Birmingham O2 Academy
Concert review and photo by Ian Harvey
Almost exactly a year to the day since they last played the second city, Swedish rockers Europe returned to prove that their recent "rebirth" has been no flash in the pan.
Led by the enthusiastic Joey Tempest, as natural a frontman as you can imagine, they kicked off the show with exactly the same song as last time, Last Look At Eden. and wrapped it up in the same way too, with the inevitable The Final Countdown.
And in many ways it was much the same show, although with the order shuffled around a bit, something which the partisan crowd was quite happy to lap up.
Europe have worked hard to shed their 80s poodle-hair image and remain a band that can rock hard with songs like Superstitious, Rock The Night and Scream Of Anger.
But the ballads are never too far away, with Carrie and New Love In Town getting the arms swaying.
A new song, Doghouse, shows that the band intend to stick to their new heavier direction when they return to the studio later in the year.
And there was a heartfelt tribute to the late Gary Moore when guitarist John Norum recreated a note-perfect rendition of Moore's soaring instrumental track The Loner.
Music photography by Ian Harvey / RocktasticPix