The intersection of music, film and architecture results in an outstanding 3D building projection that is also an excellent example of ambient media. Historic Rochester Castle is shaken apart, brick-by-brick with a stunning visual display bringing together AC/DC and the film Iron Man 2.
If you thought the Northern Lights during the Adelaide Festival of Arts were cool, wait till you get a load of this!
Even though Craig Wilson has already written the post I wish I’d written about AC/DC, I thought there was still room to add my 2c worth to the discussion.
It all began in 1990 at the age of 10 when I first discovered AC/DC while watching music videos on a Saturday morning. The video was ‘Thunderstruck‘ and that was exactly the effect their music had on me. AC/DC’s raw energy and straight-up rock’n’roll sound was unlike anything I’d heard before. From that point on, I was hooked.
The only problem was that there was a clear stigma attached to their music where anyone who listened to it was instantly branded a bogan or similar. Particularly in the schoolyard where Nirvana and Pearl Jam (for example) were considered cool, AC/DC was most definitely not.
This extended to mainstream media, where despite achieving more international success than any other Australian entertainer, the local press routinely ignored them with music critics dismissive of each new album.
In the past 2 years, however, there has been a real shift in how AC/DC are perceived. Especially in the last few weeks with the band on the Australian leg of the Black Ice Tour, it seems fans are coming out of the woodwork and every major media outlet can’t get enough of them.
What you see is what you get
It is almost a reaction to the collapse of the world economy and the excessive consumerism of the early 2000’s that consumers now are looking for authenticity and a sense of ‘realness’. In this regard, there is no better example (in musical terms) than AC/DC.
For 37 years they have recorded and performed different variations of the same few songs. But the fact that they come exactly as advertised and without pretense means that for their fans, they are a constant in otherwise turbulent times as we seek to inject our lives with something more meaningful than today’s homogenised, mass produced, faceless ‘music’ that is more style than substance.
Unlike other similarly massive bands who are constantly reinventing themselves and striving to remain relevant by preaching one cause after another (I’m looking at you, U2), AC/DC have never wavered from what they do best: playing blistering, wildly entertaining hard rock.
(Read what Brian Johnson has to say about Bono and Bob Geldof)
They have built a level of trust with their fans that few other bands have done and are now more successful than ever before. All by focusing on the things they do well and getting rid of the rest.
So next time, before start thinking about changing your logo/website/etc. ask yourself (a) why you’re really doing it, and (b) if your customers will even notice or care.
I finally got to see AC/DC live for the first time at Adelaide Oval on March 2nd. For a bunch of guys my dads age, they put on a hell of a performance that more than lived up to my expectations. Unlike some bands who I’ve seen live who could be sleepwalking through their set, you just know that these guys care about giving their fans a show and are leaving nothing on the table!
It’s no secret that the music industry, more than others, was rocked by the astounding growth of digital. The new formats and methods of distribution (not to mention rampant piracy) turned the entire industry on its head.
While the major record companies and big acts such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have figured out new models to succeed in a radically changed consumer environment, new artists are still struggling to figure things out.
For the most part, they remain focused on the traditional method of putting out demos and gigging until they get ‘discovered’ by a label. But in the wake of dwindling record sales, labels slashing rosters and doubling down on acts that are expected to have hits, opportunities for new and truly original artists have become scarcer and scarcer.
Speaking at the Midem music conference, NERD frontman, Pharrell Williams offered some advice for new artists, that new artists don’t need to be as reliant on a label to make it big if they know how to market themselves.
“I would probably build a site, a home for my music, a destination where people could come and see me and what I do and what I’m thinking about.”
“I would want to establish myself and show the world that I have interesting music, but I would create that world. The more dimension that you give your music and your website, the more creative it becomes.”
For new acts, there couldn’t be a better time to start taking control of their own destiny. You need only look at Lady Gaga to know there are now endless opportunities to get heard and be seen, all without the support of a label. The challenge is in being savvy enough and brave enough to get onto those digital channels, publish your content and start building a following.