To most casual music fans of a certain age – middle age now, sadly! – Joey Tempest and his Europe band members are forever frozen in time. That time is 1986 when keyboards, power ballads and guitar solos ruled the world. And poodle perms too.
Europe sprung to worldwide fame with ‘The Final Countdown’, a memorable opening keyboard riff helping catapult the song to number one in 25 countries, including the UK. That was then and this is now – the perms have long gone and 80s rock is not considered cool any more. History might lump Europe into the category of ‘hair metal’ alongside the likes of early Bon Jovi and Motley Crue, but their Pyramids gig on Saturday showcased the band for what they really are – a very good heavy rock band.
The setlist was a mix of the 80s favourites – Rock The Night and Carrie still sounding great – and songs from the six albums released after the band ended an 11-year break in 2003. They left the best until last – The Final Countdown is still a truly wonderful song, and I don’t care if anyone thinks I’m uncool for admitting that.
In these apocalyptic Brexit-related times we live in, it was refreshing to be part of a crowd several-hundred strong united in their appreciation of Europe. And it was all down to five men and a love of rock music. Even if politics can never hope to unite a room of strangers, let’s be forever thankful music retains such an ability. SIMON CARTER