banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

Live – Europe, Mannheim, Germany – 21 October 2012

| 29 October 2012 | Reply

Alte Seilerei, Mannheim, Germany
October 21, 2012
By Robert Kitay

I had given up on Europe playing the USA anytime in the near future, so I decided to travel all the way from California to Germany to see them, along with Manowar who played the previous night.

As I arrived at the venue, I had quit a difficult time locating it, as did several other fans wandering the street.  The venue’s website gave me the impression that this was a somewhat large and fancy venue.  Boy was I wrong.

Alte Seilerei was basically a converted warehouse off the back of the rear parking lot of a small casino, located in an industrial area.  Upon entering the venue, the heat immediately hit me.  It was absolutely sweltering inside.  It was a relatively small room (I’m guessing a capacity of 600 or so) with unfinished ceiling and poles directly in the sight line in the center of the stage.  Unlike the Manowar concert the night before, there was no line at the merchandise table and a quick look around at the crowd showed the crowd wearing shirts of almost every band you can imagine, except Europe.  I’d guess that only 10% of the crowd was wearing Europe shirts. At this point I was starting to wonder if this concert was going to meet my expectations – small uncomfortable room in a dumpy venue, fans who might not be diehard Europe fans, and a general feeling of indifference was the vibe I was picking up.

As I arrived, the opening band, Stonerider, was already playing.  They are an American southern rock style band.  They were pretty good, and got a decent reception, but once again nothing overwhelming.  I worked my way up close to the right – John Norum’s position – side of the stage. After what felt like forever standing in a sweltering hot club, Europe finally came on.  Immediately it hit me how perfect the sound was.  Everything was loud with  every instrument at the perfect volume and mix – and I do mean perfect. I’m not used to such perfect mixes even in large venues, and certainly not in clubs.  Major kudos for the sound man.  In addition, although the light setup didn’t look very big, the lights and stage fog were very effective in producing a “big show feel.”  Other than the overwhelming heat, suddenly my concerns with the venue went away.

The band was simply on fire. Especially at the beginning of the show, the band was very active, particularly singer Joey Tempest, who put on a powerful performance.  His voice has lost nothing over the years.  John Norum also put on a clinic in guitar playing.  I’ve always thought that John was one of the most underrated guitar players in rock music.  His playing was fantastic.  He has one of the best tones in music, and his playing is so tasteful.  John Leven (bass), Ian Haugland (drums), and Mick Michaeli (keyboards) were all solid as well.  This is the classic Europe lineup, and they played as a well oiled machine.

The lineup consisted of a large number of songs off their new CD “Bag of Bones” as well as a number of classics.  The new songs were an absolute pleasure to listen to live.  In my opinion, “Bag of Bones” is the best CD they have produced since the reunion and could arguably be considered their best CD ever.  The band looked to be having the most fun while singing the newer songs such as “Not Supposed to Sing the Blues,” Firebox,” “Demon Head,” and “Doghouse.”  The crowd seemed to really enjoy the new songs as well.  The band had a three song acoustic set in the middle of the set that included “The World Keep on Turning,” “Drink and a Smile,” and “Dreamer.”

The crowd seemed to react the most with “Superstitious,” Carrie,” “Rock the Night,” and of course “The Final Countdown,” which caused the everyone to jump and shout with all hands in the air.  I must say that my initial thoughts that this would be a “dead” crowd were completely off the mark.  Clearly, most of the crowd knew all of the songs, including the new ones, and sang along during the entire show.  This was a great show with a solid setlist.  My only disappointment was that they didn’t play “Cherokee” (which they have played during several of the shows on this tour) and “Wings of Tomorrow” (which they have not been playing).  Other than that, the setlist was solid and the band couldn’t have played better.  In fact, the show in my opinion was much better than the shows shown in the “Final Countdown Tour 1986” and “Live From the Dark” DVDs.  If they could have just turned on the air conditioning, it would have been the perfect night.


Riches to Rags
Not Supposed to Sing the Blues
Fire Box
No Stone Unturned
New Love in Town
Demon Head
The World Keep on Turning (Acoustic)
Drink and a Smile (Acoustic)
Dreamer (Acoustic)
Bag of Bones
Girl from Lebanon
The Beast
Let the Good Times Rock
Rock the Night


Last Look at Eden
The Final Countdown

Tags: , ,

Category: Live Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad