Home / Classic Rock / Europe Brings The Final Countdown to Kansas

Europe Brings The Final Countdown to Kansas

Wednesday night was a celebration of the young and old at the Granada. While most of the audience were baby boomers, a sizable portion of the crowd were millennials, easily born a decade or more after “The Final Countdown” was released.
 /
Opening the show were locals StarCrows, and 17 year old up-and-comer, Gabbie Rae. Gabbie recently received international recognition when her acoustic cover of Dio’s “Rainbow in the Dark” was seen on YouTube by the Dio Foundation, and shared on the official Ronnie James Dio Facebook page. It’s where I first was introduced to her, and have been a fan ever since. If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely take a look.
 /

Before taking to the stage, a subtle tribute was paid to Glen Fry (and Europe would continue the tribute later in the set), as Gabbie’s guitarist played the memorable chords to Hotel California. When taking the stage, Gabbie instantly turned things to 11, with a version of Ace of Spades that would make Lemmy proud. In fact, Gabbie was one of the performers on the 2015 Motörboat cruise.
/
With a set filled with covers of Ac/Dc, Dio, and plenty of original material, Gabbie blew the doors wide open while making her grand entrance on the national stage of the rock scene. Mark my words, she is a rising star, and will be headlining on her own in just a few years. Do I hear Wacken calling?
 /
After a short break, Europe came on. It immediately became apparent that the small stage at the Granada was not large enough for Joey, who would spend much of the night running back-and-forth on it, dancing with his microphone stand in a way that would make even David Lee Roth look on in awe.
 /
With a new album out (which we reviewed here), and a tour in support of it, it’s hardly surprising that Europe opened with the title track “War of Kings,” and “Hole in My Pocket.” This was quickly followed by “Rock the Night” from “The Final Countdown.” During the song, Joey broke from his lyrics, and sang part of Kansas’s “Carry On Wayward Son.” Whether it was something done during every tour stop, or done as a nod to playing in Kansas, the verse was well received by the crowd.
 /
The band continued to play with high energy, with the crowd responding phenomenally well. One over excited (and probably drunk) fan standing next to me insisted that I howl with him throughout “Carrie.” That’s one song where howling doesn’t help much.
 /
After “Carrie,” Joey introduced the next song, also from their new album, saying that it’s the band’s favorite song off the record, and it’s certainly mine as well, and they played “The Second Day.” Too often, bands will sound different live than they do on the records, and this is not the case with Europe; even going back almost 20 years, they sound as strong as ever. Joey’s voice may have aged a bit, but he’s still wholly capable of hitting the highs, and soaring vocals.
 /
During a musical break, Joey took the time to talk to the audience, and mentioned that the band had learned of Glen Frey’s passing when they landed in Los Angeles at the start of the tour. As a tribute, they played The Eagles’s “Desperado.” It was a solemn moment, that was very much appreciated by the crowd.
/
The remainder of the show was filled with the high energy rock that one would expect from a band of Europe’s era, and a lot of younger bands should take note from them. Even drummer Ian Haugland’s solo was humorous, leading of with a track of Monty Python’s “Sit on My Face,” before launching into the “William Tell Overture.” It’s not a song often heard with drumming, and especially not Ian’s style of drumming, but it works remarkably well.
/
As the night drew to a close, and the band left the stage, the crowd grew restless and was cheering, and screaming for more. There was one song that hadn’t been played yet that everyone was waiting to hear. After about two minutes of everyone standing in the dark, the unmistakable chords of Final Countdown” thundered through The Granada. The small lighting rig did its best to put on a show worthy of the song, but without fire, or CO2 canisters, there’s only so much that can be done.
 /
Now being represented by a management team in the United States, Joey promises that we will be seeing more of them on the road. So, if you don’t catch them this time around, you can always catch them on TV in a car insurance commercial. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go clean my leather pants.
\

Europe
 /
/
https://www.facebook.com/europetheband/
 /
Gabbie Rae
 /

https://www.facebook.com/GabbieRaeRocks/
/
Set lists
/
Gabbie Rae: Ace of Spades/Can’t Stop Us Now/Deadly/Shinedown/Highway to Hell/Original Sin/My Undoing/Last in Line/Neon Knights/Scream
/
Europe: War of Kings/Hole in My Pocket/Rock the Night/Wasted Time/Eden/Carrie/Second Day/Desperado/Sign/Vasastan/Lebanon/Ready or Not/Nothin’ to Ya/Drum Solo/Superstitious/Cherokee/Days of Rock and Roll/Final Countdown