rox olympiaRoxette played in Paris last time in 1992. That is 23 years ago! That is definitely too many years, actually, if the records are right, Roxette only played twice in France/Paris, once in 1989 and the last time in 1992.

During the day I had been thinking about the show and what to expect. I was curious to see how the French audience would react for various reasons. Roxette having played here last time so many years ago, not really being present in the charts for a while. I had no clue how French audience is at concerts, would it be fun and sweaty like in Spain or more on the quiet side like in Sweden? And it was in a theatre, which meant seated. So lots of questions that were to be answered later that day.

Eskobar started at 8 pm and played the set that they’ve been playing during this tour. One could indeed feel that they have an audience in France, some people were singing along and a lot more were clapping. It was a great warm up, but somehow people still felt a bit quiet. Would it stay like that?  Not really, that was about to change. As soon as the venue went dark and the Roxette-intro music started to sound, one could feel the excitement building up and when the first chords of “Sleeping in my Car” started to sound the audience went wild,  people stood up immediately, some of those who were sitting in other rows even tried to get to the front, and people were singing very loud. The concert wasn’t going to be seated after all!

After just two songs, the whole place felt very hot, that was going to be a fun night! And everybody on stage was just crazy and happy. I don’t know what they expected from the sold out show. I was positively surprised by the response of the audience and I had the feeling Per and Marie and the band were too.  The sound was awesome (even though Marie sounded very low, and it was not her fault neither the fact that people were singing very loud), that is the positive thing about small concert halls made to enjoy music. It reminded me in a way of the concert at the Beacon in NY, both the great sound and atmosphere.

IMG_0292-1Marie, who was wearing white outfit and black jacket and tie, was laughing a lot, making eye contact with the known faces, and oh! her voice! It was awesome. I don’t know what she did during “Watercolours in the Rain”,  but it was one of those moments when you realise (for the 1012912th time) why you just love this band so much. Goosebumps all the way! It’s hard to describe how she was singing, but it was so touching and jazzy and wow!

Magnus, Chris and Dea were also having lots of fun and Per jumping and running and bouncing as we know him and torturing his shoes (which, by the way, I  realised are very flashy and cool, the sole is very elastic, maybe to make the bumping easy on his knees? I wonder how many pairs he needs every tour…!).

When Per told the story about Magnus’ favourite album, Magnus asked the audience which album they loved most. One could hear that “Joyride” and “Look Sharp!” got the most “votes”, matching the time Roxette was the most successful in France. Before “It Must Have Been Love”, Per asked Marie if she was ready and she said “I am always ready”, which made the audience and Per smile. Yeah! One could see during the whole show that she enjoyed the music a lot, especially Chris playing guitar, and connecting with Dea a lot. It is just an incredible feel-good feeling to see a band that is having so much fun on stage, playing, dancing, teasing eachother and interacting this way, not only with the audience but also among themselves.

Chris chose to play an Edith Piaf song as an intro to Joyride and he got a nice response from the audience. After all, Édith Piaf is one of France’s national divas! “Joyride” was incredible and pure fun, and “The Look” was a great ending of the show. You gotta love Chris going crazy with the guitar, it sounds just terrific! The whole band was in top shape and the audience didn’t stop jumping and singing during the whole night.

Per mentioned the fact that they hadn’t played in Paris since 1992 during the show and he asked how many had been at their last show at Le Zénith back then. A few raised their hands, and while Per was looking at the audience to see who had been there back in 92, he added a fun note when he saw some kids among the audience, saying that they weren’t even born back then. Such a long time!IMG_0315-1

Just like the concert in New York in 2012, this was a very special evening in a special place with lots of history. As Per mentioned in this post on FB, the Beatles played there back in 1964, and so did Édith Piaf and many others, a very legendary place. I think one of the best things were the big red glowing letters announcing Roxette “old style”. How cool is that?

PARIS UPDATE: Oui!!! What an evening! Thanx everyone for making this gig so special. What a great venue, lots of history. Can you believe The Beatles played here 18 days in a row (or something) back in 1964? And Chris played an Edith Piaf-song by heart tonight!!! So special for all of us. We had a blast in this beautiful city. See y’all next time. How about tomorrow in Amsterdam???? Love, P&Co.

All in all, it was a very positive surprise and experience. French fans showed they still love Roxette even though they haven’t been around for a while. And it was a great proud happy feeling to turn around and see so many people standing and having fun at a Roxette concert, in Paris! Let’s hope they don’t have to wait that long till the next show!

After the show, many fans stayed around to chat about the show. Many agreed that this had been a magnifique concert, maybe one of the best they had seen, and that it would be great to see more Roxette concerts in such venues and more relaxed settings. There is no need to queue for hours, which is not only great for our backs and feet but it means we are full of energy for the concert (we are not 20 anymore … ;)), and the atmosphere in such places is just awesome.

Videos

Videos by Raphaäl Andre (not full): Dangerous | How Do You Do! | The Look | Joyride | Listen To Your Heart | Dressed For Success | Fading Like A Flower | Spending My Time | It Must Have Been Love |
The Look 2

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1, 2, 3

laparisiennelife.com
concertmag.net
loeilduspectacle.fr

Setlist

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
The Heart Shaped Sea
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride

Extra:
Listen To Your Heart
The Look