Finnair campaigns with Per Gessle

Finnair announced their new campaign with Per Gessle. The largest airline of Finland will continue their award-winning “Hear the Taste” campaign and they are launching it for their long-haul flights in Sweden. “Hear the Taste” concept aims to improve the taste of food served on flights through soundscapes. It’s a scientific fact that sound affects how food tastes.

Tommy Myllymäki, Finnair’s signature chef (38; Cook of the Year 2007) created a 3-course menu for business class and each course will have its own soundscape. Finnair relies on Swedish expertise regarding music, that’s why Per Gessle is also involved. Snippets from “The Look” will be used in the campaign.

Check out THIS video with Per and Tommy in the studio and check out THIS video to see how it all worked in Finnair’s previous campaign.

If you fly Finnair and have the opportunity to hear the taste, let us know how it is. 😉

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Helsinki, Finland – 12th November 2018 – #18

The Helsinki gig last night was actually a delayed concert. The Per Gessle’s Roxette tour would have reached Finland already on the 3rd November, in Espoo, but the date had been rescheduled 2 months before, end of August and the venue had also changed to the culture house in Helsinki. You could exchange your tickets for the rescheduled date. I remember I was very disappointed, because I had already booked everything (flights, accommodation /non-refundable, why not… 2 month before the date nothing can go wrong…/) just 2 or 3 days before the announcement was published. It was my decision to book everything the way I did, so no one to blame for it. Then I thought, oh whatever, I could still add the new date (12th November, Helsinki) to the list of shows I could attend, a bit more losing on other flights I had also already booked for the Swedish shows after the original Finland date and the Oslo-Göteborg leg of the tour, it would still be worth booking. Then a long long long long long ”discussion” with Ticketmaster started regarding exchanging the tickets. First of all, when you don’t live in Finland, it’s very difficult to reach them. No direct phone number, no direct e-mail address. So you turn to social media, send them a message on Facebook and get an automatic reply including a phone number. Winning! Then you call them, but the number doesn’t work. You try to contact them on social media again, but all the time you just get the automatic message with the same content. Then for the xth time when you write, they get back to you and ask ”How did you hear about this? Did you receive a message of the reschedule? Did you have any instructions? There is no information in the event info.” Facepalm. THEY sent out the e-mail about the change with almost no information on how to exchange the tickets and they don’t know anything about it. Awesome. Some more messages exchanged and we finally get to the point. They realize that the date had indeed been rescheduled so they suggest me to reach the nearest outlet. Hello! I live in Hungary, bought my ticket online, the nearest outlet is hundreds of kilometers away from me. Any other suggestion in the 21st century? Oh yes, you finally get an e-mail address to which you have to send your order number and they exchange the ticket. Great! All discussed regarding the seat I had for Metro Arena in Espoo. That was the very first ticket I managed to buy right at the very first minute the ticket sales started. Front row middle. They assure that I can get the same seat in the new venue. Fab! Then I send the e-mail with my order number. Days pass, no reply… I get back to them on Facebook. Any news? Yes, I should receive my new ticket shortly. Great. I get an e-mail one day later with the new ticket. In the 4th row. Aha. Back to them on Facebook telling them there might be a misunderstanding, they promised to exchange the ticket for the same front row middle seat as I had for the original venue. And that shouldn’t be a problem, given the new venue is even wider than the originally planned arena. Sorry for the inconvenience they say and send new ticket 1 more day later. To the very side of the front row. I know, I know… First world problems, but once you agree on something I hate it when they don’t keep their word and think you’re stupid or something. I tell them it’s still not the same ticket. They say that’s the best they can offer. I then realize Helsinki doesn’t want to cooperate with me and tell them I would rather ask for a refund then. I thought then they might change the ticket to the one we agreed on, but no, they said OK, they send my money back. Oh cool. See the best lesson on how to lose a customer. You would think it happened only to me, but no. Once the event was rescheduled, they didn’t show the seatmap on the website, you could only see the ”best available ticket” option which was 3rd row. Those who live in Finland and went to an outlet to exchange their tickets they said that the first 2 rows in the middle were greyed out. So Ticketmaster simply kept those tickets reserved for who knows whatever reason. Similar issue we had in Stockholm regarding the seatmap. No seatmap available, only best available ticket option and since the very first minute the tickets went on sale in March many fans were checking the website daily, even several times daily to see when they would release the front row tickets in the middle section. It happened only a few days before the concert. Who understands that? Anyways, I’m just a marketeer, not a sales person, but I would certainly change the customer care system and some other things in the business model at Ticketmaster.

Sorry for the long intro. Longer than what I’ll be able to write about the show itself. 😉 The doors opened for the concert in Helsinki at 7 pm and the gig started at 8 pm. There was no change in the setlist, so the gang entered the stage and started to play The Look. The crowd left their boogie shoes at home, they all remained seated. Actually, 2 girls stood up, but the security team then asked them to sit down. Still, one could feel the audience had much fun listening to Roxette’s evergreens and Per’s solo gems. They were clapping very loud and singing along too. You could clearly hear them doing so during IMHBL. This is also a way one can enjoy a gig and still show a high level of enthusiasm. It was only during Joyride when slowly but surely everyone stood up and from then on they didn’t sit back and waited for PG & Co to get back on stage for the 2nd encore. Yaaay!

The stage was very low and it was also very close to the front row, you could reach the band members who by the way were in top shape. Lots of smiles and interactions among the ladies and gents on stage. Åsa joined Per for the Finland trip and she also recorded some parts of the gig. DFS is already online on GessleHomeVids. Hope to see some more footage. Evgeny recorded TSHTSG.

Now only 2 shows left! Get your tickets if you haven’t seen this wonderful gang on tour yet! 😉

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the concert:

HELSINKI. Yes, this band is still groovin’ better and better for every gig!!! Thanx everyone for showing up this cold and rainy Monday night. You certainly brought a lot of sunshine!!! No blood on stage this time (hahaha) + got a couple of days off before Oslo on Thursday so my finger will surely mend. See y’all there!!!! Cheers, P.

Pic in the article by Samu Reijonen.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Linköping, Sweden – 10th November 2018 – #17

Karlstad set the expectations higher, so I expected an at least as fun concert in Linköping as our Friday night was. Another town, another ice hockey arena, same cold. Here the show was also originally planned to be standing on the floor, seated on the sides, but at the same time as it happened with Karlstad, appr. a month ago the floor was changed to unnumbered seats. Those who arrived first could occupy their spots in the front row. There was a meet & greet for a few fans before the show and to our surprise, seats in the second row were reserved for the participants. I think this was the first time ever, when it happened that a meet & greet participant didn’t really have to worry about losing his/her good spot for the show because of the M&G. Great support from the management!

Just like in Karlstad, Roxette music was playing inside the arena in the restaurant area. These ice hockey arenas know how to attract their visitors!

Nano started at 19:30 and the audience cheered him and was clapping along his songs. I found it quite promising! And then from 20:30 the crowd did show they love having Per Gessle and his band in town! When the gig started with The Look, the front row people were up on their feet and that’s what most people on the floor did, stood up in front of their seats. In Linköping even less people sat down during the ballads vs. Karlstad. It was great to see Per’s and the band members’ faces when they saw the crowd standing. It added to their mood again.

After TL, Per told the crowd it’s always fun to play in Linköping. The last time he performed there was last summer. He asked the audience if they were there and the crowd was shouting yeees. Per said they were there too, actually all of them on stage. He said they would play Roxette songs, but he thought to include some of his solo songs too, because it’s fun to play songs that nobody knows. Haha.

After beautiful MATAH Helena got a long & loud applause. Then Per talked about Capri 1993. He said they recorded there for 6 weeks and had friends and journalists there. And friends and journalists. Haha. They were eating pizza and drinking bad wines. But in that chaos they could record a quite OK album. CBB was a success in Linköping too. The crowd burst into loud clapping and shouting at the end.

Before DFS Per asked the audience if we were sitting. The crowd shouted ”neeeej!” (nooo!). Then Mr. G pointed at the standing people on the floor and said ”you are standing”, then pointed at the sides and said ”you are sitting there”. If I saw it right, it was DFS when a little accident happened to Per’s index finger (or power chord finger, how he calls it, LOL) on his right hand. I could already see it on some of my pictures from Karlstad that the nail looked damaged, so probably it got even worse while crashing the guitar during DFS and it started bleeding. From that moment when Per realized something was wrong with the finger, he looked at it many times during the rest of the concert, but never asked for a plaster or anything else and he was playing all songs PERfectly, as if nothing had happened. Hats off!

SGNO must have been a difficult one to play with that bleeding finger, but Mr. G managed it. While the whole audience was clapping loud, Chris played Ljudet av ett annat hjärta as the intro to SGNO. Everyone on stage was animating the crowd and they succeeded. SGNO was one of the best party songs on Saturday.

After SGNO Per picked up a black towel with which he usually wipes his face. Now he was wiping his bloody finger. While he was talking about his good day in 1990, he was constantly checking his finger and wiping it with the towel. He said he woke up one day and found a cute note on his piano saying ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). He had to marry his girlfriend after this note. The crowd was cheering and clapping and Per said ”she is not here tonight”. Obviously, he wrote Joyride, then he had a lunch break and then he wrote another song. SMT, of course. During the song Per walked to the left side of the stage to the technician board. Maybe he did ask Jakob for a plaster, but he might have run out of it because of a certain heavy user, a.k.a. Christoffer. Haha. Just kidding. It was funny that after fans saw the bleeding finger, they were trying to catch the thrown picks even harder than usual, to have one in their collection with Per’s blood on it. How cool is that! Haha.

During IGYC the power chord finger could have a rest. The duet of Per and Helena was fantastically beautiful.

Before STT Per talked about his Nashville adventure and said they would play a song the audience might already know in Swedish, Småstadsprat. He said they sing it in English, but if the crowd knew the lyrics in Swedish, sing along in Swedish and let’s see how it sounds. Haha.

