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Highway to Smash Palace

When Hamilton guitarist Dan Cosgrove dons his schoolboy cap and duck-stomps across the Smash Palace stage the gig will be NZ/DC’s first show since lockdown — and the band is frothing.

“It’s been hard, man,” says Cosgrove.

“We’ve done a few online jams but it’s not the same. We’re frothing at the mouth for this one.”

Since performing here last year the band have some new songs under their belts for the Gisborne gig in which they will perform songs from both the Bon Scott and Brian Johnson era “and a few other surprises to make it even more interesting”.

What the AC/DC tribute act is renowned for is the musicians’ commitment to authenticity. Cosgrove plays the schoolboy-uniformed, duck-walking guitarist Angus Young.

“We try to make it as authentic as we can,” says Cosgrove.

“If we’re doing a tribute we’re taking on the characters and costumes 100 percent to give the audience a really authentic experience.”

Cosgrove describes the AC/DC sound as hard rock heavy metal but accessible; the band doesn’t take itself too seriously.

“There’s definitely a comedic element about the band. The schoolboy outfit, the running around . . . Angus Young once said himself he wanted to entertain the crowd as well.”

By day, NZ/DC’s rockers are respectively, and respectably, a music teacher, builder, accountant and civil engineer. Like the band, AC/DC fans come from all walks of life, says Cosgrove.

“It’s one of those bands — the right amount of heavy, the right amount of rock. I know people who are big on country who love AC/DC. The band hit the nail on the head with their songwriting and music.”

Asked what his top three AC/DC songs are Cosgrove says that is almost asking the impossible but cites the tracks Highway to Hell, Back in Black, and Thunderstruck.

“Thunderstruck got me into AC/DC as a kid. It was insane.”

NZDC, with Gisborne support act, Harbinger, Smash Palace, Saturday, 9pm. Tickets $25+bf from eventfinda.

LET THERE BE ROCK: Frothing to get back on stage after the AC/DC tribute act, NZ/DC’s gig at Smash Palace on Saturday will be the band’s first show since Covid-19 Alert Level restrictions eased. Picture by Laura Cosgrove