Europe at Rock In Rio Lisboa: from great song to great song until the inevitable final countdown

Still Evanescence were on stage ending with two of their biggest hits (‘My Immortal’ and ‘Bring Me To Life’) and a considerable amount of people were already crowding around Palco Galp at Rock in Rio Lisboa to welcome a band highly requested by the public – at least, judging by the many requests made on social media, for someone to risk paying for a flight from Sweden to Lisbon. Europe came from almost one end of the continent to the other to say hello to their biggest fans, a hello that vocalist Joey Tempest preferred to translate as “boa m…†, in almost perfect Portuguese. It was the literal translation of an expression that the English use when they want to refer to something incredible.

It was also incredible how the group, which has been in existence for 40 years (a fact highlighted by its frontman) still seems to have the flame it once had. It’s not even worth reducing them That one (and everyone knows what it is) song. ‘On Broken Wings’ was the opening theme, with Europe tearing it up, it didn’t even seem like they were playing on one of the secondary stages at Rock In Rio Lisboa. In fact, many people ended the show asking the same question they had asked when the announcement that the Swedes would perform on a stage other than the main one: “why?†.

Over the course of an hour, Europe celebrated with their people, who on the railings displayed scarves with the group’s name, cried, put their children on piggyback for a little air drumming. Tempest, for whom age had passed but not by much, had the same appearance as in the magnificent 80s, hair flying in the wind, her entire body making love to the microphone tripod, her voice in exactly the same place. ‘Rock the Night’, the second song in a line-up between club-rock and ballad-rock, seemed like advice addressed to those who were there: tonight is for rock, pure and simple .

From a new song, ‘Hold Your Head Up’, Europe moves on to ‘Carrie’, one of the most applauded and filmed songs of the night, the piano giving way to other people’s voices. The orchestral ‘Last Look at Eden’ ends with another swear word from Tempest, clearly happy to say it well, as happy as the person who taught him (if there is something the Portuguese likes to do to © teaching a foreigner to swear in our language). ‘Superstitious’ sees him come down from the stage for some hugs and selfies to those who waited too long to see Europe again here, with a snippet of ‘No Woman, No Cry’, by Bob Marley, tucked in there (something like a hammer, by the way).

No encore, Ian Haugland led the audience from his drums, before starting with ‘Cherokee’. The inevitable ‘The Final Countdown’ was reserved for the end, thousands of people jumping, that synthesizer spreading magic: but given what came before, placing emphasis on their biggest success would be a disadvantage. “See you soon,†promised Tempest at the end. Anyone who has been here can’t wait.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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