Halmstad hillbilly IHAPIMH was much fun to hear, the flute ladies did their best again. After the song Per mentioned it was on his album, Son of a Plumber from 200? (twothousandsomething), he can’t remember. Magnus pointed at someone in the crowd and told Per someone knows the date. Per said ah, one person heard about that album. Great! Haha. Then Mr. G said he suggested  88(!) songs to the band to rehearse. Magnus said 12 is the maximum, they told Per. Per said Magnus has 2 favourite artists Roxette and Lars Winnerbäck (his hometown is Linköping). The crowd was cheering when they heard LW’s name. PG said thanks to Magnus we could hear the next song, IMHBL. It was very much welcomed by the crowd, but they showed it rather via their cheering, not via singing along loud. Still fair enough.

OppNox and TBL were again ass-kicking. One can’t get enough of these 2 songs in a row! Then we stayed in the ’90s and before the gang performed FLAF Mr. G asked the audience if they remembered the ’90s. We replied yeees! Per asked Magnus about the ’90s. He said he himself was the ’90s. When it was the ’80s, he was already the ’90s.

When it was DMS’s turn, I went live on our Facebook page, so you can watch the epic performance of the song. Christoffer on a high. Pure awesomeness!

During the band presentation the crowd rewarded each and every band member with a loud applause and cheering. Wonderful! After Per finished the introduction, someone in the crowd shouted in Swedish: ”And the man in the middle?” Christoffer grabbed the mic and said ”song, guitar and especially many many very good songs, Per Gessle! From Harplinge… or Furet!” Haha. The teaser to HDYD worked with clapping, but only the front row fans started singing the song, so Per took the mic and he started to sing himself. Both HDYD and Dangerous kept us warm because of the jumping. One can’t get tired of these songs either.

The Linköping crowd wanted to have the gang back on stage again, so they didn’t stop shouting, whistling and clapping. PG and the band came back after 3-4 minutes and performed QOR and then Joyride. Joyride was definitely one of the highlights at the Linköping concert. Helena and Per were constantly animating the crowd and during the second half of the song Chris was down on his knees in front of us, playing the guitar. Per came to him and they were fooling around. Then Helena came there too and sat on the edge of the stage with her tambourine and then Chris sat next to Helena and they were singing and playing there. Pure Saturday night fever!

             

The crowd was very happy to have PG & Co back on stage again after a very short break before the second encore. Per said they thought to play a song from the ’80s, a song which he wrote to a good friend of his. LTYH it was, of course. After the wonderful TSHTSG it was very hard to let them go off stage. The crowd was still loud, clapping, cheering Per and the band.

What a most fantastic Saturday night! It could even top our Friday in Karlstad I would say! Who would have expected it?! Not me! I realized it only towards the end of the concert that Christoffer’s shirt got torn on the right side. He must have been rocking out to one of the uptempo songs when it happened. A real rock ’n’ roll guy! Haha.

Let’s hope Per’s power chord finger has enough time until the next gig to heal. Micke N-S must have had a hard time in Linköping, cleaning all the guitars and strings. Well, the strings, maybe he changed them anyway. Just more often this time. On the guitars to that part where you can see Per’s blood he stuck some black stage tape. I guess it’s easier to remove the tape than cleaning the blood off the guitar.

So, guys and girls, those who could catch a bloody Per pick in Linköping, keep it safe in your collection. It doesn’t happen too often that you can get hold of such a rare item! 😉

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Mr. G after the gig:

LINKÖPING. Oh yea, another great gig. We’re on a roll right now, doing superb interpretations of the Rox songs and having lots of fun along the way. I’m sure you notice if you’re in the audience. The Linkoping crowd was awesome, thanks everyone for joining the party. Had a little problem with my power chord finger (check out that guitar…), it happens every year around gig #15…. Anyway, promise to be in good shape in Helsinki on Monday. Love to you all, thanks for being there! Love from P&Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Karlstad, Sweden – 9th November 2018 – #16

Arriving to Karlstad, seeing all the Per Gessle promotion (digital screens, posters, banners) in town one could feel very welcomed. The concert was held at the ice hockey arena and while we were waiting outside, shivering with cold I thought how good it will be when they finally let us inside, so we wouldn’t feel cold anymore. Haha. It’s an ice hockey arena you know and how they rearrange it for non-ice-related events is that they cover the ground, but leave the ice under. Of course, silly me. So the cold we didn’t get rid of until Per & Co came up on stage.

The show was originally planned to be standing on the floor, seated on the sides, but appr. a month ago the floor was changed to unnumbered seats. There were 40 seats in a row, so enough for those who had been waiting outside for long to get in and have the best seats. Fortunately, it was already stated in the e-mail they sent out about the change that one could be standing in front of his/her seat at the concert. Woohoo!

Inside the arena there was Roxette music playing in the restaurant area, so another thumbs up for the venue.

Nano, the support act started to perform at 19:30 and hey… what happened? Did I hear cheering people, clapping loud already during the support act? Couldn’t go wrong during the real deal either, I thought. And I was right. Yay! At last a Swedish audience that knows how to party! Might be because of the ice hockey matches they can practice at. Haha. Great!

Even if it wasn’t originally planned, Anders Roos was there again to take pictures and record the show and he was to come to Linköping as well. Judging by the camera settings, we will (hopefully) get to see some fab shots from Karlstad too.

So, Per and his beautiful band entered the stage at 20:30 and the front row stood up right at that moment. When they started playing The Look, most people on the floor stood up and remained standing during the whole concert. Some sat down during the ballads, but actually, it looked quite good when I looked around and saw all those standing people. This probably added even more to the anyway great mood of PG & Co. After some days off, they charged their batteries to be able to bounce around the stage. They were in top top shape. As Malin-My also said, after some days off they come back and there is always something new happening on stage. Indeed! There were some more spontaneous actions and pure energy.

After TL, Per greeted the audience and said it was debut for him in that ice hockey arena. Well, not really, because almost exactly 17 years ago he played there with Roxette during the Room Service tour. Time flies, memory fades. Haha. He said he played there with Gyllene Tider in 2013 in Mariebergsskogen. He asked if anyone else was there and the crowd shouted yeees. Per said ”those were the days!”. When he said he had been writing songs for more than 40 years and that they would dive deep in the Roxette song catalogue, the crowd was loud cheering.

MATAH sounded wonderful in the arena. Great acoustics, fab ballad! Then Per talked about the Capri adventure of Roxette in 1993 and that besides the world’s most expensive pizza and drinking incredibly much wine, they could record a quite OK album in 6 weeks. They played CBB of course and Helena got cheered after it. She was throwing kisses to the crowd to thank.

Before DFS Per looked around and asked the audience if we were sitting. The crowd burst out into a loud shouting ”neeeej!” (nooo!). PG said sitting wouldn’t fit the next song. Haha. And it didn’t fit SGNO either. There was no GT song intro now, but Christoffer’s intro was rocking anyway and Per was clapping above Christoffer’s head while he played, so cool! When Chris lost his hat and it was laying upside down on stage, Per came and throw a pick into it as if it was a coin, then went to pick another plectrum off the mic stand and threw one more and one more. I was laughing my ass off and I heard the crowd laughing too! It was a great spontaneous action. Loved it!

After SGNO Per told the audience Chris actually grew up in the neighbourhood, in Värmland county. Chris laughed and said, yeah, in Lund… (which is in Skåne county). Haha. Per asked the audience if all was good. He got a loud yeees as a reply. Mr. G said ”what a Friday, shit!” He said they feel very good on stage here in Karlstad. He went on with his Joyride-SMT story and said the last time he had such a good day was in 1990. And the story goes: he woke up one day in May in Halmstad and found a note on his piano saying ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). He just had to marry his girlfriend after seeing this note. He wrote Joyride and it felt awesome. Then he ate lunch and rank some coffee, Löfbergs (that was the name of the arena and it’s a Swedish coffee brand) and he wrote another song. SMT, another ballad that sounded fab in the arena. Helena got her huge applause after this song too.

Then came IGYC. I love the arrangement of this song and the setting of the lights as well, how first it’s only the silhouette of the musicians we can see on stage.

Before STT Per said he always had the dream of going to Nashville and record there with local musicians, but he also took some of his friends with him, e.g. Chris and Helena. STT is always so beautiful from the first note Malin-My plays on the violin through the wonderful duet of Per and Chris to the last guitar tune. Pure love!

Swedish hillbilly IHAPIMH with the flutes sounded great in the ice hockey arena and then came the Magnus-Per stand-up comedy part before IMHBL. Per said he gave 86(!) songs to the band to rehearse and they didn’t want to. Magnus said it was 89 songs. Mr. G said there was one he was thinking about not playing, but Magnus said stop, the crowd would be crying if they didn’t play it. Per said Magnus has 2 favourite artists and one of them is Roxette and the next song is one of his faves, so they played it and most people in the audience sang along. They weren’t incredibly loud, but still they were singing.

OppNox and TBL kicked ass in Karlstad too. For us longtime fans for sure. Heavy party in the front and loud clapping in the whole arena! Then it was time for a ballad again, so FLAF was performed, but before that Mr. G asked the xrowd if we like the ’90s. The reply was a loud yeees! Per asked Magnus about the ’90s. He said he can’t remember much, because he was born in 1991, but he remembers he saw a match in this arena in 1993 and he told a short ice hockey anecdote about the local team, Färjestad BK.

DMS, another highlight at each concert! I could listen to it and watch the band playing it 24/7! Christoffer’s hand is not bleeding that much anymore. He said he doesn’t do the things he would love to, to take care of the hand, but still he is rocking during this song every time.

   

PG introduced his wonderful band to the crowd. Each one of them got a loud applause. So well-deserved! They are absolutely fantastic musicians, all of them! When Per introduced Clarence he said he missed the tour bus today, but they are very happy that he took a taxi and he is here now. Haha. There was no introduction of Per in Karlstad, they went on with the teaser to HDYD. The crowd was clapping loud and Per said it’s not bad. Then we started singing when he stopped playing, but it wasn’t the whole audience singing, rather the front section only, so then he started to perform the song himself. Dangerous was also ass-kicking before the gang went off stage.

The arena was loud of the audience shouting and whistling and clapping, wanting Per and the band back on stage. They came back after a few minutes to perform one Mr. G’s all-time fave Roxette songs, QOR and then a groovy Joyride.

