Europe – Live From the Dark

Europe – Live From the Dark / 2006 MVD / 240 Minutes / /

For twenty dollars, the sheer amount of information that individuals get here is nothing less than extraordinary. More than just a concert slapped on a DVD, there is also present on this DVD set a documentary that details twenty-four hours in the life of Europe as they go from Holland to London. Europe is another one of those bands that do not easily fit into a specific genre tag. Sure, at some level they are rock but they never could easily fit into the hair band designation; they are at times (“Ready or Not”) even harder than the vast majority of hair bands out.

To this point, there are also times when the bad seems to go into a more rock-based style that shows their abilities with arrangement much more clearly (“Superstitious”). What Europe really did well with their music was fuse the intricate guitar work of the seventies with a synthesizer that had its heyday during the eighties into some style that individuals can only claim is Europe’s. Something that is exciting during “Live From The Dark” is that Europe is still a viable band, with songs like “America” showing that they still have some magic up their sleeves. “America” seems to have a lot to do with the newer Bon Jovi tracks, although the general heaviness of “America” far outstrips that of Jovi tracks like “Have A Nice Day”. Mixing older with newer tracks means that individuals will have a great cross-section of what Europe is as an act; the great thing here is that the band’s style has not changed to the pioint that individuals can pick out which songs are new and which ones are old without either being a fan or hearing the pre-track banter. There are tracks that further open up the sound of Europe, especially something like “Let the Good Times Rock”. There are still the Dio-like sounds present in the core of the band, but the guitars seem to achieve a 38 Special / Molly Hatchet type of sound at times during this track.

This minor shift in the style of the band will make viewers all the more tied to what happens during the disc. Coming up with a full set, Europe shows viewers that the band is still crackling with the energy that gave them a hit in “The Final Countdown”. The extras on this disc, including the music videos make for an added bit of fun. One thing though, how can each of the members of Europe sleep at night knowing that they have made one of the most recognizable tracks of the last twenty-five years? This DVD shows that the band is not like Bobby McFerrin; instead of being tired of their biggest hit the band actually seems revitalized at the end when they launch into the opening strains of the track. Make sure to pick up the special edition of this DVD, which also contains a CD with some of the best tracks of this concert.

Top Tracks: The Final Countdown, Superstitious

Rating: 7.1/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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