Roxette’s concert yesterday in Vienna was the best I have seen so far.
That said, let me tell you about this magic weekend and the concert a bit more in detail. My friends Alex and Txiqui from Spain arrived on Sunday, we headed to the center of Vienna to meet Michi and do some sightseeing and have dinner. Even though I am not religious, I find cathedrals impressive buildings, one of the nicest I have seen is Stephansdom in the heart of Vienna. I find it’s even more fascinating to see it at night, so we took our friends to see it, in and out. We, of course, had lots of fun talking about our crazy trips and preparing for the big event the next day.
The next day we headed to the concert place relatively late, compared to other cities and shows I have been to or heard of. I remember going to Kylie Minogue concert at Stadthalle some years ago, going there just like 1 or 1,5 hrs before the doors opened and reaching first row with no real effort. So I hoped this would be the case this time too. When we got there some fans from Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and some Austrians were already waiting, but the weather was quite bad, cold and raining, so we didn’t feel like waiting in the rain for more than 3,5hrs and we went to a café nearby and had a nice chat with Sandra who had joined us.
The doors were supposed to open at 18:30, so we thought waiting for about 1,5 hours would be enough. We got our spots on the first row, right where we wanted, between Christoffer and Marie.
Mobilée, the supporting act, was set to start at 19:30. Roxette at 20:40. Somehow time flew. Mobilée was a nice surprise, a mix of country folk music with indie alternative I would say, but also quite nanana-pop. They did a good job warming the audience up, quite surprising for a band who – according to the singer – had never played in front of such a big audience before. They also seemed very overwhelmed by the reaction of the audience, clapping and jumping along. It was almost a pity that they didn’t play longer!
But just for a few minutes… ok, seconds.
Per’s playlist started to play to build up anticipation for the big moment. After “Sing” I started to get nervous, I somehow remembered from other shows that after that song it wouldn’t take long until Roxette & co would step on the stage. But the best sign for it is when Micke N-S takes the 2 guitars and brings them behind the curtain. Then music stops. It gets darker. Silence, or at least it feels like that, since the stadium is actually not silent at all, people are actually shouting and calling Roxette.
And then they all run to their places and the show starts with “Yeah yeah yeah!!!”. I think this is one of the best moments of the concert, explosion of guitars, Marie’s powerful voice, lights. A friend of mine told me that she wasn’t expecting such a show at all, and that it was a rocking show from the first song. “Yeah yeah yeah!” And this way the first concert of the Autumn tour started off.
I think I haven’t jumped so much during the first three songs as yesterday, I was really out of breath after “The Big L.”. Good it was time to slow down a bit with “Wish I could fly” and gather some energy for the next powerful round: “Only When I Dream” and “She’s Got Nothing On (But The Wiener Schnitzel.. Radio!)”.
There were a few surprises in the show, as Per had already posted on Facebook and told in the airport, they would play 2 new songs. The first one was “Soul Deep”, which was played in the middle of “Radio”. Helena plays the cowbell (?) instrument during this song, and I always thought this sound and rhythm reminded me of another of their songs. I just realised THEN which one! It fits so well, and the moment when “Soul Deep” starts is simply perfect. There is even a similarity in the lyrics „take my breathe away“. I was never a big fan of “Soul Deep”, at least not the album version, I like their live version from previous tours but still.. not my favourite. Until yesterday. Marie shouting and jamming with her voice to the sound of “Soul Deep”, deeps and highs.. simply A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!
This medley led to the next round of ballads. And we could finally see what the new stage was to offer. I actually didn’t know what to expect when Per said there had been changes. I was afraid that it would become too sophisticated. I liked the quite simple stage and the fact that they were the attraction and not what was happening behind them. I saw the curtain fall and the background was suddenly black before and during a part of “It Must Have Been Love”. I asked myself “hm? The background stays now black?” Ha! Suddenly the background turned into a sky full of stars! I am a big stars fan. Whenever I am not in the city and I get the chance, I stare at the sky, at the moon, at the stars. And suddenly I was standing there listening to Roxette, feeling like I was on top of a mountain staring at the stars.
