Europe – Roundhouse, London – 12th November 2016

Electric boys opened the night. Formed in 1988, they’re the first of three 80s bands playing tonight.  They play great music which mixes hard rock with a funk sound and are a great live band.  It’s no surprise to see they go down well with the crowd – they’re not only good musicians, but are good performers too, and their sound has enough depth to keep interest levels high.  A great start to the night.

Dare came next and were a bit of a disappointment.  They chose to play some of their older material, which in theory was a good idea as it tied in with Europe playing their old material, but the problem was it just sounded bland and unexciting – like a second rate Bon Jovi.  I really couldn’t get into their set, and the crowd seemed fairly unexcited too.

Finally it was time for Europe.  Tonight had been advertised as them playing their 1986 album “The Final Countdown” in full, so it was a surprise to the audience when Joey announced that before they got to that they’d be playing the entire “War of kings” album.  While that’s a great album and is one I really like, it wasn’t what fans had paid to hear, so it was no surprise to see that the audience response was quite muted.  Had they chosen to play the best track from each of their albums or played more early material I’m sure theyd have gone down better.  They still went down well, but when they finished the “War of Kings” album and moved onto the old stuff the change in the crowd was very noticeable – they become a lot more animated and louder.
One thing you can rely on with Europe is that they’ll put in a great performance – Joey Tempest is a superb frontman and makes things look easy when it comes to getting the crowd going, and while the others stay out of the spotlight, they all put in great performances.
Playing “The final countdown” not just in full, but in order means we get a vey unusual situation – we get to hear the hit “The final countdown” just over halfway through the night – it’s the first time I’ve ever heard it played without it closing the show.  While there are several songs from the album that get played regularly on tour, there are songs on the album that I’ve never heard the band play live before, so it’s a real treat to hear them played live tonight.  For many of theh fans here tonight, this album was the first time they heard Europe, so hearing the album played live in full tonight is a real nostalgia trip.  A fantastic experience, and with it being filmed for release on DVD then it’s a show fans around the world will get to experience in the future.

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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.