World Tour 2011: Berlin, Germany – June 11 #36

Comment from Per Gessle

Berlin aaaaahhhhhhh! Thanx for a great evening! Almost 11.000 beautiful people, one great band, a few decent songs and some serious chanting took place! Love this place. Love to play in Germany! Thanx everyone for making it happen!

(c) Justyna Bereza for RoxettePL

Setlist

 

01. Dressed For Success
02. Sleeping In My Car
03. The Big L.
04. Wish I Could Fly
05. Only When I Dream
06. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
07. Perfect Day
08. Things Will Never Be The Same
09. It Must Have Been Love
10. Opportunity Nox
11. 7twenty7
12. Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)
13. Silver Blue
14. How Do You Do!
15. Dangerous
Band presentation
16. Joyride (introduced with “Berliner Luft”)

17. Watercolours In The Rain
18. Spending My Time
19. The Look

20. Way Out
21. Listen To Your Heart
22. Church Of Your Heart

+ fireworks (not the song!) in the end

 

“The most requested song in our internet site” to quote Per 🙂

Miscs
11,000 people in the audience. The concert took place in the wonderful Spandau citadel.

Articles and photos

The Daily Roxette’s review, Radio Hamburg, Bz-berlin.de, Spreeradio.de, Nürnberger Zeitung

Neil Curran’s review

As I stumbled out of the ‘Zitadelle’ subway station at 11am in my flip-flops I banged my toe against a concrete step. So as I hobbled along towards the venue, I could only hope that the day would get better. It was a beautiful day and as I approached the queue I already wished I had made it a little bit earlier, as there were already about 30 people basking in the sunshine as they waited. It looked like it might be a bit of pot luck as to whether I would get a good spot at the front, as there were about 10 barriers that they were to let people through at the same time.

The day passed pretty slowly, but I amused myself with some games on my phone and listening to music. The atmosphere seemed pretty good. I recognised quite a few faces from other concerts I’ve been to over the years. Occasionally the sky would cloud over and there would be a burst of light rain but it never took long for the sun to reappear.

About an hour before the gates opened the light showers turned into a full-blown downpour. One thing Germans are renowned for is their organisation, and this was no exception…..the ponchos and umbrellas came out and the majority of the crowd remained (relatively) comfortable. However, I am Scottish and not German of course and basically whenever a Scottish person sees a glimpse of the sun they keep clothing to a minimum (it’s not unusual in Scotland to see a local walking around with his top off, alongside a Spanish exchange student wearing their winter jacket!). True to form I hadn’t even packed a coat for my trip to Berlin, and my outfit to the concert consisted of a pair of flip flops, shorts and an old ‘join the joyride’ tour T-Shirt…and not forgetting a pair of sunglasses as well. I could only chuckle to myself as I stood there, completely soaked through, shivering and surrounded by everyone else who were probably bone dry under their ponchos.

The rain eventually did stop, and you would think my day couldn’t get any worse, but as the gates finally opened I realised there was a second reason you shouldn’t wear flip-flops to a concert. They are impossible to run in and there was a long run to the front of the stage. I could only look in dismay as all these people ran past me as I was attempting to run along on cobblestones and gravel in my flip flops!! So my dream of making it to the front row was over, but it wasn’t all bad. I made sure I picked a spot behind the shortest people in the front row and it actually felt though I was in the front row, apart from the fact I didn’t have a barrier to lean on. I was just in front of where Christoffer and Helena stand on the stage and I was happy with that position.

The next couple of hours passed VERY slowly but eventually the support act came on stage. I think support acts always have a very difficult time pleasing the crowd, but actually I thought considering this the reception they got was pretty good. I quite liked them actually. They reminded me a bit of the big anthemic ballads that Coldplay might release.

Of course, the moment myself and 11,000 other people were waiting for was for Roxette to enter the stage. The last Roxette concert I had been to was in 2001. I had also gone to see 2 NOTP concerts in Germany, but I still couldn’t quite believe that I was about to witness another full 2 hour show from my favourite band. I had watched some of the youtube clips of course, but most of these are shot from a distance and you really can’t beat being up close and personal and watching every movement and facial expression the band members make. I have to say that watching the first few songs especially I was completely astounded and blown away. As I mentioned earlier, I saw 2 NOTP shows in Germany where I loved seeing Marie on stage again and her voice was still incredible, and while I was grateful for every moment I could see her on stage I did think she had lost a huge chunk of the stage persona that helped her to completely own the stage she performed on in the 80s and 90s. I had read and heard from various sources, including Per himself in different interviews that she was gaining in confidence and her performance was improving all the time, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see the Marie that I did on Saturday night. She doesn’t run around as much as she used to, but apart from that every characteristic of her old performances was there. She oozed confidence from the moment she walked on stage, flirted with the crowd and the band, made silly facial expressions and dance moves, and basically laughed and joked throughout the whole show. She looked exactly like the old Marie and the performer she was born to be. I cannot express enough how utterly taken aback I was by this as I still cannot believe how much she has grown since I last saw her at NOTP in 2009. So much so that I had to fight back the tears on numerous occasions during the Dressed for Success and Sleeping in my Car especially because I was just so happy to see her feeling completely at home on stage again.

