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AC/DC's latest album goes to #1 in 29 countries...

AC/DC’s Black Ice a Worldwide #1, 2008 Tour Opens Tonight

So, how did AC/DC's plan to distribute their new album Black Ice exclusively in the U.S. through Walmart work out for them?  Not bad.  They are set to debut at #1 on the U.S. charts, selling more than 780,000 copies in its first week. 

Of course, Black Ice went to #1 in 28 other countries and some of them don't have Walmarts so it's also fair to question the necessity of the deal.  Either way, AC/DC has the first #1 debut of their career.  I guess it's also safe to say that despite freezing the #1 music retailer in the U.S. out completely (iTunes), they were still able to get some copies of the new album into the hands of fans.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still vehemently opposed to exclusivity deals.  I want more than the choice between "do it our way" or "do without."  Customers want choice.  There's a staggering amount of empirical evidence to support that, yet the music industry, artists, and retail conglomerates are moving in the opposite direction with these exclusivity deals.  That they are working (The Eagles, AC/DC) means this isn't about to change.  That they are working doesn't make me feel any better about them.

With a #1 album already in their pocket, the band are now set to kick off their Black Ice world tour.  The first leg kicks off in the U.S. tonight in Wilkes-Barre, PA (at the now hilariously named Wachovia Arena.

Sunday night (Oct. 26), the band played a warmup gig for 3,500 lucky fans who won contests through the band's web site.  The 90-minute warmup gig featured "TNT," "Back in Black," and "You Shook Me All Night Long" as well as new songs such as "Rock ‘N’ Roll Train" and "Black Ice."

The stage show for this tour includes the traditional cannons for "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)."  In addition to that AC/DC standard prop, a full-size train has been added as has a screen for some animated graphics.  Don't tell me Rosie has gone virtual!

North American Tour Dates
Wilkes-Barre, PA (Oct. 28)
Chicago, IL (30)
Chicago, IL (Nov. 1)
Indianapolis, IN (3)
Detroit, MI (5)
Toronto, ONT (7)
Boston, MA (9)
New York, NY (12)
New York, NY (13)
Washington, D.C. (15)
Philadelphia, PA (17)
E. Rutherford, NJ (19)
Columbus, OH (21)
Minneapolis, MN (23)
Denver, CO (25)
Vancouver, BC (28)
Seattle, WA (29)
Tacoma, WA (30)
Oakland, CA (December 2)
Oakland, CA (4)
Los Angeles, CA (6)
Los Angeles, CA (8)
Phoenix, AZ (10)
San Antonio, TX (12)
Houston, TX (14)
Atlanta, GA (16)
Charlotte, NC (18)
Ft. Lauderdale, FL (20)
Tampa, FL (21)
Cleveland, OH (Jan. 5)
Pittsburgh, PA (7)
Toronto, ONT (9)
Cincinnati, OH (11)
St. Louis, MO (13)
Omaha, NE (15)
Fargo, ND (17)
Minneapolis, MN (19)
Kansas City, MO (21)
Dallas, TX (23)
Tulsa, OK (26)
Little Rock, AR (28)
Memphis, TN (30)
Nashville, TN (31)

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