How the band came back for the second encore and LTYH you can watch in the live video I posted on our Facebook page. Another most fantastic ballad! One can’t get enough of it! And you can’t get enough of the closing song either! TSHTSG! Yet another song I could listen to and watch them playing it during the rest of my life.

The concert ended with Per saying thanks to the crowd and wishing ”Merry Christmas!”, just like that. Haha. Loved the whole show! Oh and thank you Sweden for showing your other side crowdwise! 😉

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the show:

KARLSTAD. Yeehaa. What a fun Friday evening! Had a blast with the Greatest Band On Earth + a super crowd. It’s kinda strange for me to perform in Sweden without playing my Swedish songs which have been so monumental in this country for decades. But tonite it all felt perfect. I had such a good time. Thanks everyone who showed up, love you dearly. Linköping tomorrow. Look forward. /P.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Stockholm, Sweden – 5th November 2018 – #15

Last night it was the second Swedish show on the Per Gessle’s Roxette tour. In Stockholm there are usually several famous people attending concerts and yesterday many of them came to see Per & Co. Just to mention a few: Jonas Åkerlund, Peter Jöback, Micke Syd, Anders Herrlin, Lasse Lindbom, Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden and Prince Daniel. Of course, there were family and friends in the audience too. Gabriel and Åsa were also sitting some rows behind us. It was strange to see Mrs. Gessle sitting (and not going around the venue filming or being backstage), but she stayed at her seat until the 2nd encore. Then she went backstage.

It was the only gig out of 5 in Sweden that was planned to be seated originally. So… you know, the question mark was there if we could stand up. First of all… we are in Sweden. Regarding the seated crowds during the Marie tour we could experience that it’s hard to make them stand up, no matter if the artist him-/herself asks them to stand up. The other thing was the security team. We were afraid they would tell us to sit back. It doesn’t hurt to try, so once PG and the gang appeared on stage and they started playing The Look, the hardcore fans, mainly in the front row, but also some of them on the sides and in the middle stood up. Fortunately, in the front row we could stand one step down in front of our seats, so we were almost the same high this way as if we were sitting. The security team was great! They never asked us to sit back. The rest of the crowd? Oh-oh… Yeah, it’s Sweden. I won’t ever understand them… They all remained seated. During the whole show. Some people thought the concert ended before the first encore, so they were leaving, but the rest of the audience wanted the guys and girls back on stage, so they didn’t keep silent and of course, the gang came up on stage again for the first encore. At least for Joyride most of the crowd stood up at last and then waited for the second encore standing and remained standing during the second encore as well. Happiness! It would have been cool to see Jonas Åkerlund and Peter Jöback standing too, but they didn’t feel the boogie in their shoes. Whatever. We who dared to stand up had a blast and were thankful that we could be standing and jumping and dancing at least during the uptempo songs. We sat back during the ballads. Someone in the crowd in the back shouted a loud ”Tack!” once we sat down. Oh… Message to him: next time you can stand up too! 😉

Anyway, Mr. G and the band were in top shape. The Look was a blast! Really… how can you remain seated during that song?! Everyone on stage was happy to see the familiar faces who were standing. After the song Per asked the crowd ”Sitter ni bra?” (Do you feel good? / Do you sit well?) The audience shouted ”ja!” (yes), but I just had to shout ”nej!” to sit… Haha. Then Per said it’s the first time he plays at Waterfront (the venue) and told the audience he has been writing songs for more than 40 years. He got a huge applause for that. He asked the crowd to sing along if they know the lyrics.

Then came MATAH and there was a little PG mess-up in the lyrics. ”I try not to analyse” became ”Didn’t she blow my mind?”, but other than that the performance was fabulous and Helena also got cheered at the end.

Before CBB Mr. G told the crowd about travelling to Capri in 1993 to record an album and eating the world’s most expensive pizzas there. It was a 6-week-long renewal. Christoffer said he was at primary school then.

Then the gang was about to speed it up a bit. Per asked again ”Sitter ni bra?” There was a mix of ja and nej and then Christoffer asked ”Står ni bra?” (Do you feel good? / Do you stand well?) The hardcores got up on their feet for DFS of course and we remained dancing during SGNO as well. Just like in Halmstad, Chris played a little Ljudet av ett annat hjärta intro before SGNO. It was cool. Both songs kicked ass and as usual, the ending of SGNO with the drum solo a la Andreas rocked big time.

                

Before SMT Per said what a fantastic evening it is and he remembers another fantastic evening, or better said a fantastic day in the spring of 1990. He woke up in the morning and found a note on his piano: ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). It was left there by his girlfriend who he had to marry after such a note. Haha. He wrote Joyride and then he ate lunch, sausage and mashed potatos. And then he wrote another song, why not.

After SMT, Helena, Malin-My, Chris, Ola and Per got prepared for IGYC. You could hear in the mic Helena saying ”ja!” after Per was looking at her asking if she was ready to start. It was a lovely performance of the song.

Before STT Mr. G talked about his dream to record in Nashville and that he did that in 2016 and Chris and Helena joined him there. Chris said he went to high school then. Per told the crowd they would play a song in English which they probably already heard in Swedish. Then came Malin-My’s beautiful violin intro to STT. Despite the fact that it’s now Christoffer’s turn having a soar throat, how he was singing the duet with Per was fabulous.

For Swedish hillbilly IHAPIMH Clarence, Magnus and Andreas came back on stage and during the intro the crowd was clapping loud and we all had a party in our seats.

Before IMHBL Per said he gave 79 (! the most so far… haha) songs to the band to rehearse. Magnus said it was 82 songs, because they added the whole Grape Rock song catalogue. Haha. Mr. G said there was one song he wasn’t sure about to play, but it turned out to be 1 of Magnus’s fave songs besides Bada naken på Sergels torg and Hej hej Monika. So they started playing IMHBL and found the most silent crowd. Usually, there is a loud sing-along to this one when Per let’s the audience sing a short part, but only a few felt like singing last night. Gosh… If not standing up, at least they could sing along. Oj. Never mind! We had OppNox and TBL to get up from our seats (still only the hardcores) and have a blast to those 2 uptempo hits and the crowd was loud at clapping at least. Haha, Helena made a great hairdo for herself during ”for a week I was in love with your hairdo”. Loved it!

We stayed in the ’90s for one more song. Before FLAF Per asked Magnus about the ’90s. Magnus said he just got a note that the ’90s Spice Girls reunite next summer. He said Posh Spice won’t be in the group, but Scary Spice, Baby Spice, Sporty Spice and… (he couldn’t remember Ginger Spice) and Per said ”Magnus Spice!” as the 4th member. Haha. The sing-along to FLAF didn’t happen in Stockholm. Only a few of us were singing out loud. But the clapping was loud, so Stockholm Swedes enjoy themselves more on the inside most probably.

Before DMS Per set his guitar and while doing that he said ”Technical stuff…!” as one of his strengths. Then Chris was setting his guitar and said the same in the mic. DMS was fantastic again last night!

Then Per introduced his amazing band and everyone got a huge applause. After each band member got introduced there was a little pause and Per got his guitar from Micke N-S, then Magnus asked ”And who is that in the middle? Who is that in the middle?” Chris said ”Oh, vocals, guitar, technical stuff and very many very good songs, Per Gessle!” The crowd cheered and applauded him loudly.

Per said in the mic ”Let’s see if you recognize this one!” and started the teaser intro to HDYD. After IMHBL and FLAF we knew we have to be veeery loud since the hardcores would be the only ones singing and we did our best during the teaser and sang out loud while the rest of the audience was ”only” clapping. Both HDYD and Dangerous were great party songs for those standing up. Then Per thanked for the evening and they went off stage.

The crowd was loud shouting and clapping to have them back and the gang did come back on stage after some minutes to play QOR first (watch the live video on our FB page) then Joyride. And yeees! Joyride was the ice melter song when most people finally decided to join the hardcores and stand up. Yay! Thank you! It was great to see.

After the gang came back for the second encore, Per said they can’t leave us empty-handed, so they played an ’80s song he wrote for a friend. Yes, LTYH, which was a great success last night and after the song Helena and Per hugged each other and Helena kissed Per on the cheek, so sweet. TSHTSG was a fab closing. Always a pleasure to hear this song live in this arrangement!

Note to Live Nation: on a next European tour put the Swedish shows to the beginning of the schedule, pretty please. 😉

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

PG after the concert:

STOCKHOLM. Yep, debut at the Waterfront for me. Great venue. Had a wonderful time with the greatest band on Earth. Thanks for stopping by, y’all.

Noticed a lot of familiar faces from all over the place attending the show. Appreciate that. You’re the best! And thank you Stockholm for having us and singing along! Always a treat! /P.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Moscow, Russia – 1st November 2018 – #14

The second show in Russia happened in Moscow tonight. It was a standing-in-the-front, seated-in-the-back concert, so today the Russian had the chance to party hard and enjoy those 20 songs.

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

The Look was a very welcomed opener at Crocus City Hall, where Per played with Roxette almost exactly 4 years ago.

After MATAH Per said thanks to the crowd in Russian, spasiba, and then came a beautiful CBB.

The crowd was then Dressed For Success and before SGNO Chris played a little Kalinka intro for which the audience was very happy.

After SGNO Per said he had a good day in 1990 and he hasn’t had a good day ever since. No one was laughing, so he said it was a joke. Then people laughed. Haha. He told the crowd he woke up in the morning, found a note on his piano saying ”Hello, you fool, I love you”. It was left there by his girlfriend who is now his wife. He had to marry her because of that note. The audience cheered him and they shouted ”Åsa, Åsa Åsa”! How sweet! Per continued the story. He wrote Joyride and he was pleased with himself because it turned out pretty good. Then he had Swedish meatballs for lunch, he watched 3 or 4 Ingmar Bergman movies and then he wrote another song. They performed SMT.

Magnus’s fave song, IMHBL turned into a loud sing-along from the beginning till the end. OppNox and TBL were cool to party to. The front row was so close to the stage that Helena could touch the fans’ hands when she came to the front.

Before FLAF Per asked Magnus about the ’90s. Magnus started listing Russian girl names. Per asked him whether they were his girlfriends or his dogs. Magnus said he can’t remember that much, because he was born in 1991. Then came Helena’s powerful performance of FLAF.

