These belles are on the highway to hell
BRECKENRIDGE – Upon hearing about Hell’s Belles, a rocker’s first response is “Are they legit?”Look at the stats: Five hot women, each assuming the role of an AC/DC band member. Two have children, one has dreadlocks and they’ve all had their run-ins with groupies. So what’s the deal with the Hell’s Belles ladies? Are they aware they’re trying to reproduce one of the greatest rock bands of all time? Have they read the lyrics to “Big Balls” and “You Shook Me All Night Long”?The truth is, Hell’s Belles delivers. These ladies salute AC/DC and those about to rock – their audiences – with devotion, passion and fury. Founded in 2000 and playing to audiences described as “sold-out, sexed up and starving for a little dynamite,” Hell’s Belle’s fulfills all obligations to die-hard AC/DC bands, even earning an official endorsement from Angus Young himself in a 2003 issue of Blender Magazine. But still … what about the obvious difference? AC/DC is comprised of males, and the Hell’s Belles members pride themselves on their fierce femininity. Lisa Brisbois, aka rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, said AC/DC’s infectious energy was the key to their spot-on tribute.
“They’re very humorous and playful but also sexy,” she said. “I remember listening to “Highway to Hell” as a kid and being equally obsessed and mesmerized by it, but also afraid.” And this atmospheric reproduction translates into an authentic audience experience. Brisbois said Hell’s Belles wanted people who have seen AC/DC to feel like they’re in a show, and people who haven’t seen the rock legends to be really turned on by the music. Brisbois said Hell’s Belles tries to come as close as possible to AC/DC’s sound in their performances, adding that “prettier harmonies” were the only difference. Guitar leads mimick Angus Young’s intro on “Back in Black” and Brisbois’ trained her voice to be “mannish, gravely, growly” on “Jailbreak.” The women are literally playing in a man’s world, but performing for the female fans is a top priority.Hell’s Belles describes this focus as “not some down-your-throat feminism, but a proactive support and action spirit toward the continued balancing of the gender scales.” The girls can rock, and they want their peers to do the same. “We want women to be empowered by this,” said Brisbois. “It makes me proud to be in a band with all women, rock as hard as we do and stay as true to AC/DC as we can.”Even though Hell’s Belles has earned a rock ‘n’ roll pedigree in its five-year journey, Brisbois doesn’t expect Summit County’s overwhelming male population to believe the Belles’ rock evangelism at first.
“A lot of the men come more to see whether or not we can pull it off,” she said. “But after the first song, they’re usually sold.”Whether you’re longtime fan of the Aussie rockers or you just want to see some ladies raging, Hell’s Belles plans “a rock ‘n’ roll assault that leaves you begging for more.”Belles of the headbanger ballWhat: Hell’s Belles, all-female AC/DC tribute band
Where: 8150, Vail VillageWhen: Today 10 p.m.Vail, Colorado