It was a very hot day! Roxette took the stage at about 21:40. The wait for Roxette to take stage was just very late. The crowd was losing patience waiting for Roxette to take stage. The Gibson Amphitheater didn’t have an opening band, but rather a DJ playing 80s music! But most of us know Roxette did most of the work in the 90s. There were girls dressed up in 80s fashion that evening.
The worker at guest services said that 3/4 of the building had tickets available. I don’t know if it’s true, but it is possible. I would say maybe 40-50% of the venue was sold. I was surprised with the turnout of the enthusiastic fans that showed up! I didn’t like the way Live Nation sold tickets for this event because during the pre-sale of tickets the ‘pit’ area up front were not accessible and you had to be a Citi Bank member to get the tickets for pre-sale, or use a Live Nation app. However, the tickets for up front to the pit area were eventually available through Stub Hub. Other fans were complaining that they didn’t have access, or the option to buy tickets to the ‘pit’ area.
Roxette to LA was long overdue. Then finally after 20 years Roxette finally took stage! The last time Roxette performed in LA was in the exact same venue on a cold, rainy, Friday evening in March of ’92 that I had attended when I was in High School. Looking back, I would’ve never imagined it would’ve taken Roxette 20 years before seeing them return to my hometown. Then as the band finally took stage the crowd came to life! The audience leaped to their feet! The crowd was yelling with enthusiasm where you couldn’t hear the person next to you speaking! Then Marie opened up with “Dressed For Success” and yelled, “Yeah, yeah, yeah….
I was surprised how the audience remembered their songs as they sang along during the evening. What was more amazing was how the audience not only remember the singles, but the album tracks as well. The crowd really just remembered songs from ‘Look Sharp’ and ‘Joyride’ days. When Per was strumming his guitar to the beginning to ‘How Do You Do’ he was telling the crowd to sing along, but many people didn’t know that song, so Per said, “Well, let’s try over here on this side” (on my side of the stage, where I
was in front of Christoffer Lundquist). Then still Per couldn’t hear anyone singing, then finally as he walked closer to me, he could hear me shouting out the opening verse. Then I was the sole singer to ‘How Do You Do’ shouting at Per!
“I see you comb you hair…” I sang that first verse by myself to Per and he smiled and grinned at me and nodded his head down at me with a big approval! Then Per continued.
Per showed a side of his good sense of humor to the LA crowd! Per stated, “Wow! It’s been a long time since we last saw you! You’ve all gotten older!” Then laughter from the crowd filled the venue. After the show people were telling me how surprised they were by how Per had so much energy moving around the stage. And as usual Christoffer continued to play a local song for the audience as he has been performing during this tour. Christoffer played the Beach Boys’ “California Girls.”
I did see Åsa back in the corner of the stage filming the crowd with either her iphone, or Per’s iphone. I was yelling to try and get her attention, but there was no way she could hear me. I wanted to try and meet with her because we had last met at an after party during the Room Service Tour in Karlstad and we to talk for quite a bit of time at the last party. I was hoping or thought by chance Åsa would have remembered me when I had made the long trek to Sweden from LA.
Fred Bronson ‘Chart Beat’ column writer from Billboard Magazine was in attendance and was behind me with a woman I guess it was his wife. When the band went off stage. I was cheering “En gång till! En gång till!” Then I heard this Swedish woman behind me chanting as well and we looked at each other while chanting, then I faced back toward the stage and she grabbed me and starting talking to me in Swedish and asked me if I was from Sweden and I told her in Swedish no, that I am from LA and I only speak and understand a little Swedish.
Before ending the show Marie thanked the crowd and Marie looked into the crowd and I yelled, “Welcome back Marie!” Making sure she would hear me. Marie paused looked into the crowd side to side. I could see Marie was enjoying and appreciating the moment. It looked like a moment of emotion as well. It was touching seeing Roxette close out with ‘Church Of Your Heart’ and see Per and Marie walk off stage together as Marie put her arm under his arm.
I almost forgot to mention that when the band was finishing up with ‘Church Of Your Heart” I kept yelling, “Pelle, Pelle,” and Pelle kept looking around and Pelle was wondering who the hell was yelling at him, or where that voice was coming from. Well, Pelle that was me! After ‘Church of Your Heart’ was over, or maybe sometime during the song, Pelle threw his tambourine behind him to the back of the stage. Luckily they didn’t hand him a guitar, or Clarence’s keyboard for that closing song! After the show the audience was speaking about how they forgot that Roxette had done so many songs, one audience member was even talking about he had forgotten that Roxette had done “Dangerous.” Another member of the audience said they had whole new respect for Roxette because he could see how talented the band really is. I think generally speaking that the audience here in the States see Roxette as just Per and Marie. However, here in the States, we never get to see the band. So, by seeing the band we can see there’s much more than just Per and Marie. It’s a rare side of Roxette we don’t get to see here in the States.
After the show I went back to my original seat with my friends, where I was supposed to be sitting during the show because I sneaked in all the way to the front. When I met up with my friends right behind my friends was Jonas Åkerlund sitting with his wife and another friend. It was great seeing Jonas, since he directed many Roxette videos over the years. I went up to Jonas and stretched out my hand to Jonas and introduced myself to him. Jonas stretched out to reach me and I told Jonas that we met in Vegas for the film festival for the release of ‘Spun.’ He seemed surprise someone knew who he was and Jonas responded, “Wow, that was a long time ago.”
“Yeah, it was a long time ago!” I replied.
Jonas agreed to take a picture together. He had his full access pass around his neck which I just wanted to rip off the chord and make a dash for backstage! Their were lots of friends close to the band who were going backstage after the show.
I had followed Roxette during the Room Service tour during the Swedish leg of the tour. And Per had mentioned at an after party in Karlstad that “Stupid” was going to be in Spun. So, when I returned to LA I got in contact with the producer of Spun and he invited me to the screening in Vegas with Jonas and the cast of Spun.
I don’t know if this can be mentioned or not, but Roxette was getting lots of airplay on television for Wickes Furniture commercial here in LA. “The Look” was being played in the commercial around 2006 for the popular furniture store. The commercial was being played daily and very frequent.
I just wished I hadn’t forgotten my camera for this concert! I still can’t believe I left it behind. So, I had to take photos with my iphone I guess I was just too excited.