HDYD and Dangerous were real party songs tonight. The teaser to HDYD worked fine with the crowd.

The band came back on stage for 2 encores. After QOR Helena thanked the crowd in Russian, spasiba.

Before TSHTSG Per asked the audience: ”One more before our train leaves?” Haha. He thanked the crowd for coming and having such a good time.

At the end of the show even Ola picked some plectrums from Per’s mic stand and threw them to the crowd.

PG after the gig:

MOSCOW. Yes, back at the Crocus City Hall and had a blast. Thanks everyone for showing up and making us feel very welcome indeed. Love to play here. Hope to come back very soon. Thanks all you Russian fans for your endless support and beautiful voices. Vids to come. Cheers from P.

Pics in the article by ViacheslavKirillov.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – St. Petersburg, Russia – 30th October 2018 – #13

Per Gessle & Co. play 2 shows in Russia before they head back to Sweden. The first show was St. Petersburg where the last time Roxette played was in 2014.

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

The venue was seated and unfortunately, it wasn’t allowed to stand up. Many fans tried to, but got told to sit down by the security team. It was a burden during all uptempo songs, already during the opener, The Look. The mood on stage was great anyway, Per smiled from ear to ear during the whole show, the gang was bouncing around on stage and the crowd was loud when it came to clapping along and cheering.

After the band presentation Chris asked pointing at Per ”who is he? Lead vocal, guitar and very many many many good songs: Per Gessle!” The crowd cheered, Per thanked and then Mr. G asked the audience if they want to sing a bit. People shouted ”yeaaah!” so Per started with the teaser to HDYD. The crowd was clapping hard and shouting, but they didn’t start to sing, so Per went on singing the song himself.

Joyride was very energetic and then for the 2nd encore no one could stop the audience. They all stood up and enjoyed the last 2 songs standing and were singing along loud to LTYH.

   

At the end of the show some flowers were handed over to Per, as well as a framed caricature drawing of Roxette created by a digital artist from Finland.

PG’s thoughts after the gig:

ST PETERSBURG! Yes, thank you very much for a splendid evening! Musically… one of the best gigs so far. This band is slowly coming together, it takes time to connect!!!! Tonight the band did a wonderful job in superb harmony with the crowd. Thanks for having us, thanks for singing along, thanks for all your support and flowers and gifts. Love to you all. I do love this town!!! Always did! Cheers, P.
PS. Moscow on Thursday! Yea!

Photos in the article by Marie Jonsson.

More photos
Photographer Lukovnikov Andrey

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Halmstad, Sweden – 27th October 2018 – #12

Per Gessle arrived home! The 12th gig on tour he played in his beloved hometown, Halmstad. That was the show held in the biggest venue, Halmstad Arena having the biggest crowd on tour so far. It was quite cold in jolly Halmstad, so the queueing was different vs. when there is a concert in the summer. The security team was nice, they let people inside the arena until they really had to arrange the entrance, so then everyone had to go outside again. Everyone was relaxed, we walked all the way to the stage when we were finally let in.

There was a big space left for the standing crowd in front of the stage and there were seats as well, in a usual arena setting. There were big screens on both sides of the stage and cameras set at several places. It seems they were only using them for the screens, not for recording the gig.

The support act, Nano played for appr. half an hour. He was one of the Melodifestivalen contestants and he has a nice voice.

Before the show started, we could see Åsa welcoming guests at the seats that were closest to the stage on both sides. Friends and family. We could spot some familiar faces, Mats MP Persson was among them.

PG & Co. didn’t prepare a different setlist for Halmstad, they performed the usual 20 songs, spicing them with a little Gyllene Tider here and there in the intros. The biggest difference vs. the other shows was that Per of course talked in Swedish in between the songs.

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

The Look was a great starter in the arena, however, it’s always difficult to animate a Swedish crowd. They weren’t too loud and they left their boogie shoes at home. Business as usual. Anyway, we had much fun in the front.

After The Look Per talked to the audience and told this is the first time he plays Halmstad Arena. He was there to watch table tennis and handball matches, but never performed there. He asked the crowd to sing along if they know the lyrics, because they love it. He asked Christoffer what he thinks and Chris said yeah, he often sings along.

After MATAH I went live on our Facebook page, so you could hear Per told the audience it’s a European tour and this is the first gig in Sweden. Then he talked about the 6-week-long recording adventure in Capri, the place of most expensive pizzas. They performed CBB then. After the song Mr. G mentioned that the title was inspired by Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock.

Per asked: ”Are you sitting? I can’t really see it.” It was time to speed it up and play DFS. Then came SGNO with a short Ljudet av ett annat hjärta intro and with the fab drum solo at the end and Chris losing his hat. The crowd was… hm. As I said, no boogie shoes on their feet.

PG said the last time he had such a good day as today was in May 1990. He woke up in the morning, probably on Torsgatan in Halmstad, found a note on his piano: ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). It wasn’ left there by his mother, but his girlfriend, now wife. The day wasn’t over yet, he bought some meatballs at Regnbågen and had lunch. Then his good friend, MP came over and they wrote another song together which they play now. Per said MP is certainly sitting in the crowd now somewhere. So they performed SMT and then came IGYC. Per said he wrote it for the Party Crasher album, but it was released later on a Roxette album, he can’t remember on which, there are so many.

Before STT, Mr. G said he always had the dream of going to Nashville and record with those fantastic local musicians there. Per said they play a song which the crowd surely knows in Swedish, but now they play it in English. When Malin-My started playing the violin on this one, the crowd realized what song Per was talking about and the reactions were ”aaaw!” and loud applause. Småstadsprat is still often played on Swedish radios.

Then it was the turn of Swedish hillbilly music, IHAPIMH and then in the intro talk to IMHBL Per said he gave 72 songs to the band to rehearse and there was one he didn’t really want to play, but it turned out to be 1 of Magnus’s 3 fave songs. The other 2 are Mickey by Carola and Hej hej Monika. The audience was singing along to IMHBL, but even if the arena was huge and the acoustics could have been nice there, it wasn’t too loud.

OppNox + TBL, my fave party session was not as much of a party in Halmstad. It wasn’t the band’s fault though. The crowd was just too lazy.

Before FLAF, Per asked Magnus if he likes the ’90s. Magnus said he IS the ’90s. He was born in 1991. Haha. Per asked Magnus about his ’90s girlfriends too, but they didn’t talk too much about the topic. After FLAF Helena got a huge applause. She thanked in Swedish. Her family was also there in the crowd.

DMS sounded cool in the arena. Chris got back to the bleeding routine. Poor guy, his finger started bleeding again and had to get some plaster.

Then came the band presentation and Per said he has a wonderful band. He introduced everyone one by one and when he finished Chris said: ”Who is the man in the middle? Vocals, guitar and many many good songs: Per Gessle!” The crowd cheered him.

Then came HDYD and Per tried the teaser, but since the crowd didn’t start singing, he went on with his version. Dangerous was the last song before the gang went off stage.

The audience was shouting and clapping, but I would have liked to hear some more typical Swedish cheering from them. The band came back anyway and Per said they were only halfway into the set. We wished… Haha. They performed QOR and Joyride. In the intro to Joyride, Chris played a little När vi två blir en.

Before the 2nd encore, the audience was a bit louder and yes, they started singing Sommartider. Per came up on stage and showed thumbs up and danced a bit to the tunes. But of course, they didn’t perform Sommartider, but LTYH instead. Then TSHTSG closed the set and Per thanked for a fantastic evening.

Mr. G after the show:

HALMSTAD! Yeehaa. Thanks for doing our very first gig at the Halmstad Arena such a pleasure. Lots of familiar faces around. Nice!!!! We’ll be back. Russia next! /P.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Utrecht, the Netherlands – 25th October 2018 – #11

Now less shows left than how many we could already see on tour. The 11th gig happened in the Netherlands, at a cozy venue, Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht. Besides Dutch fans, there were fans mainly from Germany, but also from Australia and Argentina, as well as Hungary, Belgium and probably some other countries. Regarding the queueing, we can’t complain. We were let inside already in the morning, so we didn’t have to wait outside in the cold all day. We weren’t sure about the setup at the venue, if there were seats or a standing area. When we bought our tickets in March it was said to be standing in front of the stage and seated at the upper levels. It was confirmed also the day before the show at the ticket office. Then it suddenly changed into unnumbered seats down there in front of the stage. But it probably worked better this way. There was no mess, because here you could decide yourself where you want to sit. I mean everyone had the same general admission ticket and you could decide on place where you would want to sit.

The support act… oh well. It was Bottles of Love, they started at 19:45. Ehm, first it was even hard to recognize the language the singer used, then it turned out it was English, but with a very strong Dutch accent, so it was hard to understand what he was singing about. We missed Lee a lot. It would have been far much better to have him as a support act during the whole tour. Let’s see how the support will be in Sweden.

PG & Co. hit the stage at 20:45 and this is what they prepared for us:

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

The Look had its effect, everyone stood up immediately. However, mainly those remained standing during the whole show who were sitting in the front of stage area. One funny thing, when they take a break during The Look and pause for some seconds, now the whole gang point at each other. Who’s got the look? Haha.

After the first song Per talked to the audience and told this is the first time he is playing in U-track. Haha. At least this is how it sounded when he pronounced Utrecht. He asked the crowd to sing along if they know the lyrics.

MATAH sounded absolutely wonderful. After the song Per talked into the mic: ”Milk And Toast And Honey, make it sunny, in a chair.” Then talked about the most expensive pizzas and cheapest wines in Capri and they played CBB. Helena got cheered after the song.

Then came DFS to speed the tempo up a bit. Per asked: ”Are you sitting down? Standing up?” We shouted standing up, he said it’s a good move. Then came the cool live version of SGNO and Per asked Chris in the intro how he felt, Chris said he was happy. The drum solo at the end was outstanding as usual. Christoffer lost his hat again while rocking during the song, but went to pick it up while Per was talking about the next song.

