Review By Darren McIntyre Photography by Barry Douglas
Europe are a rock band formed in Upplands, Vasby in 1979 originally known as Force but this was about to change as they entered RockSM ( Swedish Rock Championships) which they won in 1982, this was the first time it had been held and catapulted the boys to stardom.
The boys have been lifelong friends and this has allowed them to establish themselves as a major force within the rock community, the band rose to rock stardom in the 80s with their 1986 album The Final Countdown which brought them global success like never seen before.
The boys have released 11 studio albums, 3 live albums, 3 compilation albums & a colossal 24 music videos, tonight the boys bring their Time Capsule Tour to the splendid
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall which in my opinion is a fitting backdrop for these Swedish rockers. As the lights dim and we settle into tonight’s entertainment we are greeted by
A personal message from every member of the band ranging from their formation to hiatus, to kids and a reformation that has seen them come out stronger, fitter, more emotional and ready to bring this magical night of music to the fine folk of Glasgow, as the curtain dropped and the incredible light show kicked in we had a sprightly Joey Tempest bounce onto the stage and hit us with the fantastic On Broken Wings which got us up on our feet and ready to Rock The Night with the boys. From the off, there were bunches of ladies hollering and waving furiously every time Joey swayed to their side of the stage and it was entertaining to watch let me tell you.
Joey hollers out Hellooooo Glasgow to which we fire back a mighty hell yeah and this seems to amuse the boys as they know they are in for a fantastic night with us rowdy Glaswegians, up next comes the thundering Seven Doors Hotel that brought the venue to life as lot’s of folk were up on their feet and throwing some shapes to the pounding groove pouring from the stage tonight.
Start From The Dark boomed towards us and this had a heavier, rockier feel that had lots of us throwing our horns in the air to the delight of the boys who were chuckling on the stage, Joey bellows out Here We Here We Fucking Go which has become a sort of anthem for bands to chant when they want a reaction from the crowd, this again brought the venue to life as we chanted along and really got the energy flowing as the boys hit us with a new track in the form of Hold Your Head Up which had a real punchy rock groove attached to it and this brought some smiles to some faces for sure as we wandered off thinking a new album would be with us late this year or early next year.
We rolled in the fantastic Dreamer which was Joey & Mic doing what they do best on stage and letting us know that there is life in these old dogs yet as they proved that they still got it, right and we couldn’t agree more, we came back to the present as such with the rumbling War Of Kings that allowed us to be taken back to a time that reminded us of a battle commencing throughout the venue tonight as the boys drove their juggernaut straight through the heart of Glasgow tonight.
Joey leaves the stage and lets Mic, Ian, John N & John L bring us the captivating and atmospheric Vasastan which is a sort of tribute to the boys and the city of Stockholm, John Norum’s guitar playing was silky smooth like delicious chocolate that just keeps on giving which led straight into the impressive and haunting classic
Girl From Lebanon which got us up from our seats to revel in this classic track that was timeless and sublime all rolled into one, Mic was at the back of the hall and chatted to us and began to tell us that the song they were about to play was the first that he and Joey wrote together and out poured the ballad Carrie that again brought people to their feet and had us swaying from side to side to this classic arrangement that really suited The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall down to a tee let me tell you.
We finished off the first set with the classic Stormwind that was befitting to tonight’s weather as we were braced for storm Babet to unleash its worst on us but we were safe and secure inside this rather splendid venue as the night’s first segment came to a close, this allowed the boys to catch their breath and grab a cup of lemon tea and a rich tea biscuit, we retired to the bar for an Irn Bru and a camomile tea with some chocolate for good measure.
As we settle back into our seats we are treated to another up close and personal segment from the boys that focused on the boys reforming, having kids, touring and the brotherhood that has become this unbreakable bond from these 5 boys that will hopefully continue for years to come, we are led on Always The Pretenders and like a thunderbolt we get a rapid 3 song to kick ass hitting from Ninja followed by the classic Prisoners In Paradise and finishing off with the classic Sign Of The Times as Joey struts around the stage waving and putting thumbs up to all in his line of sight.
This brought us to the segment of the show where we have two stools, two mics and Joey & John sitting with us chatting us about how they would sneak off to the woods with some beers and their guitars and jam out singing songs of their favourite artists and doing it only as they know how, one song that came to mind was the captivating Space Oddity by David Bowie, the harmonies and the flowing lyrics were a joy to behold as you could hear a pin drop as the boys really delivered a track by one of their heroes(see what I did there), the one thing that really grabbed me tonight was the lighting that threw out a real dramatic vision that held my attention as the boys were rocking all over the stage.
We catch our breath for a second before the band bring us a simply stunning piece of music in the form of Last Look At Eden which simply transports us to another place as we feel the emotion pouring from the stage as the boys literally sweep us along with them on their journey as we feel the emotion oozing from this classic tale that is timeless as the boys themselves, we are led onto the phenomenal Open Your Heart that gets the audience up on their feet as we really get inside the minds of these 5 musicians as they deliver a faultless set that has taken us through their impressive back catalogue.
As the place settled after this onslaught that came before us, we got John Leven taking centre stage as he hit us with a real gritty powering bass solo that was just giving us what we came for tonight, drive, energy, direction and down right musicality that was a real sight to behold. we rolled into Memories and the classic More Than Meets The Eye.
As we caught our breath it was time for the engine room to take centre stage as Ian stood up removed his trademark sunglasses and chatted with us he told us it was time for something a little different and boy was he right as the light show sprung into life and the backing music bellowed through the speakers we were greeted with a drum solo that introduced William Tell Overture which took drum solos to another level and most of the audience along with it as we were entertained beyond our wildest thoughts, as we sat back in our seats we were led into Ready Or Not and straight into a rendition of Superstition that snuck in a bit of Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again which seemed to delight the crowd even more as we got a glimpse of Keep On Walking That Road as we spilt into Bring It All Home before we reached the summit and the song that really propelled the boys to superstardom and cemented them into rock history.
The Final Countdown brought down the curtain on a fantastic night of past and present hits from a band that has stood the test of time as they really delivered a 2 set gig that had something for everyone and then some, we danced, sang, swayed from side to side and really got into the hearts and minds of these boys as they brought down the curtain on an unforgettable night that will live on for a long time.
The thing that really grabbed me was the fact that you felt part of the experience and the band as we sat and listened to their stories, their past, present and future hopes for this Time Capsule Tour as they took their bows, and applause and left us wanting more.
Thank you, Joey, John, John, Mic & Ian for a truly magical night that was worth waiting for.
Joey Tempest – Vocals / Acoustic Guitar
John Norum – Guitars / Backing Vocals
John Leven – Bass / Backing Vocals
Mic Michaeli – Keys / Backing Vocals
Ian Haugland – Drums
On Broken Wings
Seven Doors Hotel
Rock The Night
Start From The Dark
Hold Your Head Up
War Of Kings
Girl From Lebanon
Always The Pretenders
Prisoners In Paradise
Sign Of The Times
Space Oddity(Joey & John N on acoustic)
Last Look At Eden
Open Your Heart
More Than Meets The Eye
Drum Solo(William Tell Overture)
Ready Oar Not
Superstition , Walking That Road, Here I Go Again
Bring It Home
The Final Countdown