Europe - Live At Sweden Rock

Produced by Patric Ullaeus & Europe

Europe may have been the lowest profile headliner at the Sweden Rock Festival this year (KISS and Rush being the other two), but they brought a far more special show than either of the others, to celebrate their 30th anniversary as a band.

Making the most of the usually over-generous two-and-a-half hour headliners' time slot (most play no more than two-hours) they played the longest set of their career, combining songs from their newest albums with some of their standards, and tracks from their first few albums that haven't been played live in over 20 years.

Everything on the main stage at Sweden Rock is filmed, primarily for use on the two screens either side of the stage, and the camera work and direction is usually of a high standard anyway. Very few of the recordings are ever turned into commercial releases though, and none of those which have can touch this one.

Europe have gone all out to ensure that the video and audio quality of their release is as good as can be, putting the production in the hands of Patric Ullaeus, who directed their last four music videos. The result is a top drawer live production, edited well so that the shot isn't changing at a fit-inducing rate, in full HD quality and an excellent sound mix, which of course translates to the CD version as well.

The setlist speaks for itself, and the bands performance was superb, singer Joey Tempest remembering most of the time to limit his between-song talking to English instead of his native Swedish in the knowledge that the show would end up a world-wide release. At the show itself he did slip into some Swedish from time to time, but that has been cut here. The band made good use of the festival's massive main stage, utilising what was probably the biggest light show they've ever used to add another level of grandiosity to the set, and Tempest's voice holds up brilliantly throughout, given the length of the set and the less-than-straightforward vocal needed for perennial closer The Final Countdown.

Over the last few years Europe have actually released a number of live documents, some on CD, some on DVD, some on both (four in total before this one since 2005), but this is the pick of the lot. All of the others are excellent in their own right, but the setlist and grand performance of this one puts it at the top of the heap. An essential addition to any Europe fan's collection, and the one to get for anyone interested in the band and currently lacking a live release by them.

“ the longest set of their career ”

CD1 - Riches To Rags / Firebox / Not Supposed To Sing The Blues / Scream of Anger / Superstitious / No Stone Unturned / New Love In Town / In The Future To Come / Paradize Bay / Girl From Lebanon / Prisoners In Paradise / Always The Pretenders / Drink And A Smile / Open Your Heart / Love Is Not The Enemy / Sign of The Times
CD2 - Start From The Dark / Wings of Tomorrow / Carrie / Jailbreak / Seven Doors Hotel / Drum Solo / The Beast / Let The Good Times Rock / Lights Out / Rock The Night / Last Look At Eden / The Final Countdown
DVD/Blu Ray - all songs from CDs / Behind The Scenes

Photo(s): Andy Lye

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Hard/Heavy Rock, Live Albums, Live DVDs,

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