Posts Tagged ‘JOHN NORUM’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
12. Light It Up
13. War of Kings
14. The Final Countdown
15. Rock the Night
17. Danger on the Track
20. Time Has Come
21. Heart of Stone
22. On the Loose
23. Love Chaser
24. Snippet of “ The Final Countdown”
Tags: Europe, Ian Haughland, Joey Tempest, John Leven, JOHN NORUM, Mic Michael, the final countdown, War Of Kings
Posted in 2016, Concert Reviews, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal | Comments (0)
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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Tags: Europe, final countdown, ian haugland, Joey Tempest, John Leven, JOHN NORUM, Mic Michael, War Of Kings
Posted in 2016, Interviews | Comments (0)
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
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Tags: Europe, Joey Tempest, John Leven, JOHN NORUM, KB, Kulturbolaget, Malmoe, The Vintage Caravan, udr-music, War Of Kings, War Of Kings tour 2015
Posted in 2015, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)
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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Tags: Europe, Joey Tempest, John Leven, JOHN NORUM, Kee Marcello
Posted in 2013 | Comments (0)
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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Tags: Europe, ian haugland, Joey Tempest, John Leven, JOHN NORUM, Mic Michael
Posted in 2012 | Comments (0)
INTERVIEW BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
George Lynch is one of the most popular and influential guitarists to emerge from the ’80s-era heavy metal/hard rock scene. Lynch is best known for his work with platinum sellers Dokken whose albums UNDER LOCK AND KEY and BACK FOR THE ATTACK went to platinum in the mid 80’s. In 1988 Don Dokken and Lynch found it impossible to continue in the same band together and as a result the band broke up. Don Dokken decided to start his solo career whereas Lynch decided to form a new band called Lynch Mob. Joining Lynch in the new outfit was singer Oni Logan, bassist Anthony Esposito, and former Dokken colleague Mick Brown. The band issued their debut album, WICKED SENSATION, in 1990. WICKED SENSATION became another milestone in Lynch’s career and it did went gold in States with over 500 000 copies sold. The sophomore album LYNCH MOB presented a new lead singer Robert Mason and it was released in 1992. The second album failed to reach its predecessors success and soon band was disbanded. Lynch released a solo album called SACRED GROOVE in 1993 with various famous guests including Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen and Mandy Lion before rejoining Dokken in 1994. The reunited band released two studio albums: DYSFUNCTIONAL and SHADOWLIFE before Lynch decided to leave again. The late ’90s/early 21st century saw Lynch alternate between issuing albums with the Lynch Mob (with varying members) and as a solo artist resulting in such further titles as 1999’s SMOKE THIS, 2003’s WICKED UNDERGROUND and FURIOUS GEORGE in 2004. In 2010 it was officially announced that Oni Logan and Lynch will rejoin their forces again and as a result SMOKE AND MIRRORS was released in 2009. The world followed and in late 2010 the renewed band; Lynch, Logan, bassist Robbie Crane and drummer Brian Tichy finally arrived in Scandinavia. In Gothenburg in Sweden I had chance to sit down Mr. Lynch himself and talk about various topics including the reunion with Logan, Souls of We, the past as well as a possible Dokken reunion… read on…
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Tags: Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, JOHN NORUM, Mick Brown, Reb Beach, scott coogan. marco mendoza
Posted in 2010 | Comments (0)
NEW YORK – “Play Yard Blues,” the latest solo album from Europe guitarist John Norum, is now available on Mascot Records.
The long-awaited album takes a different approach than Norum’s past releases, showcasing a more bluesy side of his soulful style. “Play Yard Blues” consists of 10 tracks, recorded in Norum’s hometown of Stockholm, Sweden.
“When I started playing, I only played blues rock,” Norum said. “Now I feel it’s time to go back to my roots.”
The album title was inspired by the studio in which it was recorded – Play Yard Studios. “It’s also the name of a song and it ended up being one of my favorite songs on the album,” he said.
In addition to the Norum originals, the guitarist puts his personal stamp on a few classics: Thin Lizzy’s “It’s Only Money,” Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush’s “Ditch Queen,” and Mountain’s “Travellin’ in the Dark.” “I always loved Thin Lizzy, Mountain, and Frank Marino, so I want to pay tribute to those guys,” Norum said.
As a whole, Norum sees his new album as a tribute to his late wife, Michelle Meldrum of the band Meldrum, who passed away suddenly two years ago at the age of just 39. Photos of Norum and the couple’s young son emphasize the double meaning of the album’s title, with the guitarist and the boy side-by-side, guitars in hand. “It´s a tribute to Michelle and I wanted him to be part of it,” Norum said. “And he is proud of his daddy’s playing.”
