXS TV’s World’s Greatest Tribute Bands featured bands I knew and loved or were at least familiar with. This week’s show, however, featured a band I had never really enjoyed, except for their song Shook me All Night Long. I’m speaking of course of AC/DC, as represented by the tribute band Back in Black. While I’m still not a fan of AC/DC, I AM now a fan of Back in Black.
Unlike all the other bands in this year’s season, Back in Black is not local to LA, but came all the way from Dallas, Texas to appear on the show. Despite their lack of a natural local fan base, they still managed to pack out the Roxy for what turned out to be an amazingly incredible performance.
The band formed in late 2000 when guitarist Mike Mroz reconnected with his old LA musician friend Darren Caperna and convinced him to move to Dallas to start an AC/DC tribute band. Mroz recalled that when Caperna and he were in LA, they were involved in a band that played original music. The band would close out the night with some AC/DC cover tunes and the crowd seemed to come alive when Caperna belted out these songs. “He (Caperna) was the only musician I knew that could combine the style of both Bon Scott and Brian Johnson (lead singers of AC/DC) into his own dynamic style that captured the best of both.” Ken Schlumo on drums, Scott Lepage on guitar and Erik Sykes on bass round out the band.
The chemistry on stage was intense, especially between Mroz and Caperna, and the crowd fed off it, especially on such huge hits as Back in Black, Shook me All Night Long, TNT, Dirty Deeds, Highway to Hell, and For Those About to Rock. The crowd was revved up and ready to rock, as they enthusiastically sang, screamed and put up their horns to the rocking beat.
When the band came back from break with Hells Bells, the entire venue literally shook from the deep bass beat. It all came to a stunning climax as the band sang out the prophetic words of their last song – “To those about to rock . . . we salute you.”
This was indeed a rocking good time, even for me, a non-fan. It just goes to show that a good performance transcends genre and style, and can make believers out of the unbelieving. Katie Daryl and Mark Cuban had done it again – another smashing success!
Next week the show welcomes Wild Child, a tribute to the wild man himself, Jim Morrison, and the incredible Doors. Tickets are still available at www.eventbrite.com. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts promptly at 8 p.m., beaming live to the East Coast.