After the first 5 songs we got to hear about Per’s good day in 1990. He woke up in the morning, found a note on his piano left there by his girlfriend: Hello, you fool, I love you. Per said he couldn’t resist but marry her. And it had to be a song, Joyride. He got a shout-in: well done! He showed thumbs up. He had lunch and ate Swedish meatballs, then he felt full. Watched 3 Ingmar Bergman movies on VHS and then he wrote the next song. SMT. Despite the soar throat, Helena sounded beautiful on this too. Actually, Per must have problems with his throat too, since he is drinking a lot of ginger tea during the concerts (already since the first gig), more than usual. And he must be chewing on some tiny bites of ginger in between the songs. At least I can’t imagine him chewing a gum, so it’s rather ginger. But who knows. The 2 soar-throated sounded fab on IGYC. Per said he wrote it for the Party Crasher album, but it wound up on an a Roxette album in the end.

Before STT, Mr. G said he went to record in Nashville and brought some friends along. Chris said into the mic ”I was there!”, then Helena also said ”I was there!”. I really can’t wait to have this live version mastered and released! Amazing!

The very typical Swedish hillbilly music, IHAPIMH turned out to be a unique one in Utrecht. Actually, the third verse became so beautiful, surreal that it was a blackout version. Per sang a little blablabla instead of the lyrics and it sounded too cool. First I thought he would remember the lyrics after the first line in the verse, but it stayed as it is. If anyone has a recording of it, please, share! It was really adorable! We love such ”surprises”! Per just smiled after he finished the song and said ”Thanx, I have a party in my head, all the time!” Haha. I hope it never ends, Mr. G! 😉

Here I went live on our Facebook page, so you could see how the intro talk to IMHBL went and you could also listen to the song and watch what’s happening on stage. This time it was 77 songs Per gave the band to rehearse. Magnus said: ”And we reherased 12. Per wasn’t very glad. So we rehearsed 112. And then he was glad again.” Per: ”Yes, I’m easy.” Magnus: ”Easy to please!” Per said there are a couple of songs that Magnus can’t really live without: Radar Love by Golden Earring, Venus by Shocking Blue and the next one they play, IMHBL. Beautiful live version. Magnus can be happy.

OppNox + TBL, the best part without a doubt! However, I was a bit disappointed that those who were sitting up in the seats were rather lame and stayed seated even during the party songs.

Before FLAF, Per asked Magnus about the ’90s and his ’90s girlfriends. Magnus said he’s happy it’s over with those many girlfriends. Helena got a huge applause after FLAF and she thanked the audience both in Dutch and in English.

While getting prepared for DMS, PG asked if we were having a good time. Yeees! Then something didn’t want to work with the capo and Per said: ”Me and technical stuff…” Magnus was kidding him and Per asked him if he saw his YouTube video on how to put a capo on the guitar. It’s 47 minutes. Haha. We are glad to see any tutorials on GessleHomeVids, feel free to share. The song anyway was fantastic in Utrecht too. Chris went wild at the end, but this time his hand fortunately wasn’t bleeding. However, he asked for a plaster, so his finger still must be aching.

During the band presentation Per said he has the greatest band. He introduced the members one by one and when he finished it he said that’s it. Then Chris said: ”You forgot someone. Vocals, guitar and many, many songs: Per Gessle!” The crowd cheered Per and he thanked kindly. He said he didn’t expect that, that Chris knows his name. Haha. Chris said: ”Surpri-i-ise!”

Then came HDYD and Per said now it’s the crowd’s turn to sing. The intro started and the audience started singing and didn’t want to stop. And just like in Cologne, Per let us sing until the very same line as at the previous show. Mr. G was dancing to our singing and was happy to hear we knew the lyrics. He said: ”Beautiful! Well, the rap section didn’t go that well… Sounds great, thank you very much! So join us on tour! Well, you do, some of you!” Haha. Love these spontaneous reactions. To both HDYD and Dangerous we could party hard and the band was on fire.

Then the gang went off stage and the audience wanted to have them back of course, so they came back and Per said: ”It’s been a great evening, thank you very much. Thanks for having us!” Then they played QOR first, then Joyride which became a little balloon party. Chris couldn’t handle the plaster on his finger anymore, so with the help of his mouth he took it off and threw it away. Some of the balloons ended up on stage while the audience were playing with them and either Per or Chris or Magnus kicked them and they got back above the audience. It was cool to see!

After Joyride the band said goobye, but the crowd didn’t get quiet. We wanted more and we got more in the 2nd encore. When Per was standing in front of his mic stand and got prepared to talk about LTYH a bit, someone shouted ”Hey Mr DJ!”. Per: ”Hey Mr DJ? That was song No. 78.” Haha. I really loved this spontaneity. And his sense of humor is top! So they played LTYH which was awesome and then Per asked the crowd if it’s always like this on Thursdays here. Then he said they do one more song, just for us, because they love us. So it was time for TSHTSG. Another song I’m looking very much forward to having mastered and released on a live CD.

At the end of the gig Per thanked the audience and from a fan he got a balloon on a stick. The balloon was an emoji, the heart-eyed one. He was laughing. Then before they took a bow, he gave it to Malin-My. Then the balloon fell off the stick, Mr. G played with it a bit, pushing it up into the air, then Andreas kicked it, but then Per felt sorry for it and grabbed it up from the stagefloor again and left the stage with that little fellow! Great idea it was from the girl who brought that balloon.

At the merch stand this time there were 2 drumheads, one with Utrecht’s skyline and another with the design of what’s on the T-shirts. Both drumheads were transparent. They put a used pair of drumstick on sale as well. What’s next…?

Here is Mr. G’s opinion about the gig:

UTRECHT, HOLLAND. Oh my God!!! In spite of sore throats and kinda weird acoustics the gig at the Tivoli in Utrecht became WUNDERBAR!!! Jeezus, what have we done to deserve a crowd like this? Amazing! Thanks for all your wonderful voices + keeping this band on its toes! We had the time of our lives tonite. Tomorrow we fly back home for a gig in jolly Halmstad before hitting Russia. But we’ll keep the Utrucht one alive forever! Cheers from Per & Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Cologne, Germany – 23rd October 2018 – #10

Can’t believe that we already reached the halftime of the tour. The 10th gig meant the last gig in Germany. At least on this tour. There was no day-off between Warsaw and Berlin and then no break between Berlin and Cologne, so concerts for 3 days in a row. I was wondering how tiring it might be, but when we talked to Chris at the airport and asked him about how it feels doing 3 shows in a row he said that actually, the vibe and mood don’t really get low during the whole tour. The only difficulty is when the hotel rooms are not ready by the time they arrive and they can’t take a short rest before they go on to the venue.

The organizers at the venue in Cologne were not too well-prepared for the entrance. They opened the doors at 7 pm, but put the signs (which entrance accepts which tickets) on the doors only 1 hour earlier. So those who had been waiting there for quite a long time and were standing at the wrong door, they had to rearrange themselves. The inlet wasn’t too smooth, but in the end, fans found a good spot in the front, close to the stage.

Support act Lee MacDougall started his session at 8 pm. This was the last time when Lee was the support act. I will definitely miss him during the rest of the tour. He is touring Germany and Austria early next year, so if you saw him live now, go and see him again. If you didn’t see him live, check out his songs online and maybe it will convince you to go. Great music! Best of luck to him!

Mr. G and his band hit the stage right after 9 pm and sticked to the already known setlist.

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Loved that The Look started with Per counting in German again, ”eins, zwei, drei, vier!”. He could do this little change in each country, counting in the language used there. It’s fun! Let’s see if he tries it in Russia, for example. 😉 The opening song was already quite energetic, so you couldn’t tell this gang is now doing their 3rd show in a row.

After the first song Per told the audience that the last time he performed in Cologne was in the summer of 2015. At least Christoffer told him it was in summer. Then off he went to take a deep dive into the big bucket of Roxette songs and they played MATAH. Then came a little Capri talk and it was CBB’s turn. Helena has some problems with her soar throat now, it’s too cold in Germany, but the way she was singing, you couldn’t tell she had any issues. Wonderful!

The speed up section of DFS and SGNO was a blast! After the hat fell off Christoffer’s head, Per went and picked it up to put it back on Chris’s head while he was playing in the front with Ola. The drum solo ending presented by Andreas was fantastic again!

Before SMT Per told the story of his good day in 1990. He woke up in the morning, had nothing to do, then his wife, then girlfriend left a note on his piano saying ”Hello, you fool, I love you”. Per asked ”isn’t that cute?”. He said he just had to write a song and it became Joyride. Then he was very pleased with himself, had lunch with Swedish meatballs, took a break then watched 3 Ingmar Bergman movies, then stood up, went to his piano and wrote the next song. Helena got a huge applause after performing it in Cologne too.

After IGYC Per talked about Nashville that he went to record there with local musicians and a few friends, no names. Chris said in the mic ”I was there.” Per reacted: ”We had a good time anyway.” Haha. Then they performed STT’s beautiful PG-CL live duet version!

Then the experts of Swedish hillbilly music played IHAPIMH and before the song started, Per told the audience ”please pay attention to flute ladies!”. The flute ladies were fabulous, as usual and the audience loved the song. Per thanked the crowd in German.

This time Mr. G said he presented the band with 76 songs (it’s btw getting more and more from show to show! 72-74-76… 😉 ) he wanted them to learn. Magnus said ”And we learned 120. Some Stones songs, some Beatles songs… You’ll hear them later at the show after the show. But you have to have T-shirts from the stand as well.” PG: ”Not my idea.” Magnus: ”It was mine!” PG: ”Blablabla.” Haha. We all laughed at Per’s blablabla reaction. Then came one sentence by him from which we could hear he IS tired. His tongue didn’t want to cooperate, so the words came out were a little strange, but adorable. The essence of his thoughts was of course not being sure about playing IMHBL or not, because it’s Magnus’s fave song besides 99 Luftballons by Nena and Wind of Change by Scorpions. Magnus said 99 Luftballons is his No. 1. So he got one more blablabla from Per. Haha.

Then came OppNox and TBL and since Åsa joined the gang on tour again, she came and filmed these songs, also the crowd partying. When this section ended, the audience shouted and were clapping loud, it was awesome. PG showed thumbs up and started to talk about the ’90s. He asked Magnus how his parents were. Magnus said they were very fine people and actually they ARE very fine people since they are still alive and they were living in the ’90s as well. Everyone laughed. Per started counting on his hands how old they might be. FLAF was the next song and Helena did great on it, so the crowd cheered her.

