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Hell’s Belles is keeping AC/DC’s music alive

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 21, 2021

Adrian Conner has much in common with AC/DC icon Angus Young. Like the Australian guitar hero, Conner is a short axe wizard who makes her living courtesy of AC/DC material.

The always-animated Conner is the leader of Hell’s Belles, an all-female AC/DC tribute band, which formed in 2000. Conner, vocalist Megan Ruger, guitarist Jess Coram, bassist Nicole Ridge and drummer Simona Bressi will bring plenty of volume and energy Friday to the Knitting Factory.

“There is nothing as fun as playing AC/DC songs,” Conner said while calling from her Austin, Texas, home. “I also write and perform original music when I’m not doing Hell’s Belles. I love doing the original stuff, but the cool thing about going out with Hell’s Belles is that I don’t have to convince people to listen to what we’re playing.

“They come out and can’t wait to hear AC/DC songs, whether it’s one of their hits or a song that’s not a hit. Our shows are always a big party. It’s always a celebration of one of the greatest bands ever.”

Who knows if AC/DC will ever play another show? The band did record a new album, “Power Up,” which was released in 2020. However, it remains to be seen if the band will ever tour. “You always have us,” Conner said. “We’re keeping their music alive. I love what they do, and they’re the nicest guys.”

Conner has met the members of AC/DC. “I’ve hung out with them a couple of times,” Conner said. “They’re as nice as you imagine them to be. The first time I met (AC/DC vocalist) Brian (Johnson) and Angus and Malcolm, I didn’t know what to say. Angus was so generous. He asked me some questions. He said, ‘If you practice a lot, you’re probably better at these songs than me.’ It was such an amazing experience.”

Conner grew up in Tacoma during the 1980s and led a relatively sheltered life in terms of music. “I knew songs if they were popular when I was a kid,” Conner said.

“But I’m making up for lost time. It’ll be good getting back to Washington. We have a few shows there, and the audiences, especially in Spokane, are always up for some AC/DC, which is good for us.”

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