Both Foo Fighters and Guns N’ Roses paid tribute to late AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young during their respective concerts Saturday night, hours after Young died at the age of 64 following a three-year battle with dementia.
Foo Fighters, who have routinely performed AC/DC ‘s “Let There Be Rock” during the encore of their Concrete and Gold Tour, opened their Saturday gig at Mexico’s Corona Capitol Festival with the 1977 song.
“We’re going to play some rock and roll for Malcolm tonight,” Dave Grohl told the audience as a photo of Young was shown behind Foo Fighters on the festival’s large video screen.
Earlier in the day in a written tribute to Young, Grohl said that AC/DC’s 1980 concert film Let There Be Rock “changed my life.”
“That film, a live AC/DC performance from Paris, 1979, is everything that live and roll should be. Sweaty. Loose. Loud. A relentless performance from the perfect band. It was the first time I lost control to music. The first time I wanted to be in a band. I didn’t want to play my guitar anymore, I wanted to smash it,” Grohl wrote. “Thank you, Malcolm, for the songs, and the feel, and the cool, and the years of losing control to your rock and roll. I will do just that tonight, for you.”
Guns N’ Roses similarly staged a tribute to Malcolm Young during their Sacramento, California concert Saturday. Although Axl Rose didn’t perform alongside Malcolm during his guest stint in AC/DC, the singer remains close to Malcolm’s younger brother Angus Young.
“We’re gonna dedicate this to Malcolm Young, who will be sorely missed. By none more than his brother Angus,” Rose told the crowd as Slash played a solo rendition of Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed.”
Guns N’ Roses then dedicated their covers of both Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” to the late guitarist.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Slash said of Malcolm Young, “Malcolm Young was one of the best ever rhythm guitarists in Rock n Roll. He was a fantastic songwriter and he had a great work ethic too. I toured with AC/DC on their ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ tour. I found Malcolm to be a really cool, down to earth fellow. The entire rock n roll community is heartbroken by his passing.”