Copenhell - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Europe was an odd choice for Copenhell to include on their line-up. By this, I mean that in many cases they go for bands that will cater to the younger section of the crowd, and when they go for older bands, they tend to stay in the thrash or more extreme vein. Europe is something that would feel right at home at Sweden Rock Festival, but I had not expected to see them here. Don’t get me wrong though, I was happy to give them a chance, even though they’re not a band I have kept up with more than knowing some of their hits.

The tights and huge haircuts have been replaced by a more down to Earth and mature rock n’ roller style, but Rolf Magnus Joakim Larsson (a.k.a. Joey Tempest) could still swing that microphone. Literally, he juggled his voice amplifier vigorously between vocal lines. This, together with a band happy to throw together classical rock poses every now and then, made up the bulk of the performance. These weren’t tired old men, just ‘Eighties kids who accidentally grew up.
Tempest also did his job as frontman, doing his best to lead the crowd through the show, inviting them to sing along at times, or just party with the band. Most of his comments were said in English, but he tried to gain a few local points by throwing in a Danish “tusind tak” once in a while.

For all their efforts though, the show fell rather flat. They may have been posing and rocking, but they didn’t appear very present, and with the connection being left mainly to Tempest, the rest of the band didn’t really do anything to impress. And to be honest, Tempest wasn’t all that impressive either.
Another problem was the setlist. Now, Europe is definitely not a one-hit wonder, but they certainly have made one hit that overshadows all of their other efforts. This one, you know the one I’m talking about, had to be present, and no one could doubt its place in the set, but the road there wasn’t as exciting as it could have been. Europe have produced several other hits, which while not rivalling the one in fame and fortune, surely has earned their own spot in rock/metal history. These were, with few exceptions, overlooked this day however, and we got a mix of post-reunion midtempo things that didn’t really resonate with anyone, and obscure midtempo oldies which didn’t really resonate with anyone either. Thumbs up for Rock The Night, with its snippet cover of Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell (my personal highlight of the show), and the inherent sing-along friendliness of Superstitious, but where was Cherokee? Open Your Heart? Carrie? Any power ballad at all for that matter? C’mon, don’t tell me they couldn’t even fit one power ballad into the set, that’s just silly.

The Final Countdown was the only song that saw real action coming from the crowd. Here we got jumping, singing, and an overall party mood. The way it should have been throughout the entire set. Getting the band here had been a gamble, a gamble with I don’t feel paid off the way it could have.
I’d like to propose an experiment – open with The Final Countdown, then see if the crowd sticks around. If the band plays its cards right, I’m sure they would, and I’m sure that energy blast in the beginning could roll all the way through the show. Not this way though, but with some real effort, and a better, more varied and at times recognisable setlist. I’d like to see that. I didn’t like seeing this.


War Of Kings
Hole In My Pocket
Rock The Night
Scream Of Anger
Last Look At Eden
Sign Of The Times
Ready Or Not
Nothin’ To Ya
The Beast
The Final Countdown

Latest uploads: