On the telephone, tribute artist David Jaynes' voice sounds nothing like AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson. It's warm and inviting with a slight drawl, not at all what you might expect from a man tasked with imitating the primal scream that made Johnson a rock icon.
Hand Jaynes a flat cap and vest, crank up the amps and shine the lights on him, however, and the lead singer of Atlanta's Back N Black tribute will shake you all night long.
"You have to really push hard," Jaynes said. "It's really intense. You're belting it out there. It's a lot of fun. I love it."
Back N Black started touring in 2007, but Jaynes' love of AC/DC stretches back to the late '70s, when he caught the band on the radio. Although he had heard of AC/DC, he dismissed the musicians on the assumption they were just another punk band with a little more popularity than the rest.
When he heard "Highway to Hell," it swept him off his feet and slammed his head into the asphalt.
"The guitar just grabbed my attention right away, and when the vocals came in, [former lead singer Bon Scott] didn't sound like anybody else at the time," Jaynes said. "I couldn't believe I was sitting there in the middle of the Bible Belt hearing somebody sing 'Highway to Hell' on my AM radio.
"It was the attitude, the swagger and the loud guitars."
Those are the elements Jaynes said he and the other members of Back N Black strive to re-create in their shows. The experience should be just like AC/DC's tours during the early '80s, Jaynes said.
Saturday, Back N Black will play Rhythm & Brews. The two- to three-hour set will include the entire "Back in Black" album as well as other cuts pulled from a 50-song repertoire, including hits such as "Thunderstruck," "Dirty Deeds," "TNT" and "Hell's Bells."
Authenticity is the name of the game, Jaynes said.
The Atlanta group plays the same equipment as AC/DC at close to the same volume. They also dress like the band, down to guitarist Tyler Moore donning Angus Young's trademark schoolboy costume.
More than anything, though, they capture the swagger, Jaynes said.
"You're never going to make a mistake doing it 100 percent," he said. "I've seen a lot of tribute bands, AC/DC bands included, where the costumes and gear aren't important; they just get up there and play the songs and don't really play them correctly.
"We want to make sure we give people their money's worth."
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, young adults, technology and people of interest. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German. He previously worked as the features editor for Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. Casey received the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence for Reviewing/Criticism in ...