Europe with StoneRiders
(10. November 2012) Even almost 30 years in EUROPE are still rocking, even though they had split up from 1992 until their comeback record, 2004‘s Start From The Dark, which is still the best of the four records they‘ve done since the reunion. This year‘s Bag Of Bones presented EUROPE digging deep in the 70‘s and worshiping DEEP PURPLE, WHITESNAKE and LED ZEPPELIN.
So it is no big surprise that their support band STONERIDERS is also mainly influenced by classic 70‘s rock music. The threesome is mixing hard rock and stoner rock. Sometimes you are reminded of LED ZEPPELIN, then BLACK SABBATH and in STONERIDERS‘ best moments you even think of old WHITESNAKE. But this is no music you really remember. You listen to it and then it‘s gone, there are no big hooklines or choruses. Even the band‘s stage performance is boring and there isn‘t a lot of moving on stage and in the crowd. Some applause inbetween the songs but things will heat up when the headliner comes on stage.
The Final Countdown made EUROPE famous and is still giving them money. But the band itself seems to be a different one since they‘ve reunited. EUROPE didn‘t put out some 80‘s glam metal records like they used to do. Instead they started over and deliver some fine hard rock which is rooted in the 70‘s, but there is still the big and catchy choruses that made them big in the mid-80‘s.
Riches To Rags, the opener of this year‘s Bag Of Bones opens the set of the Swedisch rock band. The Matrix is filled with about 700 people and all of them are in love with Joey Tempest and the boys. The songs sound much rougher than on CD tonight. But this suits these tracks very well. Without any big words, the band dives right into the next song Not Supposed To Sing The Blues. After Firebox the first classic, Superstitious, blasts through the PA. It seems like all of their fans waited for the old classic tunes. Scream Of Anger is even older, taken of the band‘s second effort Wings Of Tomorrow. This shows the roots of EUROPE because it‘s more metal than the other songs of the classic era.
After a short break guitar player John Novum re-enters the stage and performs FLEEDWOOD MAC‘s The World Keep On Turning on his own before the other band members come back to perform acoustic versions of Drink And A Smile and the emotional but poppy Open Your Heart. This acoustic set is really exciting because you don‘t get something like this on every concert you attend. And this version of Open Your Heart is may be better than the version they have re-recorded for Out Of This World.
Then the band goes electric again and delivers some more tracks that appeared on their last two records Last Look At Eden and Bag Of Bones. There are also old tracks such as Girl From Lebanon, Carrie, Sign Of The Times and an extended version of Rock The Night which includes some popular riffs bei other bands and an extra large sing-along part for the crowd, which gets the chance to sing the song‘s refrain for about 32 times before EUROPE are playing the last chorus to say goodbye.
Of course they come back to perform an encore. It consists of Last Look At Eden (including it‘s intro) and the long awaited The Final Countdown. Then EUROPE say goodbye after almost 110 minutes of a great rock show by a band that had it all but still does very well, even if they aren‘t playing arenas anymore.