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Europe / King King (London) http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e4/69/e0/Europe-Royal-Albert-Hall-Live-Thumb-11-1539800861.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 17, 2018    
 
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Europe / King King - Royal Albert Hall, London (UK) - 23 September 2018

King King went down well as an appetizer and Alan Nimmo was his usual "chirpy Scotsman" as he delivered endless quality bluesy solos, one after another. Perfect sound and a real groove were all present and definitely called for. I could not help thinking "my dad would love this", and indeed my dad has impeccable taste. People started clapping spontaneously in the last song when Nimmo really let rip on the vocal. However, pretty much any support was going to be put into the shade by what Europe had to give this night.


King King - Royal Albert Hall Live

It wasn't long before the charismatic Joey Tempest and the rest of Europe were on stage. Typical of their latter-day tours, they pushed forward with confidence with brand-new material in the shape of 'Walk The Earth' and 'The Siege', but soon afterwards we hit the classic 'Rock The Night'. Once again this proved the new material holds up to anything they have ever done. The lights of any show do not hold centre stage very often, but there was a deliberate and obvious attempt to make the lighting one of the main features of the show. There was a predominance of smoky haze which gave the atmosphere of a theatrical show, or even film, and a real intention to give light and shade, especially when Tempest appeared for an acoustic session early on. The lights were such a feature that I actually moved to the back of the hall early on in the show to see the spectacular laser-type lights to their best effect. For me, it was an enduring memory of the show.


Europe - Royal Albert Hall Live 3

With the band having tracks on their new album that echoed the greats like Deep Purple and Pink Floyd, I had to ask myself as to whether they aiming for the same kind of recognition for stagecraft and will giant sets be next? Certainly, their lighting technician was no slouch. However, I wouldn't want the show to overshadow the sheer excellence of the band and, for me, the perfect sound and execution of some of my favourite Rock classics were enough without the lights (spectacular though they were) and sometimes it was hard to see what was going on due to the atmospherics; certainly I think the ladies in the front row wanted every opportunity to see their heroes clearly.

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It was indeed a special venue, the Royal Albert Hall, and therefore it was fitting that the show should be bigger than ever before, and the laser lights helped to do that for me, although I am not sure I would want it for every show going forward as the band are more than enough for me without the frills.

Top-notch musicianship was undoubtedly there with a beautiful, emotion-inducing "crying" solo from John Norum during 'Sign Of The Times' and in the instrumental 'Vasastan'; this was also apparent in the keyboard area with some Jon Lord-quality organ work. Tempest's voice was showcased probably to its best effect in 'Carrie' when his beautiful rounded tones mesmerized the crowd. He had also lost none of his power to direct crowds to react, whether in a mass sway, clapping or to sing their hearts out. His Italian Opera-style bow showed he knew he had nailed it. The drummer also played a masterstroke by doing the 'William Tell Overture' as his drum solo; it had an irresistible drive and quickly made everyone an amateur sticksman. It was David Coverdale's birthday the day before and Europe curried further favour with the crowd by doing a small cameo of 'Here I Go Again'.


Europe - Royal Albert Hall Live 2

At that point in proceedings we were definitely on the home straight. 'Superstitious', 'Cherokee' and 'The Final Countdown' followed and by then there was an irrepressible energy in the crowd, all of whom were having an amazing time. Explosions on stage added to the sense of occasion, which was by this point bordered on the 'Last Night Of The Proms' for Rock music. It was undoubtedly a special venue for a special night. My sister never gets tired of receiving 'The Final Countdown' from me on her answer phone when I ring her as that song starts at the end of the show. For me, this symbolizes the perennial appeal of this evergreen band.

Review and photos by Dawn Osborne


Europe - Royal Albert Hall Live

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