[DVD Review] AC/DC | Stiff Upper Lip Live

One of my favourite things about going through my AC/DC collection is finding gold in the stuff I have overlooked.  Stiff Upper Lip Live is treasure chest full.  I spin AC/DC’s albums everyday, but I don’t really make much time for the home videos.  I remember buying this in 2001 and watching it once before putting it on the shelf.  I haven’t watched it again until this past weekend.  What a mistake.  I don’t remember how I felt in back then, but my fresh eyes were blown away by how truly great it is. 

Stiff Upper Lip Live was filmed on June 14th, 2001 in Munich, Germany.  The venue was the Olympiastadion with 80,000 people in attendance.  And let me tell you, this crowd was INTO it.  They didn’t even want The Jack to end.  It takes a special kind of AC/DC fan to not want The Jack to end.

Stiff Upper Lip Live black

The entire set list is mind blowing for AC/DC.  They are usually set in their ways for live shows.  Same songs, different order, a few from the new album mixed in.  But I was surprised to see what was on this list.

They brought back Bad Boy Boogie and Problem Child – Wow, OK.  I don’t think they played those since the ’80s.  I never heard Brian sing them before.

What Do You Do For Money Honey – Crazy!  They haven’t played that since the Back In Black tour!  

Up To My Neck in You  – SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

Another highlight is Hard As A Rock.  It is not my favourite tune but the energy the band was getting from the crowd while playing it made it special. 

The rest is the standard stuff that is played at every show.  Whole Lotta Rosie, Thunderstruck, Back In Black, etc.  Although it was a little weird to see only one song from Stiff Upper Lip on a DVD titled Stiff Upper Lip Live.  But the one song they played was Stiff Upper Lip so it isn’t a lie.  Everyone following me so far?

The band had one final surprise.  The have ended most (if not all) of their shows since the For Those About To Rock Tour with For Those About To Rock (We Salute You).  It is a tough tune to follow up with a big crescendo at the end.  And they do play it here.  With confetti, fire, and the cannons.  The whole bit.  We all know it is the last song.

But, it wasn’t that night.  They come out again and get the whole place rocking to Shot Down in Flames before exiting the stage for good!  What?!?!  Crazy. 

The DVD also sports superb DTS audio track.  Cliff’s bass is a little weak in the mix, but Phil’s drums carried a lot of weight on the bottom end.  Angus and Malcolm’s guitars are strong but not over powering, and Brian is nice and clear through out.  I bathed in that surround sound.

You might be wondering why I’m reviewing the DVD and not the Blu-ray.  The reason being because there isn’t one, and I think I know why.  This production used camera’s on wires like what they would use for NFL football games at the time.  It is a excellent idea for some different angles, but there is a noticeable drop in image quality whenever they switch to one.  A result of 2001 remote camera technology vs. film cameras.   

This drop would be exaggerated more if they were to up the resolution to 1080p, let alone 4K.  There are solutions, all are expensive except leaving it as is. You can see what I’m talking about on this HD* clip on YouTube.  One of the “floating” shots is at 1:11:

It is a shame too because out of all of AC/DC’s home video concerts, I have mad respect for this set list the most.  After little variation between previous live videos, Live at Donington and No Bull, Stiff Upper Lip Live brought back some old favourites and delivered a few surprises while the band has a great rapport with the crowd. 

It is out of print now and I see a few copies on eBay with some gross Canadian shipping costs attached.  You can find streams of the full show online with the only the DTS audio track and a 10 minute interview with the band missing.  The interview is nothing to write home about, except for Malcolm’s part: 

Thanks for buying the DVD.  I hope it is hot shit.

I’d say so. 

5/5

Stiff Upper Lip Live back

*It is a 480p clip taken from the DVD that is up-converted to 720p.  Trust me, it is not the same as a native HD transfer.

48 comments

  1. Cool stuff and that’s a real good set list especially when they can even surprise you!
    Up To My Neck In You is a great track. Too bad they didn’t put this out on vinyl

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would see this one at work occasionally, I think I even owned it at one point? Maybe. Maybe not. But I don’t do well with DVDs and watching them with any regularity. Now, if this could be a CD, I’d be all over it!

