Europe - 'Live Look At Eden' / 'Live At Shepherd's Bush, London' Hot
Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 14, 2011    
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Two great packages.

It is as though Europe fans have received all their Christmas dreams in one go with these two releases. ‘Live Look At Eden’ is a wonderful photographic record by Denis O’Regan documenting the tour that followed the release of the splendid ‘Last Look At Eden’ album plus a live CD of performances in Poland, Sweden and London and a DVD with footage shot at the London I-Tunes Festival at The Roundhouse in 2010 in the “MINI earBOOK” version I have in front of me. (Note that there is also a much more expensive, full sized book/box set that comes complete with the aforementioned studio album included). ‘Live At Shepherd’s Bush, London’ is a live CD and DVD of a magnificent show from their UK “Balls & Banners” tour earlier this year (and playing a very similar set to the fantastic one I witnessed in Manchester a week later).

I must stress that with the exception of the promo videos for ‘Last Look At Eden’ and ‘New Love In Town’, these two packages are entirely different: so you “pays yer money and makes yer choice”. I want to get a minor niggle out of the way before extolling the virtues of both releases, and why you need them for your collections. It is this: for whatever reason, the producers have decided that they needed to introduce a certain level of what I will call “audience burble” which can be heard until the volume from the band exceeds a certain level (which is, admittedly, most of the time). The dynamic of audiences in Britain is possibly different from elsewhere, and (most of) the paying customers will watch and listen to (rather than talk through) the band. The Roundhouse and Shepherd’s Bush audiences and the ambience of the two venues were, of course, different: but this introduced “burble” is exactly the same!

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The hard-covered book is a really wonderful item: with a myriad of B&W shots and the occasional quote from the band. Great performances (including ones from the Sonisphere Festival) of ten songs have been gathered together on the accompanying CD, while the DVD includes what seems to me to be a rather meagre five songs from the I-Tunes event. Mind you, these have been professionally shot and really show songs including the magical ‘New Love In Town’, ‘Rock The Night’ and ‘The Beast’ in all their glory. The digi-packed Shepard’s Bush show has fifteen songs (plus the intro) from the eighteen included on the DVD (this including ‘The Loner’ a guitar tribute to Gary Moore (who had recently died) and drummer Ian Haughland’s malarkey to accompany the ‘William Tell Overture’). It was a vibrant show and has been captured by a variety of cameras all around the venue, resulting in a more intimate and varied production. But what makes this such excellent value is the wealth of extras including live footage from two separate performances in Stockholm from late 2009 and September 2010 and a B&W documentary of the band getting ready for the SB show.

Since their re-emergence in 2004, the members of Europe have reinvented themselves very effectively. A Europe show is a joyous occasion (particularly as captured at Shepherd’s Bush) and they pull together favourites old and new (including some much heavier material) into a well-honed performance.These are two great packages for your consideration not only by hard-core fans but by anyone with a love of high quality melodic rock

Paul Jerome Smith

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