Having mined their one square inch of aesthetic territory straight through the earth, AC/DC pop out the other side (in Sydney? Glasgow? Sarasota?) with a certain special wisdom: They've gotten great at making great AC/DC songs, which it turns out we missed more than we knew. Black Ice (Columbia) is their most consistent record since 1986's Who Made Who (the closest the band ever came to a best-of), masterly from the strategic pauses and withheld bass of "Rock 'N Roll Train" to the gorgeous vocal and guitar textures of "Big Jack." There was always the wink of The School of Rock in AC/DC's ritualistic reverence for all things rock, a joke enriched by genre decline. But now all the rock about rock feels like revelation rather than defense, as if perseverance and success (including catalog sales second only to the Beatles) had reversed the usual aging processes. They're in their 50s and 60s now, in top form, and not likely to be back, so skip the shoplifting trip to Wal-Mart and head right for the source.
Sun., Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m.; Mon., Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2008
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