Europe & Black Star Riders – Corn Exchange, Cambridge – 11th march 2015

The Amorettes had the job of opening the bill on this tour.  It must be a fairly daunting task opening for two bands of this calibre, but these Scottish ladies showed no sign of nerves as they took to the stage.  It’s a good sign that the venue was already quite busy by the time they came on, with fans coming in early to check them out rather than only arriving later for the headline acts.
Being a three-piece and being set up so spread out then the stage did feel very empty and gave the impression of three individual musicians rather than one band – I’d much prefer to see them set up much closer together so there’s more interaction.

Musically though, you can’t fault them – a great hard rock sound with a nice ACDc feel to it.  They do a great job of getting the crowd warmed up for the co-headliners.  I’ll definitely be getting their album when it’s released in a few weeks time.

The Amorettes setlist:

Fire At Will
Get What’s Coming
Bull By The Horns
Give ‘Em Hell
Son of a Gun
Shoot From The Hip
Hot and Heavy

Next up was Black Star Riders, the band that evolved from Thin Lizzy when they decided to release new material.  With Scott Gorham on guitar and Ricky Warwick on guitar and vocals you know you’re in for a treat, and that was definitely the case tonight as they played a set that mixed songs from both the Black Star Riders albums with Thin Lizzy classics.  I must admit to having expected the Thin Lizzy songs to go down noticeably better than the BSR material, but in practice the crowd loved the whole set.  Ok the Thin Lizzy songs may have got a few more people singing along, but there really wasn’t that much in it, which shows how strong the Black Star Riders material is.  They put in a great set and end with “Whiskey in the jar” having set a high standard for Europe to meet.
Black star riders setlist:

Bound for Glory
Kingdom of the Lost
Charlie I Gotta Go
Hoodoo Voodoo
Are You Ready
The Boys Are Back in Town
Through the Motions
All Hell Breaks Loose
Finest Hour
The Killer Instinct
Whiskey in the Jar

Finally it was Europe’s turn.  It may be a co-headlining tour, but it does make sense for Europe to close the night – after all how can you follow “The Final Countdown” which Europe usually end with?  Like Black Star Riders, Europe have a new album out (War of kings), and they choose the title track of the new album to open with, and that was the first of half a dozen songs from the new abum to get an airing tonight.  For the other half of the setlist they gave us a selection of songs from their other albums including some from the other more recent albums as well as two from their 1986 album “The final countdown”.

Ricky Warwick may be great at fronting Black Star Riders, but there are very few frontmen who can equal Joey Tempest and he put’s in his usual superb performance, entertaining the crowd while singing.  One of the security team got a shock at one point as he stood with his back to the stage watching the crowd only to find Joey’s microphone appearing in front of his face.  He uses the space available on the large stage to swing his mic stand around and race around the stage.

As expected, they end with “The final countdown” – a fantastic end to a gig featuring three excellent bands.

Europe setlist:

War of Kings
Hole in My Pocket
Last Look at Eden
Girl From Lebanon
The Second Day
Scream of Anger
Praise You
Sign of the Times
Riches to Rags
Rock the Night
Days of Rock ‘n’ Roll
The Final Countdown

[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157649038629054″ size=”z” count=”100″]

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.