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T Podium, Hardenberg, The Netherlands
March 8th 2005
Europe and SQY

Titles like ‘Cherokee’ and ‘The Final Countdown’ will probably ring a bell. In the eighties they were ever so popular. What happened to them? They are still going strong, rocking on as if their lives depend on it. This evening they were rocking the night in Hardenberg.


SQY 

SQY (Sequoyah) was founded in 1993; the remains of two rock cover bands came together. The bands wanted more than just play covers, they wanted to create, at first they started writing songs and then hit the stage again. Even Dutch rock magazine ‘Aardschok’ praised their demo tapes with excellent reviews. Their first album was released in 1996, a 4 track mini called ‘Big town hideout’ and after this they also released a live album. Their second challenge was to produce their own music. ‘From Soho down to Hollywood’ became the single they completely wrote, arranged and produced. It was a success, they have released 4 albums since, their latest being ‘Full Throttle’. SQY played hundreds of gigs over the past years in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and the UK. They have a huge fan base in Holland and the UK, and they supported many well known bands such as Status Quo, Deep Purple, Golden Earring and now… Europe.

Music
When SQY started to play it seemed as though we were all transported back in time to the sixties. This band knows how to rock. You can easily understand the lyrics; there even were some fans in the audience, singing along every word. I found the music to be very accessible, though they show a huge amount of masculine feelings, regarding the texts.

Performance
What immediately catches the eye is the difference between the front man and the rest of the band. His jacket came off quite quickly and after this followed the shirt. His cowboy hat made it almost impossible to see his face which I think is a pity for a lead singer. Besides his outfit his performance was definitely more extreme than the rest of the band. He was all over the stage. Throwing around his microphone standard (not always as successful), he used his standard, a bottle of beer and a bottle of water to suggest masturbation and even sprayed these fluids over the audience. His hand grabbed his crutch much more than once. This man has a great ego but, this band has a great front man. He knows how to perform. He even knows how to shock the audience.
The rest of the band is quite timid, one guitarist hardly even stands in the light, the other seems to be more part of the show and the drummer is hardly ever in the picture. You could say this is a pity, but on the other hand I think there wouldn’t be room for them anyway.

Rating
Music 8
Performance 8
Sound 7
Light 6
Total  7 (7,1)

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Europe

Although these guys have had a break, it seems they’re totally back into the world of music and live performance. In the early nineties the band seemed to die a lonely death, but ever since they were ask to perform 'The Final Countdown’ live at the end of the century, they’re back! Joey Tempest, John Norum, Mic Michaeli, Ian Haugland and John Leven are here again to rock the night! Europe shows us that age doesn’t matter and the audience in Hardenberg totally agrees. Europe is here and still going strong with a huge amount of fans to support them. The fans are of all ages: the older generation who experienced their music back in the eighties and the younger people who knew about 'The Final Countdown' but who are also widely impressed by their new album 'Start from the Dark'.

Music
‘Got to have Faith’ was the opening song which immediately set the tone for the evening. The crowd jumped up and down when the songs progress and the diversity of old and new songs was well balanced. The new Europe songs are rougher, showing us the darker side of Europe. A lot of people already knew these new songs but even if you didn’t, they were quite catchy and grabbed your attention. But there were also softer songs, like Carrie, which was supported by the crowd singing along out loud. When it was time for Mic (keyboards) to play his solo the other band members left the stage. I can’t say I was impressed and it also took a bit long. After his solo the band joined in again and the party went on.
When the band left the stage, it took a while to get them back for an encore. But since they hadn’t played 'The Final Countdown' they were sure to come back. And to much satisfaction of the audience they ended the gig with this song which had made them incredibly popular back in the eighties, and it still rocks. It’s a pity, however, that the tunes at the beginning of the song which made the music so familiar, aren’t played by the band itself. Instead, it runs on a hard disk which just takes the magic away a bit.

Performance
Old men, repeating old songs? No way. These men are still going strong. There is a huge amount of energy on stage tonight. Joey is making circles around the stage, jumping and dancing. He has mastered his microphone standard, throwing it as if it were just a little stick. During the performance the band throws plectrums into the audience, Joey even promises his towel to someone. At one point Joey asked the name of a girl in the audience and welcomed her to the show and they also give some extra attention to the people who were there in wheelchairs. They don’t find themselves too grand and really appreciate the audience, thanking us for being there and shouting for them.
John N. (guitar) completely disappears behind his hair, totally at one with his guitar in contrary to John L. (bass) who is flirting with the audience; he is quite popular with the women. They all wear a necklace, one with a shark tooth, the other with a cross (all different), dressed in black and they have another thing in common, they all have the perfect wrong hairdo.
Joey introduced us to the others on stage. When Ian was introduced Joey asked him to come to the front and he did, bare foot he welcomed our applause and send hand kisses into the audience.
Joey didn’t introduce his band but his friends and it showed, they are all tuned in to each other forming a well oiled rock machine.

Rating
Music 8
Performance 9
Sound 8
Light 8
Total  8 (8,3)

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