Posts Tagged ‘John Leven’

EUROPE – The Final Countdown Tour – November 16 2016, Zurich

December 5th, 2016

europe2016

 November 16 2016, Zurich

Review and photos my Micki Curti

Swedish band Europe has completed again a successful Tour. This time the five Acclaimed Scandinavian musicians accomplished their mission to celebrate in style with fans their 30th anniversary Tour of  THE FINAL COUNTDOWN, the album from 1986 that officially sealed their world success. The anniversary tour started on November 8th in Stockholm, Sweden, kicking off the celebration in their hometown Stockholm, where it all started 32 years ago. The concert was sold out. Then the tour proceeded on November 10 in Bruxelles, Belgium, November 11 Koln Germany, November 12 London which was sold out  and recorded for a future live DVD. On November 14 the band played in Utrecht, Netherlands, November 15th Paris, November 16th Zurich and November 17 Lausanne, Switzerland, November 19th Rome and November 20th Milan Italy ( also sold out), November 22nd Barcellona and November 23rd Madrid Spain ( sold out as well) . There was supposed to be a Kiev concert, which the band was really looking forward to playing, according to a message on their social media outlets, but it got unfortunately cancelled. I had met Ian this past February and he had told me of this planned tour and celebration, pretty much in the same days of the official announcement: therefore I had to make due to an accurate follow up to share this event with all of you.  So I did, I attended the concert in Zurich, Lausanne, Switzerland, Milan and Rome Italy. The Photos are from the concert in Zurich on November 16th.

One element that truly made this tour one of a kind, was the playing the latest album WAR OF KINGS in its entirety and  the rendition of the album whose 30th anniversary was this year “ the Final countdown”, which was also played in its entirety. As the lead singer Joey Tempest announced at the starts of concerts,“ it is something we have never done before and that we will not do again”, that is to play THE FINAL COUNTDOWN and WAR OF KINGS entirely. Band members John Norum , guitarist, Joey Tempest, lead singer, Mic Michaeli, keyboards and Ian Haugland on drums let the world  listen to their entire albums just this once, making it a very special occasion for their supporters. Songs like “Heart of Stone”, “ Ninja”, “ Love Chaser” were always on young fans LP players, along with the famous tunes “ The Final Countdown”, “ Cherokee”, “Rock the Night” and “ Carrie” but many of these songs had not been played since that tour in 1986-1987. Many fans had not listened to some songs since that tour in 1986-1987. For many fans in their early 40’s now, these were songs that they had never listened live, in many circumstances due to simply being too young back then to attend a live concert. When researching old set lists from the 1986-1987 tour, lists taken from the USA tours had a mysterious, un-typed 13th song. When looking at this list and comparing it to the album list, the one missing was “ On the loose”.  With this missing piece of history, one can state that only a few countries on that tour in 1986 , including Sweden, were able to listen back then to the full Album set list from “ the Final Countdown”, making this tour  in 2016 a clearly irreplaceable time for their supporters.

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When the concert started, it began with “ War of Kings” jolt of energy “ Hole in my Pocket”. The rhythmic power of this song is an outstanding gem that the band has offered before but that never ceases to capture. “ Nothing to Ya” has their own nieche of super faithful fans following, among the already faithful  following and caused a higher realm of arms in the air. “ Days of rock’n roll”, the modern day fanfare continued to grab the audience in dancing and rocking away. “ War of Kings” and “ Second Day” projected more energy among fans with an ever energized Joey Tempest and a fired up John Norum, showing how it is done. “Vasastan”,“ Children of the Mind”,“ Angels with Broken Hearts” “ California 405”, “Light it Up and “ Rainbow Bridge” were among the songs never played at all before which brought the audience in a status of participated emotion, since there was truly no other live to be compared to before, prior to this tour.

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Between John Norum’s magic and strong flights of guitar, Joey’s vocal power, Mic’s atmosphere-enriching intros and a cohesive, seamless fraternal energy among all the band members and instruments, the live concerts of this tour were in fact un-replaceable pieces of history. Nothing was left unplanned and due to the absolute uniqueness of the occasion, every stage detail was carefully tailored by the highly professional Europe crew,  to let the band deliver those memories . After the whole set list from WAR OF KINGS, the screen projected a return back in time video and showed images evoking an old computer and an ancient countdown, with a message on this old 80’s style computer, looking like a Commodore 64, that read a very warm thank you message from the band to listeners for these 30 years.  All this  unfolded while the still apocalyptic notes of “the Final Countdown” were starting.

