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On stage: Europe

- Europe - Oct. 2004 - Cologne (D) -
- Gotthard & Europe - Nov. 2009 - Bochum (D) -

Europe - October, 28th 2004 - Live Music Hall, Cologne (D)

For a few years the fans of Europe had to hope that their favorite band will be back. After they played at New Year's Eve 1999 - the night to welcome the new millennium - the rumors floating around. More and more rumors were spread. Then the band played Sweden Rock Festival and it was clear - they are back! Their new album Start From The Dark is in the stores. And now they are on tour with the original line-up. Tonight the tour stopped in Cologne. The tickets said that there is a special guest - at least in Cologne - there haven't been a special guest. And so the band of singer Joey Tempest entered the stage early - around half past eight. They started with the album opener of the current album, with Got To Have Faith. And Mr. Tempest welcomed the fans in German. From the first moment it's obvious that the band has fun and that they enjoy been back on stage. The hope that guitarist John Norum would return never died and now he's back. For many fans the first time to see the original line-up, coz Norum left the band after their million seller The Final Countdown and the following tour. A few more albums with guitarist Kee Marcello and then they took a break - a long break which almost last 10 years. They don't look much older and so songs like Wings Of Tomorrow, Seven Doors Hotel - from their debut album - and Carrie took them and the fans on a musical journey to the past. But they were out to promote their new album live and so about 50% of the set been new songs like America, Hero and Wake-up Call. Frontman Joey Tempest is communicating with the fans and between the songs - sometimes telling short stories about the songs - he thanked everybody for coming out and for their loyalty through all the years. The new and the old songs fit together very well, for someone not knowing what's new and what's old it sounds so homogenous that it's impossible to tell which are the new ones. A special moment was surely when Joey Tempest picked up his guitar and alone on stage performed Carrie. The light tech did a fantastic job to create atmosphere to support the songs. Flames, Yesterday's News and Rock The Night been the last songs before the band left the stage after more then one hour of good time rock / melodic metal. After a few minutes the band returned, coz the fans didn't want to let them go. The encore started with Start From The Dark followed by Cherokee. Last, but not least their greatest hit and the biggest chart success they ever had - The Final Countdown. This was the end of the show and the end of a nostalgic trip. Most of the people in the audience listened to Europe from the mid-80's and I guess many haven't heard the new album before the show. Europe did the right mix. Perhaps they make new friends with their new, a bit darker sound, but at least the old fans should buy their new album. The band had a great time on stage and I don't think that anyone regrets to visit the show. And as Joey Tempest told me during the interview, the band will record the show in London for a DVD. The live set is a kind of best of combined with new songs and so a good chance to revive this evening by watching the DVD which should be in the stores next spring. And they will return next summer...

Claudia Ehrhardt

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