Europe - Shepherds Bush Empire, London
The epitaph has been written many a time, but classic rock is far from being dead as Swedish legends Europe proved tonight. Upon arriving at the venue the queue was making its way around the street, but what struck me most was the diversity of the audience: from those fans from the band's early ‘perm’ days, to a much younger generation appreciating some real good time music.
The band was due on at 9pm, and first to arrive on stage was drummer Ian Haugland, followed by bassist John Leven, keyboardist Mic Michaeli and guitarist John Norum. Joey Tempest was last to arrive on stage, heading straight to the middle of the stage where he was submersed in smoke, and when the lights finally came on, the cheers got louder and the guitar riff of 'Last Look at Eden' begun.
After having missing them at last year's Sonisphere festival, catching them tonight certainly made up for that. Their highly energetic and enthralling show was most definitely enough to put some of today’s bands to shame. Tempest still has a lot of charisma and presence on stage and knows how to get a crowd going. About half way through their set, they come to 'The Loner', which they dedicated to Gary Moore, stating that if it weren’t for his influence, the band would not be here today.
Like all good things though, they have to come to an end at some point, and having knocked out classic after classic, it was time for their most recognisable song to date, 'The Final Countdown'. As soon as Michaeli begun the intro on keyboards, the whole of the Empire exploded, with what seemed like the entire audience eagerly singing along. With the promise of a new album in 2012, this is one band not content to rest on its laurels.
Setlist: Last Look At Eden / The Beast / Rock The Night / Scream of Anger / No Stone Unturned / Carrie / The Getaway Plan / The Loner / Seventh Sign / New Love In Town / Love Is Not The Enemy / More Than Meets The Eye / Drum Solo / Always The Pretenders / Start From The Dark / Superstitious / Doghouse / The Final Countown