When I initially read about the tour back in February I did have a few gripes. I think I complained that they just had a curtain backing the stage and I thought it was going to look cheap. Of course, most modern shows do have big screens and projections these days, but actually I completely changed my mind after seeing the show in the flesh. They may not have bought an expensive stage set, but the lighting is exceptionally good, and with the help of a few smoke machines the stage looked really good while the concert was going on. It also worked especially well with the kind of outdoor gig that Berlin was. It will be interesting to see it in an arena setting in November.

I think I also complained about the setlist a little- mainly the opening and closing songs. In fact I think DFS is a perfect opener really as it is a very energetic song that everyone knows, and it allowed Marie to come in full force and let rip with her vocals. I think I also thought that COYH would be a rather limp ending to the concert and not really the epic ending that I would have preferred with Marie on vocals. After seeing the concert in the flesh though I can see that in fact COYH is the perfect concert closer. It brings the whole band together to the front of the stage, and although I am probably reading too much into it, I found many of the lyrics to be symbolic and they took on a special meaning. The “church” felt like the band and us Roxette fans coming together to celebrate “under this bright glorious sky” (which fitted perfectly for a nice summers evening) and other lyrics took on a second meaning such “It’s been so long since I first saw you but I still love that smile in your eyes” which felt pertinent after watching the massive smile in Marie’s eyes all evening as I could truly see she was overjoyed to be back on stage…..and even the lyrics to the chorus, which made me think of all 11000 standing there, converted to the church of Roxette, and yes from the start I always did believe in the church of Roxette! I also thought it was a nice touch to hand over the last line of the song to Marie, to close the concert with her amazing voice echoing in your ears…..a celebration of the miracle that she is even able to stand up there and perform in the first place, after all she has been through. I also think Per put in a great performance, and he too has developed in leaps and bounds over the years as a live performer. In fact the whole band put in a fantastic performance really. You can really tell that they are on stage because of a love of performing and in many ways as a fan that makes it more special to watch them now. As fantastic as they were in the 90s, they were part of a promotional circus, were on the move all the time, and probably did not always want to be there. Nowadays, you can really tell that the pressure has been lifted. There is an obvious chemistry. It didn’t matter in the slightest that Marie forgot a few lines……in fact I found it really touching that on one or 2 occasions she seemed to look round to Helena and she would jump in for her and sing the lyric a bit louder. Even when she did fluff the lines completely, like at the end of “Things will never be the same” she able to laugh it off, shrug her shoulders and/or make a fake sad face.

This is a truly fantastic time to be a Roxette fan. Let’s hope the neverending tour truly never ends…..or at least goes on for a very long time! The night ended with Fireworks and €2 beers…….Thank you for the fantastic night Berlin! Next stops for me- Gothenburg and London….and I won’t be wearing flip-flops!!

13 thoughts on “World Tour 2011: Berlin, Germany – June 11 #36

  1. Neil that was a fantastic laughable review, I am smiling at the ponchos because the same thing happened in Halmstad last year to me. As soon as the gates opened and we were all in place, the heavens opened and the Swedes were prepared as were some other fans I knew with Poncho’s and me and the other few Brits I could spot stood there in the rain completely soaked through! What did I spot in the £1 shop recently Poncho’s and yes I bought some… 😉

    It seems it is not an outdoor concert without some rain these days. It sounds like you have a great experience; I’m trying to picture you in your flip flops running to gain a spot on the front row. I am glad enjoyed it (remember I shared the NOTP experience with you!) and I too agree how far Marie has come since those shows, it is amazing, being on the stage is definitely therapy for her, she owes the stage!

    Thanks for a fabulous review!

