at The Glasshouse, Gateshead, U.K., October 19, 2023

EUROPE (Live at The Glasshouse, Gateshead, U.K., October 19, 2023)
Photo: Mick Burgess

To many people Swedish Rockers, Europe, start and finish with “The Final Countdown” yet a three hour, 26 song set, tells a different story.

Celebrating their 40th anniversary last night at the Glasshouse in Gateshead, Europe delivered an absolute masterclass in classic Heavy Rock in a beautifully paced set that covered pretty much all of their eleven albums yet still managed to shoe horn in a new song, “Hold Your Head Up” together with a stunning acoustic version of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” for good measure.

There can be few frontmen that can command the stage quite like Joey Tempest, who can still perform the songs in their original form while his fellow peers struggle to keep up. All singers need a trusty foil and in guitarist John Norum he has one of the very best. His stunning grasp of melody and flair fit the songs perfectly, while bassist John Levin, drummer Ian Haughland and keyboardist Mic Michaeli all provide the platform on which Europe delivered the goods, big-time.

How many other bands out there contain the same five members who made their biggest hits back in the 80s? Not many. What is even more astonishing, is that the 80s was not even their heyday. Their strongest material has come on their more recent albums with “War Of Kings” a monstrous, bombastic epic that stands shoulder to shoulder with prime time Rainbow. “Walk The Earth” and “Last Look At Eden” too show a band that is at the very top of their very classy game.

Heads down Rockers “Ready Or Not” and “Stormwind”, from their second album, Wings of Tomorrow, can match anyone, anywhere while the ballads “Carrie” and “Dreamer” with Tempest accompanied solely by Michaeli on piano, showed the more reflective side to the band.

The hits just kept coming as “Rock The Night”, “Open Your Heart” and “Superstitious” got the crowd on their feet and “Ninja” and “Cherokee” sounded magnificent. Of course they couldn’t leave without THAT song and they duly obliged blowing the roof off the Glasshouse in the process showing just how to celebrate 40 years as a band in triumphant style.

Quite possibly the best gig of the year against some stiff competition, by a band that deserves to stand side by side the likes of Deep Purple, Rainbow, UFO and Thin Lizzy. They are THAT good.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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