EUROPE LIVE AT RAMBLIN MAN 2016
Europe- Main Stage
Far from being the one hit wonder that many people mistake them for, Swedish rockers Europe actually have a long and indeed impressive back catalog. Of course, when they appear at festivals such as this, a large swathe of the crowd are only there for ‘that’ song, but undoubtedly leave as fans of much of that back catalog.
They start with the title track of War of Kings, an album that gets quite a few hits during their hour long set. Frontman Joey Tempest is still in remarkably fine voice, and it’s an instantly recognisable one at that. The song itself is surprisingly chunky, particularly if you only know them for their rather saccharine biggest hit – operation ‘convert the crowd’ has begun.
They barely pause for breath, it has to be said, firing out hit after hit; even the most casual of fans would be delighted with their setlist. From ‘Hole In My Pocket’, with its bass groove that’s heavy enough to hammer in nails, to crowd favourite ‘Rock the Night’, to the hard swagger of ‘Scream of Anger’ and the slinky ‘Superstitious’, their entire set is simply exceptional, and every song prompts a huge singalong from the crowd.
“Good evening UK! We’re back in the cradle of rock”, Tempest enthuses to roars of approval, before they launch into the ‘all the bells and whistles’ of ‘Firebox’. Then, “if you’re looking for something heavy…hold on to your underwear!”, he intones jokingly, as the band intro ‘Nothing to Ya’, followed by a beefed up ‘Cherokee’.
After ‘Days of Rock and Roll’, during which Tempest slings on a guitar, the intro to THAT tune finally rings out. “Here’s a song for ya!’, Tempest bellows, before launching into the song that is practically embedded in everyone in the world’s DNA. With the crowd singing the lyrics, solo and even synth intro, it’s the crowd pleaser to end all crowd pleaders, and tops off a flawless performance.
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