Then came a crowd favourite, DMS. No blood this time, but you could see on Jakob’s face when he handed the guitar over to Christoffer that he was prepared for everything. Haha.

The band presentation was much fun again, all musicians got huge applauses and at the end Per said he is surrounded by talent. Then came HDYD and while Mr. G was preparing for it he said ”let’s see if you know this one… let’s see if I know it…”. Haha. Then came the intro and the whole crowd started singing. This time it was even more aaawesome, because Per let us sing much further than usual, until here we are cracking jokes…  He made fun of us instructing the crowd, then looking at his (non-existing) watch. He laughed and liked the whole thing a lot, the band too. Party, party also during Dangerous!

       

During the break before the encore the crowd was shouting ”Roxette, Roxette, Roxette”. This was the first place where it happened. So far it was rather ”Gessle, Gessle, Gessle” or we want more or anything else.

The band came back on stage to perform QOR (which is kinda cool according to Per) and Joyride. Helena was perfect on QOR, the audience loved her. Joyride was much fun with tons of balloons thrown by members of the crowd.

During the break before the 2nd encore, people weren’t silent and it paid back, the gang came to play 2 more songs. Before that, Per said it’s been a wonderful evening and asked the audience if this is like an ordinary Tuesday evening in Cologne. Before LTYH, which of course sounded beautiful again, he said he wrote it in the ’80s for a friend. He said ”I had friends then”. Haha. Before TSHTSG Per asked the audience the usual question ”one more for the road?”. The audience shouted yeees and then he turned to the band members and asked what they think. They all agreed. The ending was fab in Cologne. I think the crowd sang along TSHTSG the most loudly here. No clue if it has anything to do with Thomas Anders’s release of the hit in the ’90s.

Anders Roos took pictures during the whole show and probably also recorded it. There was a fun moment when Åsa was singing along and started filming Anders who was also singing along. Let’s see if we get to see the result of it.

The lights were again a bit late every now and then and some stayed in the dark while they should have been illuminated. Probably, it’s local technicians at each place, which is strange in a way, because even if they get the script of the show, it’s not too easy to follow the gig with the lights if you don’t know exactly what’s happening and when. Even seconds count.

Per’s thoughts after the show:

COLOGNE: Five shows in six days! How about that! We managed thanks to you beautiful people at the E-Werk in Cologne. One word sums it up: WOW! Super crowd + band in top shape (even new dress on Malin-My! – lovely!) so nuthin’ could go wrong. Thanx so much for showing up and having a ball. And thank you Cologne for hosting the last show in Germany for a while. But we’ll be back. Trust me!!!! Cheers from P&Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Berlin, Germany – 22nd October 2018 – #9

The show in Berlin happened in Admiralspalast. It was a seated gig again and oh what a gig it was! So it really seems to be guaranteed that a seated concert can’t go wrong on this tour. I mean when it’s planned to be seated from the beginning.

The support act was Lee MacDougall as on every other German date. He was great in Berlin too and we had much fun listening to his stories and music. After he finished his unplugged song and stepped back, he tumbled over Per’s mic stand and said ”Sorry, Per!”. Haha.

Anders Roos was there and set all his cameras around the venue. The real deal started a bit after 21:00, with no setlist changes.

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

The show hasn’t even started when everyone was already on their feet, so we could rock to The Look which started with Per counting ”Eins, zwei, drei, vier!” Helena was on a high too and she even hi fived fans in the front row. Woohoo! Mr. G said it’s always a pleasure to be in Berlin and he played there with Roxette in 2015. Of course, many from the audience were there 3 years ago. Magnus too. PG said he would do a deep dive into the bucket of Roxette songs. He also said he sneaked in some of his solo songs, as we know him. He asked to sing along if we know the lyrics, to help them out, they love that.

When Per said thank you after MATAH, someone shouted from the crowd ”you’re welcome”. He laughed. Then he let us know that the most expensive pizzas you can find in the world are still in Capri, where Roxette went to record CBB.

Before DFS Per asked if we were ready for them speeding it up a bit. Yeah! Party party party that got even wilder during SGNO. Andreas’s drum solo ending was so cool in Berlin too. After the song Per said ”it felt good!” Oh yes, it did! Ah, as per the drums… Now it seems you can buy a drum head at the merch shop, customized to the actual city. There is a design related to the city, there is the Per Gessle’s Roxette logo and the name of the city on it. What else? It is signed by all band members and Per himself. From what I know, it was sold in London first, but there seems to be only 1 drum head like this per each city. Let us know if you know someone who got hold of the drum head in any other town. 😉

Before SMT Per talked about his good day in 1990 when he woke up in the morning, had nothing to do, but found a note on his piano saying ”Hello, you fool, I love you”. It was written by his wife, then girlfriend and he thought it was kind of cute, it just had to be a song. So he wrote Joyride and then he was exhausted, ate Swedish meatballs, watched 3-4 Ingmar Bergman movies just to get in the mood to write another song. Spending My Time. Helena singing it, she got a huge applause from the audience.

STT was loved by the audience. Chris got his well-deserved extra applause on it.

Then came Swedish hillbilly IHAPIMH and the party never ended until the show was over.

Per mentioned he started with 74 songs for the tour and asked the band to learn those songs. Magnus said and they did. Every verse, every chorus, every intro, every outro. It’s hard work. There was only one song Per wasn’t sure about playing, but it turned out to be Magnus’s all time fave song besides Kraftwerk’s The Model and the collective works of Karlheinz Stockhausen. IMHBL was the top. Per said Magnus is weird. The sing-along was the strongest on this song last night.

Then came the OppNox-TBL partytime. Nothing can beat it! Per and all the band members were like Duracell bunnies during both songs! Love Ola’s rocking solo in OppNox and also there is a tiny little detail I adore, an Ola-Magnus move in TBL after ”lonely at night”. So cool! After these 2 songs Per said ”that felt good too” and ”danke schön” and was cheered by the crowd.

The usual ’90s discussion was next between Per and Magnus. Magnus joked he had a flat in Prenzlauer Berg (part of Berlin) and spent all his life at the Panorama Bar, it was years and years of party. Then Per saved him, he got a phone call to come back to Sweden and play with Roxette and he said yes. Per said ”one saved soul”. Then Mr. G mentioned the next song went up to No. 2 in the US, didn’t make it to the top, but it’s a nice one from Joyride. FLAF was it, of course and Helena did great. What I love very much in this version of Fading Like A Flower is how Malin-My is plucking the violin. I don’t know if this is the right expression though. It’s when she’s not using the fiddlestick, but her fingers. Sounds wonderful!

DMS was the song of Duracell bunnies too. A real highlight on each gig. When we met Chris at the airport (flying from Warsaw to Berlin), we of course had to ask him how his hand was doing. He said it’s OK. In Brussels his hand was bleeding because of the fact that some part of the guitar fell off and under it there was a metal part which hurt his hand, since he didn’t pay attention when that part of the guitar flew away. Then in Warsaw he had no clue what hurt his hand why it started bleeding. He had quite deep wounds on both fingers that were bleeding during the concerts. He said the plaster isn’t really good for him, because then he can’t really hold the guitar pick. What’s your guess? Was his hand bleeding in Berlin? Haha, a real rock star!

After Per did the band presentation, he said ”that’s it and everything else is on computers”.

HDYD was also party on top. Its intro worked completely fine in Berlin too.

Before the first encore, the crowd didn’t stay quiet. We wanted more! And we got more! First QOR, then Joyride in which I love the intro part where Chris and Per are approaching each other and playing around.

No silence during the 2nd break either, the audience wanted the gang back on stage and oh they came back. Per thanked for it and said ”so many songs, so little time”. They performed LTYH that was awesome and the audience made their voices heard. Then as usual, TSHTSG closed the event and left us with the earworm again.

The only problem I had was with the lights. I don’t know what happened, but most of the time not the right happening and people were illuminated on stage. Sometimes Per’s face was half in shadow half in light, horizontally… Things like that. Sometimes it stayed even dark on stage. Strange. I hope the light technicians will do their job right next time, because those who were on the balcony last night also said that there were parts which they didn’t see clearly, because of being too dark.

Per’s comment after the concert:

BERLIN: Oh yea, back in Germany. Wonderful crowd in a beautiful venue. Thanx so much for all the singalongs + balloons + good vibes. We had a blast. Always special to play Berlin. Hope to be back soon with more music for you Berliners!!! Lots of love from P&Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

More photos:

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Per Gessle’s Roxette – Warsaw, Poland – 21st October 2018 – #8

The 8th gig on tour turned out to be a fab one! The communication between Per & Co. and the audience was so far the best! People started queueing in front of the venue quite early and by 4-5 pm there were already more than 40 people waiting. The doors to the club opened only after 6 pm.

There was no support act at the show and Per was to start at 19:30. Before he could get up on stage, he had 2 interviews (1 for a Polish TV program, 1 for TDR) and a fan meet & greet. The latter one started at least half an hour later than planned and it was quite short, since there was not much time left after the interviews. A bit after 19:30 the gig started.

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Once the gang entered the stage you could hear the crowd was there to have much fun. They were loud already at the very beginning. The Look was a perfect opening song in Warsaw too. After it ended, the audience didn’t stop shouting ”Per Gessle, Per Gessle, Per Gessle!” Per thanked it and said he was at the same venue 9 years ago. He asked the crowd if anyone else was there too and many shouted yes. Then Magnus and Chris also said they were there too and Per replied it’s good he wasn’t there alone. When he mentioned he sneaked in a couple of solo songs in the setlist, someone in the audience started singing Gå & fiska! PG laughed and the guys in the band started to play the song. A very short version of it though. Per asked the crowd if they know the lyrics, please sing along, they love that.

After MATAH, Helena got a huge applause and the crowd shouted ”Helena, Helena, Helena!” She was so happy about it. Then the crowd went on cheering Malin-My, calling her Malinka. Haha.

CBB became a loud sing-along and ”Helena, Helena, Helena!” was also cheered at the end of the song. Helena formed a heart from her hands and showed it to the crowd and also thanked for their kindness in Polish.