    Liked by 1 person

            1. YESSSS!!! More people need to know this show exists because it’s so underrated. People talk about Live at Donington, No Bull, and Live at River Plate, but no one talks about Stiff Upper Lip Live. WHAT A TRAGEDY!!!

              Liked by 1 person

                  1. Oh I’m into them, I just don’t make the same amount of time, I guess. Most of it is I have trouble sitting still for too long. Even on Mike’s chats I’m twitching and stretching and moving around. I’m a terrible TV guests haha

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Oh yeah, you’re always off to get another vinyl or something that relates to the discussion haha! Mike’s shows are pretty long, so I’m impressed you find time for that!

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                    2. Yeah, we’re managing OK. It’s harder on the kids, not seeing their friends much, and even then at a distance. But we try to keep things light and fun… like, we spent two hours yesterday tobagganing in the park on an empty hill. It’s all we can do.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Oh yeah, you mentioned that you try to do outdoor activities with your kids right? I can’t imagine how tough it must be for them not seeing their friends. I’m not even sure if they have cell phones to stay in contact with them. I was 12 when I got my first phone, but everyone is different.

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                    4. Absolutely, we get outside every day. Our kids are very high energy, they require it like they require oxygen. Otherwise, they’d climb the walls!

                      Neither has a cell phone yet (they’re 11 and 9). We’ve had that discussion but they’re not really needed yet. They can use the landline, or FaceTime on their ipads, or sometimes even through Roblox. They still talk to friends, just nt as often, and it’s a different quality to being in the same room with them.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    5. Did they play sports before the pandemic? I know Justin Bieber played sports because he was a high energy kid.

                      Oh ok, so they’re not exposed to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook yet if they don’t have cell phones. That’s cool! Yeah it’s hard not being in the same room as your friends, but at the same time, we have no choice!

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                    6. Oh yeah. They both played soccer (my boy was on three teams his last year), and they both did kung fu twice a week. My girl also loves horseback riding, did that once a week. Plus whatever they got at school. Plus all their time playing outside after school. Plus family walks after dinner. Etc.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    7. Oh wow they were pretty busy with soccer, horseback riding (your daughter), kung fu, and regular outdoor activities. I’m so jealous your daughter did horseback riding. I only did it once, but I loved it! That was when I was 9 though.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    8. She’s 9 now! Yup, they were pretty busy, There was even a night at the Y of organized mayhem too. But they thrived at at, and we never pushed anything on them. Well, swimming lessons they HAD to do. We live near too much water, gotta know how to swim. Otherwise, this was all stuff they wanted to try.

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. Shoot, I bought Stiff Upper Lip Live this past summer, I should’ve reviewed it right away! Nah, it’s fine. I’m glad to read your review on this epic concert release Kevin. It’s my favorite of theirs; No Bull is a close second because they played “Girls Got Rhythm.”

    I found Stiff Upper Lip Live by accident on YouTube and I fell in love with it; that was enough clarification for me to check out this band! I watched it for about five more times, before the video got blocked. I found it on Facebook, but I got sick of watching it on my laptop, so I bought the DVD myself!

    Thanks for pointing out that Cliff’s mix was not good because I couldn’t hear him one bit. I love how Phil smiles to the side after “The Jack” ended, but the crowd was still singing along. Is that what Mal said though? I thought he said “I hope it’s s**t on!”? I could be wrong.

    That concert was my first discovery of what the boys looked like and the first thing I thought was, “who’s the weird dude with glasses?” lol. The setlist was incredible, they played “Up to My Neck in You” from Powerage, which was cool because Powerage was the first AC/DC album I bought with my own money (so I was relieved I knew at least one of the songs on there). I became addicted to “What Do You Do For Money” after that concert, hence it became my third favorite song of theirs! I will say this though, they could’ve at least played “Satellite Blues” because I know they performed it live for that tour. But other than that, Stiff Upper Lip Live is a banger!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you were able to find a copy! You should still do your review. Your take on it is unique!

      I think that is what Mal said… I’m enjoying the memory of him saying it that way so I’m not going to change it even if I’m wrong, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll get around to it one day. Maybe after I finish reviewing the later AC/DC albums. I should review No Bull one day too, now that I think about it because I could talk about how the camera man couldn’t take his eyes off Phil haha!!!

        Fair enough! I respect that. It’s your memory of Mal. Let the voice of a legend live on!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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