On top with EUROPE

By: Merete Holtan            From: Sandefjords Blad - April 13, 2004            Translated by: Stein-Vidar

On the last Saturday in July, Tom André Tveitan and Espen Hansen will finally get to hear the 80's big hair metal heroes and "The Final Countdown" live - at home in Sandefjord.

Get your Ball sweater and let your hair grow: On July 31, Joey Tempest - nowadays with straighter and shorter hair - and the other soft rockers in EUROPE will come to Badeparken. "The Final Countdown" smashed into our ears in 1986, and made the Swedish band world known. The song topped the hit charts in 26 countries, and together with choruses from "Rock the Night", "Cherokee" and make-out songs like "Carrie", is guaranteed to put the "BadeRock" audience into a mad frenzy.

Together with Vallset at Hamar, Sandefjord is the only place in Norway that the Swedish band will visit during their European comeback tour. It is guaranteed to put both the town and the music festival "BadeRock" on the map.

Girls and EUROPE
For Tom André Tveitan (34) and Espen Hansen (31) it's a welcomed chance to relive their adolescence: The first kiss, the first party, the first ghetto blaster. Espen with long, bright hair in a pony tail, Tom André with long hair down the neck, spiky on the top and stripes all over.

"I remember it well. I was 16 years old, we were at the Lahelle fjord in a Hurricane 470 with a great stereo, on our way to Tjřmelandet to check out the girls. We had 'The Final Countdown' on repeat all the way," remembers Tom André Tveitan.

Espen Hansen was a bit younger, but remembers the parties at Grubesand well. "It's one of the biggest memories from that time. We rode our bikes from Framnes and all the way out. The big guys brought along a ghetto blaster and 'The Final Countdown'. That summer I got my first girlfriend."

Quick start
The festival chief of "BadeRock", Roger Albin, is himself a big EUROPE fan. He has had to work long and goal-aimed - and pay lots of money - to get the band to Sandefjord. To get comeback-ready world stars to a music festival that's never been arranged - and therefore no one knows what can offer - is pretty unique. Albin started working in October. Probably he can thank the success with the Stavern festival and good contacts in the business for EUROPE's managers accepting the arrangement.

"I had been told that the band would release a new 'Greatest Hits' album, a new DVD, record a new album with their old producer and go on a new tour. I would get them here. I've said it to people around me all the time: EUROPE will play at 'BadeRock'."

Something for Sandefjord
Why not the Stavern Festival?

"That's a bit different thing, with more unknown bands. 'BadeRock' has to get known first, and EUROPE has broad appeal. They can hit it off with everything from 28 year old people to 50 year olds. It was never any doubt about where they would end up," says Roger Albin, who himself grew up in Sandefjord.

The festival chief hopes and believes that about 8000 people will gather up at the Bath Park. Tickets are now for sale, but already before the news was official, Albin has received phone calls from eager EUROPE fans, long outside Sandefjord's borders.

Make-out song
Tom André Tveitan and Espen Hansen is among those who worship the 80's. Today they both play music at one of the town's pubs, and sees that Sandefjord people still go crazy over songs like "The Final Countdown". They themselves sum up their adolescence's highlights like this: "'The Final Countdown' to get the party started, 'Rock the Night' to keep it going, and 'Carrie' as a make-out song in the end."

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