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Fans in the audience were projected to their younger years, their sacred 80’s and most of all down memory lane.  Everyone to this day, younger or older, metal and rock fan or not, sings to “the Final Countdown” and many more fans proved to be faithful to the musical repertoire that Europe has produced until now, by singing and rocking vividly at all songs. One fan in the Lausanne show even brought blue-light blinking 80’s glasses to further the 80’s ambiance. In songs like “ Heart of Stone”, “ Love Chaser”,  “ Ninja”,“ On the Loose” and “ Time has come” John Norum lead  the band in a powerful return to those riffs, riffs that know no time or limits. The fact they had not been played in so long cut the atmosphere in a way that was tangible for all of us there to feel. The band brought on their un-parallel high power presence and while all songs provided a overflowing stream of energy among the audiences, there were certain songs that seemed to simply stop time for a moment.

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During the songs from THE FINAL COUNTDOWN, in the amazed and captured audience moments, images of the band touring in the 80’s, fire, smoke effects and outstanding lightning accompanied the whole atmosphere to make us feel again at a 1986 gig. Norum and Tempest embraced the stage holding the audience down to those years and letting them know those guitar momentums are not over yet.  And the audience reacted tenfold loving those riffs and those tunes again, singing at every note and word, as if no year has passed. If this did not create a “ big enough wow”, effect, the band furthered this gratefulness by giving homage to all faithful fans from those years by projecting a few photos taken with some of them during the 80’s and I became aware of several of these fans actually being present at the concerts of the tour. For many people, the song “ The Final Countdown” with those catchy initial apocalyptic keyboard notes that Mic came up with one day and Joey built upon, became a song we all sing to this day and we have all been riffing to with our guitars for 30 years and beyond. I spoke with fans that were at the Anniversary concert and many of them told me that they “ were too young back then to attend this particular Albums’ tour and listening to these songs finally live finally filled a musical void in them”.  One gentleman from Ireland told me he now has seen many Europe gigs but this held a special spot in his music memories, since back in 1986 when he was 12 years old, his older cousin Paul did not agree to bring him to the concert. I am certain many of  Europe supporters born in the mid 70’s can relate to this story and I know for sure I can.  Overall fans from all ages appeared in absolute joy to be able to attend such a one–of-a-kind event. The audience had young, younger, older and not so old fans, children of fans, every age of listener represented, all captured by these tunes. Many traveled from far away to attend one, two or more concerts of the celebration tour, especially if their home country was not included in the tour dates but not only limited by that.

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Supporters to the band flew in from the Japan, the USA, the UK, Ireland, Spain, the Czech republic, Taiwan, Italy, Germany and more countries were in attendance at one or more of these concerts, in support to the band and celebrating the 30th anniversary to a song from an album that intermingled beginnings and “ countdowns”, weddings, mixed life circumstances, the Geico commercial and definitely in every radio station and every music hall around the world. The two set lists were, in the end ,a great success in the crowd, proving a Joey Tempest  in top vocal shape,  John Norum with an ever growing outstanding guitar presence, the Maestro Mic Michaeli linking songs magically, a powerful Ian Haugland at the drums and John Leven masterfully offering a precise, soft but assertive base. The band showed the world they are now indeed in their 50’s but still playing skillfully, roaring in energy and with endless creativity.  The images of them young proved they were indeed in the 80’s with spandex, tight pants and big hair but the high quality music and a talent they had back then has been  simply amplified to the 100th level and it showed on this tour.

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Songs were as majestic as ever, maybe also due by the fact that for so many of us, the older tunes had only played in our stereos, never live.  Lead singer Joey seemed to impress upon us that yes they were indeed here to bring energy to audiences everywhere, grateful for 30 years and with a presence that communicated “ there will be many more years to come”. Since there was already a 30th anniversary concert tour for the band’s first 30 years of career in 2014, now a 30 years anniversary tour to “the Final Countdown” album, we sincerely count on this to be the start of a musical tradition, at every Europe’s album anniversary. When I told Ian this after the Zurich concert, he smiled and said “ how many years old will I be in 30 years? Never too old for great music…never too old.

