at Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo, Norway, November 14, 2006

Europe is touring to support their new album, Secret Society. The album won’t put the world on fire, not even a minor village, but the band has got a lot of explosives in their luggage. Back in the 80s, front man Joey Tempest penned a long string of killer songs, and the band still knows how to use them.

However, even though the new material does not match the quality of their strongest moments of the past, the Europe guys perform all their songs so greatly it makes a full Europe show pure pleasure… especially seeing front man Joey Tempest and guitarist John Norum, who are excellent live musicians. John Norum might not be too eager on jumping around with a lot of spotlights in his face, but that guy really can play! Tempest, on the other hand, just can’t stand still, and when the spotlight doesn’t aim at him, he steals it. He looks so happy, smiles a lot, and does his very best to engage the audience — all of the time. He is striking, hardworking, and, in addition, he sings better than ever.

Euroe live

From their 80s’ catalog, they filled the main set with the brilliant “Seven Doors Hotel” (John plays superbly), “Sign Of The Times,” “Superstitious,” “Carrie,” “Let The Good Times Rock” (again: killer guitar work!), and the phenomenal “Rock The Night.” Half of these songs should be worth the ticket price alone.

Even though Europe knows they always will mainly be ambassadors of nostalgia, they played nothing less than five songs from the new album, and did by that number gave it a whole lot more attention than they gave their previous album, Start From The Dark, during their previous tour. However, “Secret Society,” the title track, used as the evening’s opener, didn’t work too well. On the other hand, “Always The Pretender” and “The Getaway Plan” managed nicely to fit in with the older material.

Europe live

“Flames” from Start From The Dark impressed more than expected, but “Got To Have Faith” (with one of the most embarrassing bridges ever) from the same album left most listeners indifferent. Older tunes like “Wings Of Tomorrow,” “Yesterday’s News,” and “Girl From Lebanon” are not very cool anymore, but were still performed energetically and cool enough to become enjoyable listening experiences (… even though the latter was treated with a strange and inappropriate echo/reverb vocal mix). Anyway, both of them should have been replaced by missed favorites like “Ready or Not,” “Open Your Heart,” “More Than Meets the Eye,” or “Time Has Come.”

The sound was satisfactory throughout the show, but the poor spotlight rig did not match the band. The stage was strangely dark for a band like Europe. You’ve seen Death Metal bands illuminate themselves much more than Europe did on this night.

Europe live

Finally, as the last encore, they played “The Final Countdown,” the Rock Anthem of all Rock anthems. The Rockefeller floor was shaking badly, and everything felt good.


Secret Society
Always The Pretender
Seven Doors Hotel
Let the Children Play
Getaway Plan
Sign Of The Times
Love Is Not the Enemy
Wings Of Tomorrow
Let The Good Times Rock
Girl From Lebanon
Start From the Dark
Yesterday’s News
Rock The Night
Got To Have Faith
The Final Countdown


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