AC/DC cover band Hell’s Belles back in Vail Valley
Vail Daily Correspondent
VAIL – Adrian Conner, who brings her band to the Vail Valley Friday, knew she liked music, but she didn’t pick up the guitar her mother had given her until she heard Led Zeppelin.
“I heard that and just decided that I wanted to learn all of their songs, because I never knew guitar could be so cool,” she said.
She’s been ripping strings since and joined the all-women AC/DC tribute band, Hell’s Belles. She plays the part of legendary Angus Young, lead guitarist. The band formed in 2000 and has gotten lots of praise over the years, mainly because they really do sound like AC/DC.
With Mandy Reed as Cliff Williams (bass guitar), Lisa Brisbois as Malcolm Young (rhythm guitar), Melodie Zapata as Phil Rudd (drums), Jamie Nova as Bon Scott and Brian Johnson (lead vocals), you really can’t go wrong. These five ladies like to rile up the audience and make the whole experience unforgettable. “We mostly do ‘High Voltage’ through ‘Back in Black,’ because those albums are full of (AC/DC’s) most memorable stuff,” Conner said.
Vail Daily: First of all, what or who got you so deep into AC/DC?
Adrian Conner: Well getting into this band and having it as a job really was very motivating, but once you start learning how to play other people’s music you kind of start to hear it completely differently than if you didn’t know it. I like “Back in Black,” and that was just what I knew before I was in the band. And now they have tons of songs and I know them all, and I’m so much more appreciative of it. I’ve learned a lot about song writing.
VD: What kind of reception do you girls get?
AC: If it’s a new place, people are interested but a little shocked because they don’t expect it to be as good as it comes off. My mom’s been to a couple of those shows and she says that we do well even when people don’t clap because they were so shocked and didn’t know what to do with themselves. I haven’t seen any trouble from an upset crowd, and it’s such good music you just can’t mess with it if you’re playing it right. Who cares if we’re girls?
VD: Do you girls really try to sound like AC/DC or are you more focused on just bringing the music to fresh (and not-so-fresh) audiences?
AC: We definitely want to sound just like AC/DC. We try to do it just like the records. We want to fans to feel like they are in front of AC/DC, but we don’t have a blow-up doll on stage and we don’t have awesome props.
VD: What was is like when you actually met AC/DC?
AC: Oh it was really nerve-wracking, and they were really nice and polite and you just want to form a bond with these people and you really don’t know them that well and I wanted to ask them my song-writing questions and stuff. When you spend so much time admiring something it’s hard not to be star struck. I didn’t get to ask them about song-writing because I was so nervous!
VD: What’s the band’s favorite song to perform, and why?
AC: I would say “Riff-Raff,” but I’m guessing. It’s kind of one of those songs that even though not a lot of people know that song, it’s a really good song live and to me, it was written to really excite the crowd and it does that. It’s a really fun song and gets people really riled up, like wooo!!!
VD: What can people expect from your live show at Agave Friday night?
AC: Lots of sweat, running around, a lot of hotness, definitely we will be real tight. We are always fun, it’ll be great.
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