“Play Yard Blues,” Norum’s seventh solo album, was mixed and produced by Norum and Peer Stappe. Norum, who sings on the album in addition to playing to guitar, is joined by musicians Tomas Torberg (bass), Thomas Bronman (drums), Peer Stappe (percussion), and Mic Michaeli (keyboards).
Mascot Records is an independent record company based in The Netherlands that specializes in guitar music, from metal to instrumental guitar, hard rock, prog rock and (guitar) fusion.
Tags: Europe, JOHN NORUM
Posted in Hard Rock | Comments (0)
Dokken was originally formed in the late 1970’s when guitarist George Lynch and drummer Mick Brown joined forces with vocalist Don Dokken and bassist Jim Montaneras. Together they recorded BACK IN THE STREETS. In 1978, future Ratt bassist, Juan Croucier joined the bands ranks and released BREAKING THE CHAINS in Europe in 1981. Jeff Pilson replaced Croucier soon and started to write TOOTH AND NAIL. That album was released in 1984 at it became a huge success. It included several hit singles: "Just Got Lucky", "Alone Again", and "Into the Fire". It sold over one million copies in the US alone and peaked at #49 on U.S charts. One year later the band released their next album UNDER LOCK AND KEY and it was also very successful including such anthems as: “In My Dreams" and "It’s Not Love". Dokken did many successful tours and opened for bands like Aerosmith, Twisted Sister and Scorpions.
Dokken returned to studio in late 1986 to record another mega successful single DREAM WARRIORS for the horror movie NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3 – the soundtrack but it wasn’t until late 1987 before they released another album BACK FOR THE ATTACK. This became their most popular release and it reached #13 on U.S charts with the help of such smash singles: "Burning Like A Flame" and Heaven Sent". Dokken was on top of their game but unfortunately they broke up due "creative differences" between Don and George soon after the release of live album BEAST FROM THE EAST in late 1988. Don Dokken recorded his first solo album UP FROM THE ASHES with all-star lineup including guitarists John Norum (ex-Europe) and Billy White, bassist Peter Baltes (ex-Accept), drummer Mikkey Dee (ex-King Diamond).
Around late 1993, Don started to talk again with Mick Brown, who had recently left Lynch Mob which was George Lynch’s band at that time. They joined up with Jeff Pilson, who was fronting his own War and Peace band, and started to write new songs. In 1994, they sent new material to George Lynch, who was impressed with the material. Together, they decided to reform Dokken and record a new album DYSFUNCTIONAL which was released in 1995.
Unfortunately, old problems resurfaced and the band lost George again after another release of album SHADOWLIFE in 1997. Dokken decided to continue with new guitarist Reb Beach (ex- Winger, Alice Cooper) and ERASE THE SLATE was released in 1999. A live album and awarded DVD LIVE FROM THE SUN came out in 2000 but then Reb decided to leave and join Whitesnake. Soon after, Jeff Pilson decided also leave and they were later on replaced by bassist Barry Sparks (Ted Nugent, ex- Uli Jon Roth) and Don’s old friend John Norum. LONG WAY HOME was released in 2002 but in the middle of the tour Norum was gone and he was then temporary replaced by Italian guitarist Alex DeGrossi. Jon Levin (ex-Warlock) joined in 2004 and since then he’s been a permanent guitarist and stayed on Don’s side. HELL TO PAY was released later on the same year and since then band has been more or less active doing a lot of touring and working on a new album which is titled LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN.
I managed to meet Don himself in October prior their show in Copenhagen and here are results of our interesting chat. ENJOY !!!
INTERVIEW AND LIVE PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
TRANSCRPTION BY ANDY OSBORN
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Tags: Alex DeGrossi, Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, JOHN NORUM, Mick Brown, Reb Beach
Posted in 2008 | Comments (0)
Kelly Keeling speaks about his first solo album
Interview by Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Jenny at Border Music for help with the interview
Promo pictures provided by Mascot Records
I was fortunate to have an interview with Kelly Keeling who recently released his solo album GIVING SIGHT TO THE EYE. I took the chance to ask him about his solo album, but I also added questions about his long career in the music industry and about his co-operation with other famous artists.
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Tags: Giving sight to the eye, JOHN NORUM, Kelly Keeling
Posted in 2005 | Comments (0)
House of Culture
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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Tags: Europe, Ian Haughland, Joey Tempest, John Leven, JOHN NORUM, Mic Michael, Start From The Dark
Posted in Oct-Dec '04 | Comments (0)