Then the spotlights turned into light effects with “Opportunity Nox” and “7twenty7”. Disco party! Helena and Christoffer spotted us straight away at the beginning of the show and had lots of fun with us, and we with them. Interaction with the audience in a concert is the most important for me. It’s these small things like dancing, pointing, waving, smiling, looking at each other which for me make the difference. And this is something Helena and the others do so well, and, of course, Per and Marie. It is a great feeling as well when you see they recognise you and put a big smile on their face like “Hey! You are here too!” During these two songs we put on our special-super-fashion glasses. I am still laughing at their reaction!
The next surprise was “Crash! Boom! Bang!”, which we had shortly heard during the rehearsals. Not only the fact that they were playing “C!B!B!” was a surprise, but also the nice arrangements and how they split the song. Per started the first verse in a more acoustic way and Marie joined the second part and the song went then from acoustic to full power ballad. It’s a bit sad that “Silver Blue” had to be replaced by this track – instead of simply adding it to the set list, but I guess there is a reasonable explanation for that. On the other side, it was a real treat for all long-time fans to have been able to enjoy this song live, at least for a while. I would have never expected them to sing “Silver Blue” live, ever. So thanks for that! And after all, it would be boring to hear the same set list for 1 year!
Per teased the audience playing the first chords of “How Do You Do!” – amazingly people recognised the song and started to sing on their own. I just learnt “How Do You Do!” and “Tourism” were huge hits here in Austria, so there you have it. The perfect bridge brought us to “Dangerous”.
Of course, Clarence got our attention as well, what else could the Clarence Fanclub do but shout “Clarence! Clarence! Clarence!” during the band intro? Christoffer waltzed us to “Joyride”. It was fun to hear the crazy speeded-up Waltzer, it had been the #1 suggestion out of 5 or 6 I had sent Christoffer a few days before the show. Falco had been on the list as well, Per mentioned in the beginning of the show that maybe maybe maybe maybe Christoffer would be playing a Falco song, so I then knew Chris would not play any Falco.
After “Watercolours In The Rain” and “Spending My Time”, which the audience sang along alone for a while, the famous guitar intro turned people even crazier. “The Look” was one of those interaction moments for us too. Helena ended up with our super-fashion yellow glasses and dancing with us. And Christoffer with our guitar-wizard hat just before “Listen To Your Heart” and “Church Of Your Heart”.
The audience was – for the Austrian standards if I am allowed to say that – amazing. As you know, I come from Spain and I am used to clapping, shouting and singing along non-stop in a concert. The isn’t that way here. At least not from the first minute on. It takes a while until people melt and start to have fun. I felt audience went wild from the beginning. I couldn’t see the sitting areas so well, but I know from other concerts that people sit and don’t stand up to dance, but I heard from various friends who were standing at the back that even though it took a little while, many people stood during the whole show, and specially at the end. So I tell you Roxers: this is nothing everybody achieves! Be proud!
And what else can I say about Roxette? It didn’t feel like there had been a 2-month break at all. One could see they were all happy to be on stage again. The sound was impressively rocking and powerful and crazy. And the new stage gives it a special flair, it really fits the indoor concerts which are planned for the next weeks. If the band is like this already now, how is it going to be in Barcelona?
After the concert we couldn’t move our legs and arms anymore. The feeling was worse today when I stood up. I even have sore muscles in my jaw of so much laughing! I just can say I am glad that I am going to see them in more cities, I just added one concert to the list today. I would never trade these concert moments for anything. The feeling of happiness during and after the concert is hard to describe. I just thought today that I could do this for a living!
Definitely, this one was the best (Roxette) concert I have seen so far.
A big thank you to Roxette and band! And thanks magic friends for the nice moments as well!