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LIVE: EUROPE – Perth, 16 May, 2018

| 17 May 2018 | Reply

LIVE: EUROPE – Perth, 16 May, 2018
Perth Concert Hall, Wednesday, 16 May, 2018
Reviewed by Karl Infirri
Photography by Michael Farnell

Ever since I started doing reviews for 100% Rock Magazine I have had the privilege to review acts as diverse as thrash metal legends Overkill and the incomparable John Waite. I gave a real solid review for both acts, as in their own ways they really impressed me. I hate to come across like I am easily impressed but it’s hard to be critical when these performers are so passionate and balls to the wall in their own respective ways. Those were eye opening performances.

Then I saw Europe play at The Perth Concert Hall.

Europe are a rock band that were formed in Sweden in 1979 who – apart from a few years in the late ‘80s without guitarist John Norum – have retained their classic line-up since 1984. After selling over 25 million records, and trotting around the globe for the last 34 years – Europe finally landed in Australia for the very first time in support of their new record Walk The Earth. I assure you, the wait was worth it.

When Europe hit the stage, they are a runaway freight train. The band opened the show with blistering pace. Walk The Earth and The Siege – two songs off the new album – fit right in with the rest of their well known material. Then it was only necessary for them to turn the packed Concert Hall upside down with a powerful performance of Rock The Night, which segued into AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie, which was always going to be a cracker to get the audience revved up for the rest of the evening.

The first set was a marathon of rock n’ roll brilliance. Relentless in their onstage assault, they mirrored the energy of a band that were 30 years younger. Frontman Joey Tempest was an inspiration for yours truly on the evening, as I studied his presence and never-ending raw energy, stage moves and attitude, all of which are a sure-fire sign that 40 years into his career as a rock singer, Joey has never lost that spike in his gut. To be perfectly honest, the man has aged very well. They all have. It must be something in the water back home in Sweden because Europe have certainly been partaking in a 30 year binge on shots from the fountain of youth. One of the highlights from the crowd on the evening was when Joey asked if they had any questions, one younger lady called out “WILL YOU GO OUT WITH MY MUM?” to much hilarity.

Sign Of The Times, Open Your Heart and Days Of Rock N Roll were further highlights in an packed first set that ended with crowd favourite Superstitious. Tempest would then let us all know they were going backstage for “a few cold ones” and would see us again after intermission.

They opened the second set with my favourite Europe song, Ready Or Not. This was thrilling to witness, and you would think it would be time to slow things down but that was obviously not in the cards. Last Look At Eden and Hole In My Pocket kept us tided over well until another absolute highlight of the evening, as they played their first ever single back from 1983, Seven Doors Hotel, which they had not played live since 2015. Perth was in for a treat this evening, that’s for sure.

Quick side bar – as an avid concert goer for many years it blows my mind how many people feel the need to watch nearly the whole show through a little screen on their phone. I don’t understand the need. Sure, 20 seconds here, 20 seconds there – document your night all you like for your Snapchat friends, but when you are constantly holding your phone up, you aren’t living in the moment! Live in the moment! You might be recording it in HD but I assure you the resolution on the actual performers is unbelievably better! You should try it sometime if you are one of these types of people. It doesn’t get any more irritating for the rest of us… Nonetheless…

Another really exciting part of the evening was drummer Ian Haugland’s solo halfway through the set, drumming along to the famous William Tell Overture. What a great way to keep people interested in a drum solo! Sometimes they can get a little boring but in this case it was a real nice addition to an already fantastic show.

They finished the set on Let The Good Times Rock, their 25th tune of the evening before heading backstage once again. The stage was set. We knew what was coming our way.

They came back out for their encore, starting off with another fan favourite, Cherokee. Whilst that was exciting for me, the time had come to end the evening with you-knowwhat. The Final Countdown. Everyone was out of their seats, the energy that song brought to the evening is hard to describe. Everything else was already so EPIC, b. But The Final Countdown is just on another level. The band had played for hours at this point, with a 27 song set, and the energy in people young and old never ceased – most definitely not for the band themselves. Absolute legends.

It was a great end to an impressive show. This was an inspiring performance and it will be one that I will never forget.

Shane

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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