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Rob Liotti's T.N.T. is a powerload

A live review of the local AC/DC trib



Sand Shack
Nov. 28

North Charleston was rocking hard when the Lowcountry's very own "Bon Scott," Rob Liotti, brought his AC/DC tribute act T.N.T. to the Sand Shack on Ashley Phosphate. The Sand Shack is a bit of an older, rocker crowd dive — with plenty of cigarette smoke to prove it — so T.N.T. fit right in.

Except for a few tunes off Back in Black, Liotti and his band — James "Angus" Slater, Matt "Malcolm" Flewelling, and Derek "Cliff Williams" Flewelling — played two solid sets of Bon era material including "Up To My Neck In You," "T.N.T.," "Shot Down In Flames," and "Whole Lotta Rosie."

All true AC/DC fans know the Bon stuff is where the real gold is, and TNT rocked it proper. The band was tight and had their parts down and played the songs just like the record.

Slater's guitar work was strong, and even looked a bit like Angus (especially in the legs) as he ran around the bar rocking the all-black Gibson SG. But to match the real Angus' fire and bionic vibrato and intense tone, you'd almost have to be from another planet or sell your soul to the devil. Or both.

The rhythm section was tight. The people who really know what's up know the rhythm is AC/DC's secret weapon and that nailing that stuff is no small order, no matter how easy they make it look.

Liotti actually pulled off a very impressive and quite believable Bon Scott, which is no easy feat by any means. Bon had one of the most unique tones of all rock singers, and Liotti did it justice. He seemed to get better and more Bon-esque with each song. There were some tunes where he was almost a dead-ringer. Strangely enough, the higher the pitch, the more he sounded like Bon. The man could really hit the high notes somehow. In-between songs, Liotti was the perfect blend of his Bon character and himself — who is quite an entertaining and unique character as well.

AC/DC is bad-ass and a lot of fun. They don't take themselves too seriously at all. T.N.T. captured this aspect. If you like vintage AC/DC, T.N.T. is well worth checking out. Maybe next time they'll play somewhere where you won't have to deal with a carton's worth of second hand smoke. Either way, do yourself a favor and dig on 'em next time they come around.

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