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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hell's Belles Salute Austin

On Saturday, we went to see Hell's Belles, the Seattle-based all female AC/DC tribute band, play Stubb's. As mentioned in a previous post, my cousin, Lisa (Malcolm Young) Brisbois, is in this band and that's what brought us to the show. Now I know my cousin is in this band, so I may be biased, but I'm also not that into AC/DC so I think it balances out.

In a way, not being familiar with much other than AC/DC's most well-known songs allowed me to appreciate the band in their own right. Had it not been for such crowd-pleasers as "Highway to Hell," "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," and "Big Balls," I probably wouldn't have known that they were covering AC/DC. But it didn't matter. Hell's Belles just absolutely rocked. I love seeing shows when I know very little of a band's music and still walk away having totally enjoyed the set. This was one such evening.

One of the things that contributes (emphasis on tribute) to the band's show is what comes across as a real love for AC/DC. This is not a parody or a deconstruction act; this is truly a tribute to the energy, excitement and fun of AC/DC's music, and seeing that legendary band's testosterone-heavy swagger performed with such enthusiasm and love for the material by a group of highly talented women is wickedly subversive in its own right, which is exactly what hard rock should be.

Lead guitarist Adrian (Angus Young) Conner and Singer Jamie (Brian Johnson/Bon Scott) Nova maintained an all-out intensity throughout the evening that had everyone on both levels of Stubb's indoor venue rocking, dancing, and having a great time. This was a show where everyone was into the music and having fun. Even the woman who fell and busted her ass while doing what appeared to be an I-used-to-be-a-stripper routine for her husband came up smiling and kept on rocking.

This was one of the most energetic, all-out rockin' shows I've seen in a long time, and I do hope they come back. In the meantime, Conner - who is based in Austin - has a band called Adrian and the Sickness that is surely worth checking out when they play around here.

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