Brian Johnson makes surprise appearance at Sam Fender show to sing AC/DC classics

Brian Johnson onstage with Sam Fender
(Image credit: Ricky Auty)

Brian Johnson has made his first live appearance since last year's Taylor Hawkins tribute concert at Wembley Stadium. The singer joined fellow Geordie and singer-songwriter Sam Fender onstage during a show at St. James' Park in Newcastle, UK, on Saturday night, and performed two tracks from AC/DC's classic 1980 album Back In Black: the title track and You Shook Me All Night Long.  

Fender, playing the second of two nights at Newcastle United's 50,000-capacity home stadium, first introduced his former guitar teacher, Phil Martin, onto the stage, telling the crowd they would perform two AC/DC songs.  

He then added, "We cannot really do AC/DC songs without the one, the only Geordie legend, the singer of AC/DC, Brian Johnson!", before Johnson walked in from the wings. Fan-shot video of the performances can be seen below. 

Last year Rolling Stone asked Johnson about his Geordie roots.

"It’s very important," he replied. "And it’s one of those things that stays with you forever. The accent; listen to me. I’ve been [in the U.S.] 30-odd years. And the only thing that’s changed is I say “gas” instead of “petrol.”

"I was talking to Sam Fender the other day and he’s a Geordie boy and he said, 'How do you handle it with all the people that don’t understand you when you’re talking to them?' I said, 'Just stay natural.'"


AC/DC will perform at the Power Trip Festival later this year in California. The event takes place October 6 to 8 at the Empire Polo Club In Indio, California (the home of Coachella Festival). 

Power Trip will be headlined by Guns N' Roses and Iron Maiden (Friday), AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne (Saturday) and Metallica and Tool (Sunday). The festival marks the live return of AC/DC with Brian Johnson for the first time since 2016, as well as Ozzy Osbourne's first full headline set since his retirement from touring earlier this year.

Tickets are on sale now

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.