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The Roundhouse, London 25 July 2010
Having a good
friend who won a pair of tickets to this gig it was too good a line-up
to miss, even if the High Voltage festival was on at the same time.
Never been inside the
Roundhouse before, but what a lovely venue and very good acoustics. The
audience was very young, almost like the cast of 'Glee' had turned up to
see two elder statesmen of rock.
There were a few rock
t-shirts dotted around the crowd but I'd have to say the two bands were
taking on an audience that would only know their hits at best.
Europe kept with their heavy setlist which they have been touring
now for over a year. So you get 'Last Look At Eden', 'Gonna Get Ready'
and 'Love Is Not The Enemy' making for a very heavy start.
'Superstitious' was the
first older song out of the blocks but the crowd only really came alive
when 'Rock The Night' was played as it was one of the songs the young 'uns
must have known.
Vocalist Joey Tempest
added in a brief snatch of Sabbath's 'Heaven And Hell' as a tribute to
Ronnie James Dio (he was name checked as well by Mick Jones as current
Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson was a member of Dio), nice gesture by the
'New Love In Town' allowed
a short breather in the set before 'The Beast' and yes that song, 'The
Final Countdown' closed their set after just fifty minutes.
The crowd went wild at
'The Final Countdown' as you'd expect and considering most of the
audience didn't know much of their set Europe still did the business.
They could have dropped the mid set sing-a-long/instrumental break to
get another song in. Their 80's hit 'Carrie' would have gone down well
with the audience I am sure. They are back in the UK in February so go
see them then.
Foreigner have undergone a couple of line-up changes since I last
saw them in 2007 with Jason Sutter (ex-Smash Mouth) joining on drums and
Michael Bluestein occupying the keyboards stool.
What allowed Foreigner to
steal the show was that they kept to the hits that people knew with only
two songs off their excellent new album, the single 'When It Comes To
Love' and a barnstorming version of the album's title track.
The band really have come alive again with Kelly Hansen and he is all
over the stage working the crowd to a tee. Mind you those tight yellow
trousers he was wearing must have helped him hit the high notes!
Vocally he does the Lou
Gramm era tunes very well with the classics coming out tonight including
'Urgent', 'Feels Like The First Time', 'Cold As Ice' (that went down a
treat with the crowd) and 'Double Vision'.
Highlight had to be
'Jukebox Hero', the band were rocking away on this one with bassist Jeff
Pilson living up his beast nickname by playing the bass in all manner of
Keeping the original band link is of course guitarist Mick Jones who
took lead vocals on 'Star Rider' which he said was for the fans. With
flute and synths it does live up to Mick Jones' 'spacey' description.
For encores we had 'I Want To Know What Love Is', complete with a big
crowd sing-a-long and 'Hot Blooded', a suitable ending to a heavy set,
both hits and music wise.
Do go and
see Foreigner if you get a chance as they are one of the best live acts
out there. Okay so there is no Lou Gramm but Kelly Hansen is a more than
One of the most pleasing things about the night was the younger crowd
who hopefully are now firm converts to the two bands' music. A great
idea from iTunes and long may this festival continue. As for Europe and
Foreigner these two should tour the UK together as a joint headliner.
Review by Jason Ritchie
Photo by Noel Buckley
(except where stated)
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