The Joyride stops off at Wembley!
by Alison Lowther
It was the moment fans of Roxette around the UK had been waiting for, November 1994 was the last time the super Swedes played a UK venue of this size and finally they were back to rock the 12,000 people who turned up to Wembley Arena. Meanwhile 49,000 people packed into Wembley Stadium next door to watch the England vs Sweden friendly football match!
For me not counting the places around Europe I had been to over the years I was just 17 years old when I last saw Roxette in the UK. It was Sheffield Arena November 14th 1994, prior to that July 17th 1992 (yes I have a good memory!), the difference between then and now is this time I did not need to have my parents accompanying me or driving me there and back!
There was talk about how many people were put off buying tickets especially those from other countries because of the fact the arena was all seated, and I admit given a choice I prefer the option to stand, be slightly crushed, and queue all day for that perfect front row spot. However seated at Wembley had its bonuses, it meant for some we did not have to get there early to start queuing and more importantly several hours could be spent catching up with other Roxette fans and drinking in a hotel bar around the corner!
Those on the front row had barriers before them; you see a barrier at a concert you automatically want to lean on it, however the security at Wembley had other ideas. Three songs in and half way through ‘The Big L’ a security guy in his florescent orange vest walked along asking us all to move back we were not allowed to lean on the barrier for ‘health and safety’ issues – everything is about health and safety in this country, sneeze on someone and you might get sued! Typically, British, so stiff I particularly wanted to wrap a Joyride balloon around the neck of one of them!
However, the crowds won and gradually edged forward so by the time Roxette got to ‘She’s Got Nothing On But The Radio’ the front row where learning and not planning to budge without some kicking and screaming! I had to smile though when several places along in the middle of the front row of A3 I spotted a man who was enjoying a hotdog. How can you possibly eat a hot dog during a Roxette concert when you are on the front row, only in the UK could you see this sight! A friend popped down about 10 songs in to take some pictures from the front, but never returned and stayed with us, ha ha, we managed to get that one past security didn’t we!
Without a doubt, last night’s concert at Wembley was simply stunning; Marie was as magical as ever in her performance! You only had to turn around to see the entire crowd singing along to the classic Roxette songs I even suspect Per was surprised at how they remembered the lyrics to some of the older Joyride classics! There was still a need for Roxette in the UK and I feel this gave the band the proof last night! It might have been 17 long years but the fans turned up from all over the UK and I was amazed at how many people I spotted wearing the original Joyride Tour T-shirts from 1991 / 1992!
The set list remained the same as the past few dates but ‘Soul Deep’ was skipped, shame it is one of my favourites live, but Chris made up for it with his guitar rifting rendition of ‘God Save The Queen’ even the Queen’s corgis would have been proud!
Before entering the arena warning signs were posted on the walls that the show was being recorded, two large screens were in place either side of the stage, but I am curious along with others as to if that live DVD we so hope and want so much will emerge in the near future. There were certainly some mind-blowing songs last night, which would be perfect for DVD!
Helena loved the banner I made, I tried to throw it on the stage, but missed instead she happily took and waved the Blue and Yellow Union Jack!
Now we have to wait for Roxette to come back to the UK next summer, starting with Glasgow SECC on July 3rd, Manchester (MEN Arena) 4th July and Birmingham LG Arena on 6th July. It is 230 days until Glasgow! For this Manchester girl, I am utterly excited to get Roxette playing at the MEN and I already have plans to arrange a UK fan meet before the show, keep your eyes peeled to FB!