DFS and SGNO made the crowd party. We were very much into these 2 songs. At the end of SGNO Ola and Chris came to the right side of the stage to go wild. Christoffer’s hat fell on to the stagefloor and Per came to pick it up while Andreas was putting his drumset on fire. After they finished SGNO, Per put the hat back on Professor Lundquist’s head. That was cool! Per was amazed by the crowd reaction and said it was getting hot up there on stage. Oh well, I can tell it was hot off stage too.

Before SMT Mr. G asked the crowd if they are happy: Yeaaah! and if life is good: Yeaaah! Then he said he had a good day in 1990. He woke up one morning and found a note on his piano saying ”Hello, you fool, I love you”, so he had to write a song. He didn’t want to, but he did. Then he had lunch, Swedish meatballs, then he was full and watched 3-4 Ingmar Bergman movies and then he had to write another song. SMT. Helena got her loud applause here too and the loud sing-along was present during this song as well.

IGYC had a longer intro this time, because Mr. G stood there at the fan to get some fresh breeze. The audience loved the song.

Before STT Per told the crowd he had this dream for a very long time to go to Nashville and work with his core people and with local musicians. After Malin-My’s violin intro, Per stepped to his mic and started to sing his part, but he was in a bit too early. At least it sounded so. Anyway, it turned out to be wonderful again. When Chris stepped in, he got a huge applause from the audience. As Per said, they record all shows, so we will for sure get this PG-Chris Lundquist duet on a live CD one day.

Then came the Swedish hillbilly music, IHAPIMH. Per said it was released on Son of A Plumber which came out in ”2005-6-7-8-9-10”. Haha. The audience almost didn’t stop clapping during the whole song and after the song shouted ”Gessle, Gessle, Gessle!” He said: ”Thank you, you’re very kind!”

Before IMHBL Per said when they started rehearsing, he presented the band a DAT tape. He wasn’t sure if anyone knew what a DAT tape is. There were 72 songs he wanted the band to learn to play. Magnus said, they didn’t have a DAT player. That’s the problem, but Per sorted it out, he copied them to cassette. So the next song is Magnus’s fave song of all time. Even better than The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. IMHBL sounded fab and the crowd’s loud sing-along was heartwarming on this one too. Helena thanked the audience in Polish.

OppNox and TBL were successful party songs tonight too. The ”Gessle, Gessle, Gessle!” shouting started again. Per went to Chris with his towel in his hands and by the help of it, he provided Chris with some fresh air. Helena did the same with Malin-My. Someone in the crowd shouted: ”We love you, you fool!” Per smiled and replied: ”I heard that before! I have a family.”

FLAF brought another ’90s stand-up comedy talk by Per and Magnus. Magnus said he doesn’t really remember the ’90s because he was born in 1991. Of course… Haha. After their discussion Per said: ”Can’t live with him, can’t kill him!” FLAF became a huge sing-along song as well. After she finished FLAF, Helena told the crowd in Polish that it was beautiful and thank you. Per asked if we were having a good time and he got a loud ”yeah” and a ”we love you, Per” as a reply.

Then they started DMS which – as usual – rocked big time. Would you be surprised if I said that Christoffer’s hand was bleeding again? Gosh, this guy is amazing! He wanted to throw his pick he played on this song to the crowd, but because of the blood it sticked to his hand so landed not so far from him. Jakob came and took Christoffer’s guitar and took care of his bleeding hand too.

The coolest band presentation happened in Warsaw so far. Each band member got his and her name shouted by the audience many times one after another. E.g. ”Ola, Ola, Ola!” They were happy about it. Per said Clarence produced most of the Roxette songs, all the hits, all the flops. When Per finished the introduction with Helena and the audience shouted ”Helena, Helena, Helena!”, someone shouted: ”And who are you?” LOL! Everyone laughed! Christoffer said: ”His name is Per Gessle.” The audience shouted ”Gessle, Gessle, Gessle!” Then he looked at his monitor where MNS probably wrote him how to say ”thank you” in Polish, but Per was uncertain. Magnus also encouraged him he should tell those words and Helena too. Then Per said he’s not sure how to translate ”thank you”. The crowd shouted ”dziekuje” and then Per read up the words from the monitor ”dziekuje bardzo” (”thank you very much”). MNS showed him thumbs up an the crowd cheered him. Well done, Mr. G! Haha. Per said it’s like being in X Factor. Magnus said ”You’ve got the talent!” Per said to the audience: ”Let’s see if you’ve got the talent!” And he started the intro to HDYD. Of couse, we’ve got the talent! We started singing the song and then partied hard to HDYD and Dangerous.

When the gang went off stage, some started singing Sommartider. Then the shouting and clapping didn’t stop and ”we want more” was heard in different languages, in Swedish too. The band came back for the first encore and played QOR and Joyride. There were quite some balloons and some of them are simply landed on stage. Joyride was fun, Magnus danced a lot during the song and actually, he was on a high during the whole gig.

When PG & the band came back for the 2nd encore, Per thanked for the wonderful evening. LTYH became another sing-along song, while TSHTSG became a clap-along closing song. BoJo put his boogie shoes on and he was dancing on the side of the stage during TSHTSG. It was too cool! After the band took a bow and another and another and another, the crowd started shouting ”Dziekujemy, dziekujemy, dziekujemy!” (thank you). And Per threw the last picks off his mic stand to the crowd.

Wonderful it was indeed! The whole show! As we heard, the gig was filmed. What a good choice to film this one! Let’s see if we get to see the result of it. A DVD would be perfect!

After the concert I bumped into 2 Swedish guys from Örebro and they said they were 6 and came to Warsaw for the weekend. The Per Gessle concert was a good excuse for them to organize this trip. They will probably attend a Swedish show too, because they liked what they saw and heard. Very cool!

Oh one more thing. Per had a photo session with Anders Roos in the old town of Warsaw in the afternoon. Let’s hope those pics were taken for a fat tour photo book. 😉

Per’s words after the concert:

OH MY GOSH!!!! Warsaw – we love you! What a gig! Outstanding crowd + a decent band = neverending love!
Had such a great time. Hope Anders Roos managed to get some pix from this extraordinary gig. Anyway, we got the recordings!!! See ya next time. Berlin tomorrow. No rest for the wicked! Love, P&Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

More photos:
muzycznahiperprzestrzen.pl

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Zurich, Switzerland – 19th October 2018 – #7

Per and his band had no break between the concerts in Vienna and Zurich. Many fans went to see the gang either for the first time or for the one and only time to Zurich. They were excited about the show and to see how Per Gessle’s Roxette works. What they didn’t expect was that their ticket they bought for the standing area of the venue, which was clearly stated on the seatmap to be in front of the stage wouldn’t be valid for that place anymore, but to the back, behind appr. 20 rows of seats. I mean, what??? The organizers, most probably the production company decided to reorganize the whole venue last minute, not sharing any info previously. When people could enter the venue at 18:30 they wanted to go inside and enter the standing area in the front, but the staff didn’t let them enter the front part. There was a seperated area of appr. 20 rows of seats and the staff told those are already taken. That wasn’t shown on any seatmap before.The seats were not unnumbered,  but actually the balcony seats were moved to those front of stage places. So those who had tickets for the balcony could get close to the stage and sit there, while those who bought their tickets exactly because they wanted to stand as close to the stage as possible, they had to go behind all the seated people. What a mess! And there was no one to talk to, to get an explanation at least. At the venue, everyone blamed someone else. The staff said it was the artist’s management that wanted the venue to be rearranged, however, others said it was the production company’s decision. Of course the hardcores tried everything possible and some of them got ”lucky” being able to change their tickets to the new seated area. And it wasn’t front row, but mostly 3rd row and more to the back. Fans were totally disappointed, for an understandable reason… And can you imagine the disappointment of those who were not able to change their tickets and had to be standing in the back? A nightmare! It might have been the suggestion of the artist’s management to make the floor seated, but they confirmed they weren’t aware of the issue mentioned above. Probably, they thought it could be sorted out in the way they changed 2 Swedish venues from standing to seated already. Seated, but with unnumbered seats, so first comes, first serves. And that was announced weeks before the concerts will take place. But it seems that in Zurich the price of the balcony tickets were 10 CHF more expensive than the standing tickets and the organizers probably thought the only fair thing is to offer them the front of stage seats. But they didn’t think about being fair to those who bought their tickets for the standing area, in front of the stage. We all started worrying that if it could happen in Zurich, it can happen at any other venue during the rest of the tour. The management said they would keep an eye on it and make sure this would never happen again.

So that’s how the excitement of fans was partly killed in Zurich. Lee MacDougall was the support act there too and those who saw him for the first time say he was fun and he is a great musician. He really knows how to grab the audience’s attention and make them interested in his music.

Per didn’t change anything in the setlist. It was the (now usual) 20 songs.

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Mr. G and all the band members were in top shape, they put all their energy into their performance. They for sure didn’t even realize something was wrong in the audience area. They tried to animate the crowd, showing signs to get up or clap, but it worked only partly. Never mind, their joy of being on stage made many magic friends still very happy and those who wanted to join the Joyride, just did so and had much fun. Tthere were lots of balloons in the air. They were probably coming from those fans who got stuck behind the newly added seats. It would have been nicer if they could throw the balloons in the air in the front.

People were standing up from their seats during the uptempo songs, but not all of them. During the ballads and talking they were sitting. No surprise. Those who originally bought their tickets for the balcony wanted to sit anyway…

Fun thing is that a few people requested Sommartider. In between the songs when it was quiet there were people shouting out for it here and there.

Åsa was there filming a lot during the concert and as I mentioned in my Vienna review, Anders Roos is coming to take pictures to 8 shows, so he was there in Zurich too.

 

Oh well… I said that after each seated gig on this tour so far that if those concerts are such a blast, I want more seated shows. But not the way it was arranged in Zurich. Hopefully, such a mess won’t ever happen again.

Per after the show:

T H A N K U Z U R I C H

Wow! What a great Friday night! Thanks so much for showing up and making all that glorious noise!!! Seventh gig of the tour and now this show is starting to make sense for real!! Love this band, Helena is truly amazing, Malin-My as well. Ola + Andreas are bringing their own magic and mix it with the gold stuff I’m so used to from my old war heroes Clarence, Chris + Magnus. What a privilege to play with these people. Lucky me. Day off tomorrow. Warsaw on Sunday. See y’all there! Badabam from P.

