Europe with special guest Gabbie Rae, The Grove of Anaheim, January 20, 2016
Gabbie Rae is a very enthusiastic talented young singer with a bright future ahead. Coming on stage right at 8:00pm the crowd were entertained with a 40 minute set that included a mix of well prepared cover tunes as well as a few new original songs. Included in her band are Sam Bam Koltun on guitar, Toni Aleman on guitar, Chris Rapoza on bass and Roger Trial on drums.
She has a great stage presence and really makes the tunes her own. On covers like ‘Barracuda’ and the Dio classic ‘Last in Line’ she nails them perfectly. New original tunes ‘Original Sin’ and ‘The Undoing’ were equally done very well. Ending the night with ‘Scream’, the crowd was truly mesmerized by this young lady’s unbelievable talent. She is currently touring with Europe until 2/6.
Europe currently consist of the “classic” Final Countdown line-up, with Joey Tempest on vocals, John Norum on guitar, John Leven on bass, Mic Michaeli on keyboards, and Ian Haugland on drums.
Opening with a new track is always a brave move but with a song as strong as ‘War Of Kings’, the title track from the band’s latest album, they were on safe ground. ‘Hole In My Pocket’ followed, again from the new album before we found ourselves on more familiar ground the classic ‘Superstitious’. When the opening notes for ‘Carrie’ hit, the crowd was totally into the show which then ensued in a total sing along.
From there it was a very balanced set, mixing in old, new and everything in between. Singer Joey Tempest was constantly bantering with the crowd between songs, keeping the energy up and making sure everyone was having fun. John Norum played up a storm on guitar, especially on ‘The Second Day’ and ‘Firebox’ both of which have monstrous riffs.
The crowd went absolutely wild as they played the opening chords to ‘Rock The Night’, always a crowd pleaser, before yet another new track to end the set, ‘Days Of Rock ‘n’ Roll’, with Tempest helping out on rhythm guitar. The band returned for an encore which meant there was only one song which could conclude the evening and with ‘The Final Countdown’ the guys didn’t disappoint, a great way to round off a great show.
War of Kings
Hole in My Pocket
Last Look at Eden
The Second Day
Sign of the Times
Girl From Lebanon
Ready or Not
Nothin’ to Ya
Let the Good Times Rock
Rock the Night
Days of Rock ‘n’ Roll
The Final Countdown
(Review by Joe Schaeffer – Photos by Jack Lue)