Moncton — A telephone mix-up has left thousands of New Brunswick’s hard-rock fans disappointed, and dozens of bluegrass fans happy, with news that this summer’s Magnetic Hill mega-concert will feature cover band Hayseed Dixie instead of AC/DC.
When first announced, promoters said the Sept. 5 concert would feature hard-rock legends AC/DC as headliners, bringing the band back to Moncton in a repeat of their 2009 visit. However, it turns out the telephone negotiations were conducted by a hearing-impaired executive, who was actually negotiating with the management of Hayseed Dixie, a band best known for their bluegrass-flavoured covers of hard-rock anthems.
“I thought they came cheap,” said Mayor George LeBlanc. “I’m sure the notoriously hard-rocking music fans of Moncton will be disappointed, but it’s not all bad news — considering New Brunswick’s aging population, surely all those folks who love old-time music will flock to Magnetic Hill to kick up their heels.
“When you consider Hayseed Dixie’s classic take on new songs, this concert really has something to offer everyone, not just the narrow segment of the population that listens to C103 FM.”
Hayseed Dixie certainly does have a diverse catalogue; a quick search through YouTube shows they cover not just AC/DC as their name suggest, but also such hits as Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer” and Scissor Sisters’ “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing.”
However, that’s not enough for classic rock fans, who were looking forward to once more catching Angus Young and the rest of his band in Moncton.
“It’s a total ripoff,” said Steve Ramsay of Penobsquis. “I wanna rock hard, not frolic around like some barn-dancing idiot while some hick strums a banjo.”
Mayor LeBlanc said that while this was “a bit of a screw-up,” Moncton’s city council would be keeping a close eye on the concert’s performance.
“If Hayseed Dixie doesn’t sell out, no biggie,” said LeBlanc. “Honestly, we saved so much money by not actually signing AC/DC, we can afford to not sell tickets.”
But if the concert is a smash success, it could point a path for future summer events in the Hub City.
“Hayseed Dixie isn’t the only bluegrass cover band out there,” said LeBlanc. “There’s The Cleverlys, The Gourds — all these groups work for cheap, and have something to offer any New Brunswick music fan, except for those elitists who listen to CBC Radio 2 on the weekends, when they play that opera music. We’re never, ever getting anything like that for Magnetic Hill.”