If you’re a fan of hard rock music, you’re probably a fan of AC/DC. You might even be able to picture them in your head right now, seeing lead guitarist Angus Young stalking the stage and duckwalking in his schoolboy outfit or singer Brian Johnson raising the roof with his leather-lunged vocals.
Now imagine if that band of hellraisers up onstage playing “Back In Black” were all female. Welcome to the world of Shoot To Thrill, an all-female AC/DC tribute band who will be playing at the Spinning Jenny in Greer Friday night, Jan. 7.
The band started about eight years ago while lead guitarist Susan Darney, rhythm guitarist Wendy Brancaccio and drummer Kate Martin were playing in another band together.
“Three of us were playing in a Southern rock band,” says Brancaccio. “We were doing a mix of stuff like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band, and we started getting some requests for some harder stuff. So we started adding in some classic rock like AC/DC and it went over like crazy, so we thought, maybe we should try doing an all-female AC/DC tribute.”
Once the trio added bassist Jai Dollie and singer Kara Damnboise, they started studying up on AC/DC’s songs and stagecraft.
“When you start studying AC/DC you realize there’s a lot of blank space,” Brancaccio says. “You’ve got to have the beats in the right place, you’ve got to have the right feel. We really studied what equipment do we need, what guitars do we need, that kind of thing, and we watched a lot of live stuff to see what we could do that was like them but put our own spin on it and maybe take it up a notch.”
Brancaccio says that she thinks AC/DC’s music attracts both old and young fans to Shoot To Thrill’s shows.
“I feel like they span across generations,” she says. “We get a lot of Dads bringing their daughters, Moms bringing their sons, and so many kids that are learning to play guitar start with some AC/DC, and it’s such feel-good music that it’s always fun to play.”
Of course, because Shoot To Thrill is all-female, they’ve run into their share of skepticism and sexism, but all they ask is that you stay for the show and let them prove themselves.
“We get a lot of people that say, ‘We didn’t know that it would be that good!’” Brancaccio says. “Or people say, ‘Are you really playing?’ We get underestimated because we’re all girls, and that’s ok. As long as you give us a chance, because we do believe in the whole show of it.”
That’s an important point, because a Shoot To Thrill show isn’t just a band standing onstage playing covers. Susan Darney channels Angus Young, from the schoolboy outfit to the manic duckwalk. You’ll hear claps of thunder before the band launches into “Thunderstruck.” And what would “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” be without cannons firing?
“It’s fun to do stuff like that,” Brancaccio says. “We’re gonna play ‘You Shook Me All Night Long,’ ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,’ ‘TNT,’ all your favorite AC/DC songs. There’s a lot of energy, a lot of audience participation, and it’s gonna be a really fun night of good time rock and roll.”
Want to go?
What: Shoot To Thrill: All-Female Tribute To AC/DC
When: Friday, Jan. 7
Where: The Spinning Jenny, 107 Cannon St., Greer