SET LIST

1.    War of Kings
2.    Hole in My Pocket
3.    The Second Day
4.    Praise You
5.    Nothin’ to Ya
6.    California 405
7.    Angels (With Broken Hearts)
8.    Days of Rock ‘n’ Roll
9.    Children of the Mind
10.    Rainbow Bridge
11.    Vasastan
12.    Light It Up
13.    War of Kings
14.    The Final Countdown
15.    Rock the Night
16.    Carrie
17.    Danger on the Track
18.    Ninja
19.    Cherokee
20.    Time Has Come
21.    Heart of Stone
22.    On the Loose
23.    Love Chaser
24.    Snippet of “ The Final Countdown”

WWW.EUROPETHEBAND.COM

 

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Posted in 2016, Concert Reviews, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal | Comments (0)

EUROPE – drummer Ian Haugland

March 6th, 2016

Europe 30th Aniversary - Waterfront Stockholm March 2014 - Studio Photgraphy

IAN HAUGLAND

INTERVIEW BY MICKI CURTI

PHOTOS BY RON MAIO, EDITING BY MARKO SYRJALA

The Swedish band Europe is again on tour in this second leg of the 2015 released album WAR OF KINGS. On first part of the 2015 tour, the band covered a small handful of cities across North America, which included Headlining at the Monsters of Rock in Miami, then Milwaukee, Cleveland, Chicago, Niagara Falls, New York, Uncasville just outside of New York City and at the M3 Festival. The band continued playing at European festivals in the summer of 2015 and having more shows around Europe in Fall/Winter of 2015. They were in fact in our homeland Finland just last September, hitting Tampere and Helsinki on September 27 and 28 2015. The USA Tour had been very successful to the point the band had mentioned returning in North America in early 2016. Now well into the 2016, Europe has kept the promise made of re-touring the USA and went back one more time to play in more areas of North America, starting from Northern California, spanning from more West Coast locations into the Mid-West, some northern casino cities and the Southeast. The full list of the city was: San Jose, CA, Anaheim, CA, Los Angeles CA, San Diego CA, Las Vegas NV, Chandler AZ, Badlands SD, Lawrence KS, Shawnee OK, Dallas and Houston TX, Ft Lauderdale, Pinella’s Park, Orlando FL, Biloxi MS and Atlanta GA. It seems they will be bound to return to North America again without letting 10 years go by again for another American tour, judging from the great turn out of these 2015 and 2016 concerts. And it looks like this year has an important anniversary: February 15, 1986 saw the release of their most popular, majestic hit single, “ The Final Countdown”. While there is already some talk of celebrations for the occasion, we thought of sitting down with the drummer, Ian Haugland of Europe to hear more about this, before assisting to their Lake Buena Vista Concert at The House of Blues in Orlando.

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Europe with support on War Of Kings tour 2015, European tour leg 1 at Kulturbolaget Malmo, Sweden

November 18th, 2015

europe_logo_2_malmoe_kb_2015

Europe
War Of Kings tour 2015, European tour leg 1

The Vintage Caravan – support act

Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
20/9 – 2015

Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall

europe_live_malmoe_kb_2015_16

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EUROPE – Interview with Joey Tempest

January 9th, 2013
Europe band

JOEY TEMPEST

INTERVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJALA

Swedish hard rock band Europe visited Helsinki in late December and played their last gig of the year in the sold out Club Circus. 2013 will be a major year for Europe. After nine studio albums, three live albums and millions of records sold, the band is now going to celebrate its 30’TH Anniversary. On the eve of the show, vocalist Joey Tempest sat down with us backstage and talked about the anniversary, the latest album BAG OF BONES and more… Read on!

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EUROPE: Live at Osla festival, Porvoo

July 31st, 2012

livelogo_2012_black.jpg

EUROPE

Porvoo, FINLAND

REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJALA

Swedish hard rockers Europe return once again to Finland. This time the band performed in Osla Festival in Porvoo. The festival line up consisted of mostly pop and cover/party bands but Finnish metal cello quartet Apocalyptica was also on the bill there. Europe was headlining and it seems that the band still enjoys a strong following in Finland. The band’s latest opus BAG OF BONES was released in the spring. The album has been critically acclaimed and commercially it’s been their most successful release since their rebirth in 2003.  Even though it was raining, there were approximately 3000 people in the audience when Europe finally took the stage at 10:00 PM.

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Europe live in Helsinki

November 24th, 2004

House of Culture
Helsinki, FINLAND
Review and pictures by Marko Syrj?l? 

It?s been 11 years since Europe last played in Finland. Actually, it was the same venue (House of Culture) but the size of the crowd was hardly more than 250 people. That happened in the early nineties when grunge ruled the music markets and most hard rock bands slowly but surely disappeared…as did Europe. Tonight shows that things are getting better and hard rock is doing fine again. Record sales have picked up, and what?s most important, people are coming to see the shows again.

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Posted in Oct-Dec '04 | Comments (0)




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