Swedish band Europe, fronted by Joey Tempest, rocked the world in the 80s with the pomp (parp) metal and the hit The Final Countdown, title track to their third album originally released in 1986.
Formed in 1979, it is for that track and album that the band will forever be noted.
They split in the early 90s and reformed 10 years later, and guitarist John Norum left and rejoined, and the band are still producing some pretty fine rock music.
Last year, still promoting 2015’s War Of Kings, they filmed this show to celebrate 30 years of The Final Countdown, a show of two halves, with a best of then the original album in full.
The Roundhouse is not a venue I’m personally familiar with but everyone knows the name, and from the footage here (other video and audio formats are available) it looks and sounds wonderful. And a full, enthusiastic and loud audience make the most of it too.
With several tracks from the aforementioned War Of Kings, there’s plenty of confidence in the current material, and rightly so. Opening track Hole In My Pocket shows as much shred as it does energy and movement from vocalist Tempest. There’s as much pomp and circumstance as you’d expect, but that only adds to a wonderful show.
There’s some great bass and keyboards to kick off The Second Day, a brooding number that adds to the variety and atmosphere. This early line-up are constant and consistent, seasoned as much performers as musicians.
However, the big cheer, and that’s big with a capitol BIG, is the keyboard intro to The Final Countdown, it’s clearly what everyone’s here for. The atmosphere goes up several notches. Totally parptastic it may be, there may have been an element of kitsch at the time, but the track has stood the test of time and here’s the proof. The album beginning to end is pure rock nostalgia (is it really 30 years ago?), but the balance of keyboards and guitar is really enjoyable.
Rock The Night sees Tempest jump around like he’s having his own party on stage, but look at the crowd and you’ll see he’s not alone. The album is well known enough to negate a review here, but the performance is just as good with the Octane turned up somewhat. Lovely.
I strongly believe that video only releases, no matter how wonderful they are, have limited appeal. How often do you go back to them? That’s why releases like this, that combine the video and audio options together add so much more appeal as well as value, and the package with a decent booklet too adds SO much.
Not just for Europe fans or nostalgia, very enjoyable throughout.
Joey Tempest – lead vocals, occasional guitars, keyboards
John Norum – guitars, backing vocals
John Levén – bass, backing vocals
Mic Michaeli – keyboards, piano, keytar, backing vocals, occasional guitars
Ian Haugland – drums, percussion, snare drum, backing vocals
1 Hole In My Pocket
2 The Second Day
3 Praise You
4 Nothin To Ya
5 California 405
6 Angels (With Broken Hearts)
7 Days Of Rock ‘N’ Roll
8 Children Of The Mind
9 Rainbow Bridge
11 Light It Up
12 War Of Kings
1 The Final Countdown
2 Rock The Night
4 Danger On The Track
7 Time Has Come
8 Heart Of Stone
9 On The Loose
10 Love Chaser
11 The Final Countdown (Reprise)