AC/DC Announce New Drummer + Return of Cliff Williams for Power Trip Fest Performance
Considering that AC/DC’s last concert took place in 2016 – with Axl Rose filling in for Brian Johnson – the mere fact that they’ll be playing this year’s Power Trip Festival should be reason enough to get excited. In case it isn’t, though, the group recently announced that not only will Matt Laug be filling in for drummer Phil Rudd, but also that bassist Cliff Williams is coming out of retirement to join his former bandmates.
Yesterday (Sept. 9), AC/DC posted a brief teaser to their social media pages. Essentially, it’s a snippet of them rehearsing “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)” – which is one of the group’s most streamed deep cuts on Spotify – as the camera zooms in on the cover of their last studio LP, 2020’s Power Up. Alongside it, they revealed: “PWR UP for Power Trip! Listen to the rehearsal of the boys powering up with Cliff Williams, who's coming out of retirement for the festival and Matt Laug on drums.”
You can see the post below:
Thankfully, many responses to the post have been positive. For instance, someone replied: “Sounding great Matt!! Looking forward to it!!” Likewise, another fan rejoiced: “Bummer about Phil Rudd, but Matt Laug is a pro. Even if it’s only one show the most important thing is the last AC/DC concert ever has Brian Johnson fronting the band.”
To be fair, however, there's been a fair amount of skepticism, disappointment, and the like as well. Specifically, one Instagram user replied to AC/DC’s post: “No Phil, no Malcolm…. This is not AC/DC.” Similarly, someone on X (formerly Twitter) bemoaned: “I’m absolutely gutted to see/hear Phil isn’t there. I thought we were going to get a proper chance to see the boys together one last time. In fact gutted doesn’t even come close to expressing my disappointment.”
Regardless of how people feel about the major lineup change, there’s no denying that Laug has cemented his drumming chops through his work with Alice Cooper, Alanis Morissette and Slash’s Snakepit (among other acts). Plus, he’s already shown massive love for the Australian rockers. As Blabbermouth notes, though, AC/DC gave no reason for why Rudd – who left in 2015 but appeared on Power Up – won’t be a part of the show.
READ MORE: How Did AC/DC Get Their Band Name?
Speaking of Williams, he retired from the group in 2016 due to him being “ready to get off the road, really, and do what [he] want[s] to do.” Like Rudd (and Johnson, who departed in 2016 because of health concerns), Williams contributed to Power Up. Thus, their set at Power Trip Festival should make for a monumental reunion and celebration.
As for what – if anything – AC/DC are planning to do afterward, well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Last month, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo shared how much he’d love for AC/DC to play at Las Vegas’ 2024 NFL championship event. Prior to that, Loudwire included the band in our lists of The Most Shocking Rock + Metal Moments of the ‘80s and 10 Bands Who Overcame Huge Tragedies.
AC/DC will take the stage at Power Trip Festival – which is being held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. – on Saturday, Oct. 7. You can see the full schedule and lineup here, as well as grab tickets here.
Lastly, let us know how you feel about AC/DC’s lineup for the festival, as well as if you’re planning to attend!