Pics in the article are taken by Sandra Knospe. Thanx for sharing them and also for all the info about the gig and management confirmation.

More photos:
daily-rock.com

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Vienna, Austria – 18th October 2018 – #6

The 6th gig on the Per Gessle’s Roxette tour, the 3rd seated show happened in Vienna. The venue being seated, we didn’t have to rush, we could take our time until we entered Stadthalle. First thing was to check the merchandise again. Actually, you can be lucky and at some venues you might find something new included. This time it was Per’s guitar picks. Only the black ones he uses on this tour, but all 3 of the black ones. You could buy 2 picks for 5 EUR. Just so you know when you see them on eBay or Tradera later. 😉

The venue wasn’t too big, but what felt really big was the space between the front row and the stage. There was even a cordon to keep you at least 2-3 meters away from the stage and between the cordon and the first row there was another 1 meter distance. Then we could see 4 security guys in suits and ties. They looked too serious, so the thinking about standing up in a seated area started again… How would they react if we stand up…?

Before the gig I met Anders Roos whose first stop on this tour was Vienna, but he will take pictures of the concerts and the band backstage during 8 shows altogether. Vienna, Zurich, Warsaw, Berlin, Cologne, Utrecht, Halmstad, Göteborg. To me it seems there is a high chance we get a tour photo book about the Per Gessle’s Roxette trip. Fingers crossed!

First we had Lee MacDougall again as the support act. This time he mentioned his Baywatch – The Look story again and also told he heard that Roxette fans love buying CDs, so he invited us to buy his at the merch stand. He also said Roxette has the best fans in the world. We love to hear that, don’t we? HERE you can see and hear Lee performing my most fave song of his, The Devil & The Rolling Stones. So catchy!

Showing that the main act was to start and we should occupy our seats again, bells started ringing. It’s always The B-52’s “Love Shack” that is the last song on PG’s mix tape before the show and that already gets the audience into the mood. Here is what the gang played after. (Nothing changed.)

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

You won’t be surprised if I write that already during the first seconds of Per & Co. playing The Look, everyone was right up on their feet? So cool! Another seated show that couldn’t go wrong! The security guys let us be standing, but only in front of our own seats. Some tried to come down the stairs to get closer to the stage, but they sent them back. All good, that’s the way it should be.

So, the party mood was guaranteed and people stayed standing during the uptempo songs, but at least the sides were more into sitting during the ballads and talking.

Per was happy to be back in Vienna. He told the crowd if we know the lyrics, help them out, they love that. Capri is still the most known for its most expensive pizzas. At least PG referred to it before playing CBB in Vienna too.

SGNO got a different ending vs. past shows. Andreas went totally wild on drums and it sounded just fantastic. After last year’s Sommartider intro by him, I can say we missed something like this from him. Now we got it. It could be longer or more! Just saying. 😉

When Micke N-S brought Per the guitar he switched from SGNO to SMT Per told the crowd this is Mikael (pronouncing it like Michael) and he said he found him on Tinder. Then Chris said ”he locked him in the basement”. LOL. Then Per started talking about his good day when he wrote 2 great songs in one day in May 1990. He said his wife, then girlfriend left a note on his piano saying ”Hello, you fool, I love you”. Per said: ”What could I do? I wrote a song!” Haha. He said then he took a break, had some Swedish meatballs and watched an Ingmar Bergman movie. Then he wrote this one. Yep. SMT followed. There were some technical hiccups during the song. Some strange sound was heard. For me it was funny, because during SMT there are birds flying in the background and it sounded a bit like shooting those birds. Even Per went to the side of the stage to ask the technicians what was going on. The guys were fast and sorted things out, so the sound was soon great again. I must say SMT gets stronger and stronger each time. Probably Helena is getting more and more secure when singing it and she gets braver and braver, so the song sounds now more powerful than at the premiere gig for example.

I only realized now during IGYC that when Per and Helena are singing ”look around, look around, look around” together, to me it sounds a bit like Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue in Where The Wild Roses Grow.

When Per introduced STT as the coming song, the title track off his latest English album, the audience gave him a loud applause and woohoo. And yes, it was magical on October 18th too.

IHAPIMH was a success too. The crowd was clapping along from the beginning of the song.

Before IMHBL Per mentioned the 72 songs he wanted the band to rehearse, but they refused. He was thinking about doing this next song or not, but it turned out to be one of Magnus’s Top3 fave songs among Vienna by Ultravox and Rock Me Amadeus by Falco. Haha. The crowd loved IMHBL, the sing-along was loud and clear.

Party time! OppNox and TBL! One can’t get tired of hearing and jumping to these two songs. After TBL Per asked the audience if we were having a good time out there. He got a l.o.u.d. YEEEEAH in response.

After PG & MB’s ’90s talk, the gang played FLAF, which the same way as SMT gets stronger each time. I remember how I found it a strange, weak version of this power ballad, but now it gets more and more power from Helena each time.

Before DMS Per said he had to teach the band to play this song, because they didn’t know the Party Crasher album. He had to teach them from scratch. Chris said Per was totally lying. Love love this song! And actually, every time I’m there at the concert and hear it, I can fully identify with the lyrics, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

How the crowd reacts during the band presentation, giving a huge applause and shouting and woohoos to each member is always amazing. Even if most of the people in the crowd see them for the first time, their reaction makes it clear they realize how good musicians they all are. Heartwarming!

The teaser to HDYD worked perfectly in Vienna too. Just like the whole song, followed by Dangerous. These 2 songs of course put everyone on their feet and the clapping and shouting didn’t end for a second while waiting for the guys and girls to get back on stage for the first encore.

One of the fun highlights on each gig is PG and CL kidding each other while playing their guitars in the intro to Joyride. Love being close, because you can even see their facial expressions, how much they also enjoy it. One thing happened for the first time during this tour, probably because this was the first venue where there was enough space for that. Chris and Magnus came down to the audience and played there for a while, running from one side to the other. It was so cool!

The 2nd encore… Oh well… this part reminded me of stupid people going to the theatre, not waiting for the actors to come out again for the next round of applause, but rushing to the wardrobe instead… OMG! Some really didn’t think they would come back on stage again? They rushed out. Maybe they ran back when they heard PG’s talking and the crowd’s reaction. Haha. Anyway, their bad if they missed LTYH and TSHTSG because of that.

PG’s opinion about the show:

VIENNA: Gig #6. Thank you so much for making this evening At the Wiener Stadthalle truly remarkable. So many fans, so many nice voices. Wonderful feedback. We loved it so much!!!! Can’t wait to come back and play some more for you! Lots of love from P&Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

More photos:

kurier.at

 

Fun personal interview with Per Gessle in Schweizer Illustrierte

Sandra Casalini from Schweizer Illustrierte did a fun interview with Per, asking mostly not the usual questions. Here is the English translation to it. Enjoy!

SI: – Per Gessle, was it always clear to you that you would continue solo after the end of Roxette?
PG: – Marie could hardly move during the last Roxette tour, so the only right decision was to “bury” the band. It was her wish that I carry on alone. But I wanted to do something completely different than Roxette.

SI: – What?
PG: – Songs in Swedish. Also because I lost my mother and siblings within a short time, I wanted to do something private for myself. When I travelled to Nashville to record the songs, everything changed: now it’s become an English album.

SI: – What kind of everyday life would you urgently need to change from an environmental perspective?
PG: – Everything! I fly too often, I drive too often – in fact, I’m very careless.

SI: – By what percentage would you have to reduce your workload to be massively happier?
PG: – Zero. Of course, there are days when I don’t find it funny to be asked for a selfie every few steps, which is the case in Sweden. But it’s part of my job. Communication with the fans is important.

SI: – Are you on social media?
PG: – Not privately, but I manage Roxette’s Facebook page and the Twitter account with 1.5 million followers.

SI: – Have you ever had a nickname?
PG: – In my first band I got the nickname “Gellner” missed. Why? One of the first newspaper articles about us said that this was my name – no idea why!

SI: – When you were a child, what did your mother always tell you?
PG: – “Cut your hair!” I always wanted long hair. My uncle was a hairdresser and I cried every time I had to go to him.

SI: – When did you last do something handmade?
PG: – I write notes to my wife every day: “I’m going for a walk.” or “When’s dinner?”

SI: – In other words, have you ever written a song for someone special?
PG: – When writing a song, you always start with something personal, that can also sometimes be a person. But during the process, you keep getting farther off, so in the end it’s often fiction.

SI: – What kind of background image does your mobile phone display have?
PG: – A picture of me and my wife dressed up for a Halloween party. I look scary – and more!

SI: – What music should be played at your funeral?
PG: – “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” by Monty Python.

SI: – Do you have a tattoo?
PG: – No. I always thought I should stay original.

SI: – What act of you do you think people will still talk about long after your death?
PG: – Nothing is forever and that’s good. Of course, when you’re doing music, you hope that some songs will survive for a few years. But new generations come with different musical tastes.

SI: – The best song you have ever written?
PG: – “It Must Have Been Love” – I managed that pretty well.

SI: – Which of your qualities do you want your son to inherit from you?
PG: – I don’t think he should have my qualities. My greatest quality as a father is being open to what he is and what he wants. Gabriel is studying computer science. I am very proud of him.

SI: – The best advice you have ever received?
PG: – To follow my gut feeling. That’s what some people told me at the beginning of my career. You have to have something to rely on. For some it is a religion or a political party. I think trusting yourself is the best.

SI: – Do you remember your first love at school?
PG: – (Thinks for a while.) Ah yes, I remember. I was seven or eight. But I won’t reveal her name.

SI: – Who is your best friend?
PG: – My wife. We’ve been married for 25 years and have been together for 33 years.

SI: – That is long. How do you do that?
PG: – We want it to work. That’s a conscious decision, that we meet again and again for each other.

SI: – What gift have you been happy about for the last time?
PG: – A signed photo of musician Tom Petty who died in 2017. He gave it to a journalist who knew that I was a fan. He wrote, “See you one day.” Unfortunately, I received it only after his death.