Which Hard-Rocking Northern Irishmen Might Blow AC/DC Off the Stage Sunday? The Answer Is The Answer

Rocks Off is about as excited about Sunday's AC/DC show as we were for the Black Ice ballbreakers' show 11 months ago, but for a much different reason. Last time it was because we hadn't seen AC/DC since 1996 at Austin's Frank Erwin Center; this time it's because we're itching to see the band behind our pick for hard-rock album of the year, Everyday Demons. It's not AC/DC, rather openers The Answer.

Formed in Belfast in 2000, the Answer is fueled by the denim-and-diamonds riffs of guitarist Paul Mahon, and although Demons conjures hints of bands like Humble Pie, the Black Crowes and the Cult, it's no retread. Singer Cormac Neeson (how's that for an Irish name?) has a firm grip on that Chris Cornell growl 'n' wail even while tackling some pretty serious subject matter - suicide on "Why'd You Change Your Mind," political disillusionment on "Too Far Gone" and faithless women (several songs, particularly "Walkin' Mat"). Hometown mash note "Dead of the Night" is a worthy successor to no less than Thin Lizzy's "The Boys are Back In Town."

It's the same sort of neo-classic rock spun by the likes of Wolfmother, the Parlor Mob and Rose Hill Drive, and it smokes. Even though it appears as if they're playing the Exact. Same. Set. as last year, we'll probably go ahead and stick around for AC/DC too.

With AC/DC, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, November 8, at Toyota Center, 1510 Polk, 866-446-8849 or

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray