In all the years that Europe have been together I have never caught the band live. I got close earlier in the year at Download when the stage was set for the band but the weather and traffic chaos ensured that the band missed their allotted slot and the stage was cleared without a chord being struck. I was, therefore, keen to see how good the band were live.
Just finishing their first number on my arrival at the ABC were tonight’s support band Stonerider. The Atlanta based three piece reminded me of the Black Crowes and were a very tight, rocking blues outfit. Frontman and guitarist Matt Tanner was very impressive with a great voice and excellent blues licks and by the end of their short set they had gained a lot of new friends in Glasgow and left the stage to warm applause.
After 20 minutes or so the stage was set for tonight’s main event and thankfully Europe did make the stage this time. Opening with ‘Rags To Riches’, it was clear from the start that tonight was going to be a good night. Anyone who hasn’t witnessed Europe live before, and I include myself here, would be surprised at how heavy the guys are on stage. Another two new tracks from the band’s Bag Of Bones album in the shape of ‘Not Supposed To Sing The Blues’ and a full on ‘ Firebox’.
Joey Tempest was in good form and had even learned a few Glaswegian phrases for the evening which raised a cheer. John Norum was also in fine fettle and by the time we reached the mid point of the set he settled down alone with his acoustic guitar for a run through of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘ The World Keep On Turning’ before being rejoined by his bandmates for another couple of low key numbers. After these quieter moments though the band returned to full throttle for the rest of the set, the highlight for me being the killer double of ‘The Beast’ followed by ‘Doghouse’, stunning stuff.
It was however the opening bars of ‘Rock The Night’ that really put the match to the touch paper and set the crowd alight. The song turned into a mass singalong and morphed into Nazareth’s ‘Son Of A Bitch and Deep Purple’s ‘Women From Tokyo’ amongst others before coming to a rousing climax heralding the end of the main set. The guys returned for a couple of encores, the first being the excellent ‘Last Look At Eden’ before the inevitable run through of the classic ‘’The Final Countdown’ which had the crowd bouncing for all they were worth.
This was a great show and one that was well worth the wait. Mention Europe to anyone and you will without doubt get the opening bars of ‘The Final Countdown’ sung back at you, hell even my 12 year old son burst into the song when told where his mum and dad were off to, but there is far more to the band than ‘that’ track, you just have to witness them live to appreciate what a great hard rock band they really are.
Review & photos by David Wilson
Photo Gallery by David Randall (Manchester, 23 November 2012)
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In this show, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 2 February 2020, David Randall plays a selection of tracks from some of the artists who impressed at this year’s Giants Of Rock event in Minehead (24-27 January).
Featured Albums w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 NEWMAN Ignition (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLACK SWAN Shake The World (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 CORMAC O CAOIMH Swim Crawl Walk Run (indie)
Power Plays w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)
SHAKRA Turn The Light On (AFM Records)
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Transmissions (Nuclear Blast)
RYDERS CREED Lost Soul (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FRAMING HANLEY Puzzle Pieces (Thermal Entertainment LLC)
ROBERT HART Mysterious (Escape Music)
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