  2. I have to get rid of this 🙂
    I was at Bryan Adams concert the night after Roxette, same location at Zitadelle. I had never seen Bryan Adams live before and it was nice, but I certainly missed something: somehow, when ROxette is on stage they are honest about what they are doing, you can really read through their faces and somehow feel what they are feeling: happiness and fun. And that the band is really together. In a way, Bryan (and many other artists) was fine but it seemed at times a bit too much and somehow fake.
    I am not sure this is what I want to say, it is hard to describe in words 🙂

    And I had to smile for myself when I realised Bryan mixed up lyrics a couple of times 😉

    Thanks for the review!!!!
    Oh, and after the experience last year in Halmstad (yes, I got soaked too), I bought a jacket which cost a bit more but kept me dry so far (Graz, Berlin ;)). Lesson learnt!

  3. @ Neil: Thanks for your review, it was a pleasure to read it!!! And it’s great to see that there is a scottish Roxette-fan existing in the world, I wouln’t have imagined that! 🙂

    I like what you write about Marie. I think it’s really courageous to go on stage without being sure of every word to sing. I mean, even for singers without a handicap (or whatever you want to call it) it’s always thrilling to sing live in front of a big crowd. But Marie has to go on stage with her little handicaps and she has to hope that the audience will accept her like she is, and this is very, very courageous!! Normally the pop-business is so much about perfection, but Marie shows that it’s more important to be authentic on stage!!

  4. Hello,

    It was the 3rd concert which we enterd after Budapest and Graz and it was wonderful again. I wished they would play “stars” instead of “silver blue” but this was not the case on the other hand it was very good to hear ” way out” which I had not heared before on the other concerts. For me it was enough to hear this set list 3x and I`m really sure that they will change the set list only before fall tour where it is likely that the new songs “speak to me” and “no one makes it on her own” beside other changes will take place. This makes sence and is an logical conclusion after an talk with Christopher Lundquist to promote the new album further. I would have not expected that Berliners are that much active on an concert- but they are! They will also likely stay with the 22 Songs because with them they manage to play 2 hours . An longer play would not be confortable for Marie I think. I keep my fingers crossed that the fall tour will bring the same very high quality in Vienna 10th Okt. which I enjoyed on my last summer concerts.

  5. Great, great, great Review. Thumbs up, Neil ! 🙂

    And yes, I had the same thoughts about the lyrics of “Church of your heart” (“…it´s been so long, since I first saw you…”) – the best ending concert-closer ever, I think.

  6. @Neil well written! Throughly enjoyed reading that : )

    @Jolentis: I agree with you about Marie. She is incredibly brave to get up in front of thousands of people each night with the problems she has but ultimately being a great performer isn’t about singing every line right or every note perfect it’s about being the best performer you can be up there & leaving your heart on the stage & she is doing exactly that & we love her for it!!

  7. Thanks Neil for the report!! It is awesome to read about the different perceptions the fans have 🙂
    I wish more hard core fans would share the experience with us.
    Truly fantastic time…..I am really hoping the tour will continue into 2012 🙂

  8. Great review, Neil! I completely agree with your thoughts about the concert. Would have never gone with flipflops though! Rain, stones, standing for hours, people jumping on your feet… 😛 Leaving aside the handicaps, Marie and the whole band represented themselves in absolute top form! I think this concert spread the most fun and energy of all Rox gigs I’ve ever been to!!

    I had the 1st time opportunity to meet Marie & Per right before the concert (almost unreal!) and it’s unbelievable how much Marie transforms from a rather fragile person to such a powerful stage figure. Hats off! And the audience gave great response. Maybe there were some bored or drunk people at the back, like on any event. We were standing maybe 8-10 meters from the stage and found us in a big party, cheering, clapping, singing along. A truly great night! 😀

  9. Neil, thanks so much for your accurate review. Wish we had met while we were in that long wait to get in. I came from the US to see Roxette for the first time and got to see 2 concerts (first one was in Sofia two weeks earlier, and it rained there too). My friend and I got there about 2:30 pm and was pleasantly surprised to find there were only about 50 people in line, and I was really glad that I didn’t bring a big bag to waste time getting checked through security and that I did bring an umbrella! I had to run so fast to the stage I didn’t have time to look around at the beautiful castle, but I ended up in front of Per with only 3 people in front of me. No disappointment there! I was thrilled to hear “Silver Blue,” and “Church of Your Heart” took my breath away. Only thing that would have made it better would have been to meet P & M personally & I’m so jealous of the fans who did! 🙂 But it is the “neverending tour,” and who knows, if they come to a small theater in the US, perhaps a meet & greet?? Anyway, the fireworks were the perfect end to a perfect night. My 20-year dream came true and it was the time of my life!

  10. Really great written. Thank you! I feel absolutely the same about what you’ve written about Marie. And…well..when I sat down before the show I had a lot of feet and legs around me down there and one was wearing flip flops..and I thought: Oh my gosh..is he crazy??? Will his feet survive? I hope they did!!! 🙂

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