Judith: Since it was a special show for us and there is so much to tell… we decided to write this review together. So please bear with us. It may be a bit longer than usual. 😉
PP: The last show of the European tour leg was a festival gig in Drammen, Norway. We were all afraid of having a very short concert because of other artists also being present at the festival, even after the main act, Roxette, but fortunately, the organizers arranged 2 stages and so the concerts right before and right after our band were at another stage. This way there was no need to hurry with building and getting down the stage, so the setlist wasn’t shortened. Only The Heart Shaped Sea was missing, but we got used to it during other festival shows.
Judith: Also it was about a month I had seen them in Rättvik and there had been just 2 shows since then (Faroe and Vasa) so I wondered how they would be after a “break” or bigger breaks in between. The weeks before we realised many fans were travelling to the ‘last’ show so I was sure it would be a party.
PP: It’s also a rare occasion when at least 3/5 of the RXB Team is there at the same show. This time Judith, Tomasz and me were there to eye- and ear-witness the last European gig and – together with the rest of the whole crowd – we were all blown away by what we saw and heard. It was a perfect ending of this tour leg.
Judith: I didn’t know what to expect, maybe just a great Rox concert as always. But surely not what we experienced. It is hard to find words for it. I felt like at my first Rox concert in Barcelona 1994, an incredible energy but transmitted in a different way. This is probably my #1 of this tour, even though all the others I saw were amazing. Hard to choose, but no need to really. Just need to think of the great memories I am taking home.
Judith: The usual suspects were there very early at the main entrance and started the numbering system, which worked very well (except for two Swedes who didn’t want to be nice but well, there is always that one…). It worked fine in the end for the rest, but one cannot help and wonder why? Was that necessary?
PP: The local newspaper soon got to know about what was going on and went to interview those fans who had been there already from the early morning.
Judith: The reporter was very interested in our story, how many shows we had seen, where we come from, how long have we known each other, how do we pay for all the trips, and when she saw the chickens she wondered about them too (watch out for them on videos and more). She wrote a nice piece in the end, I think.
PP: The article with photos was published not much later as we got to know from Polish-Roxer-living-in-Norway Magda Kulinska and during the day those who read it came to ask if we knew how famous we got and that the local media was full of the Roxers. Haha. Surprise, surprise.
This time the waiting period included some creative preparations, too. Some days before the show Judith came up with the idea if we should do something special during the show, since it was the last one for a while. Soon it got decided that it’s actually a huge thank you we want to say to Roxette for this amazing European tour, so we decided for writing ”thank you” on paper in different languages. Thanks for the blue and yellow paper support to Basia Konarzewska. Besides thank you, tack, gracias etc., some fans got more ideas to put on paper. There were many questions from those passing by, who certainly hadn’t read the news and had no clue about who was playing in Drammen that night. They asked why we were there, what band were had been waiting for, etc. When we said it was all about Roxette, they found it cool and showed thumbs up.
Judith: Since everybody passing by was looking and we were working on the signs, I just joked maybe we should put up a sign to ask people passing by to support the next tour. Mind you it was a joke…
PP: Paula Cafiero Högström and Christina Tholander identified themselves with the idea and thought these people might be kind enough to help them and decided to put out the chickens (“Poshos” which is how Argentinians pronounce pollos = chicken) they usually bring to the shows and wrote “Support the next tour” on a paper. They even had a hat for collecting the money, but well, they surely won’t get to another continent from the money collected. It was of course just for fun and we had a good laugh. Álex Usero was very much into Per’s guitar picks, so he created several asking-for-a-PG-pick papers. They looked quite cool including pick drawings and saying ”throw me a pick”. One of them you can see at this link. There were several other short texts, like Marie’s name in a heart, ”Magnus = sex machine”; ”Pelle, I’m in room 69”; ”Per you look great” and ”Per you look sexy” among others. We thought for a last show it could be fun to hold up these papers. Later we tell you how these signs worked.
Judith: Don’t forget the “Pelle = såååå snygg!” one. It was surely fun to make the signs. I think I had never had so much fun waiting at a queue (which I don’t do often…).
PP: The organizers and the security team were very kind and understanding, so they supported us with letting us in a bit earlier to be able to reach our most beloved spots in the front. Huge thanks to them again. Unbelievable that the staff can be so cooperative in another country as well, not only in Sweden.
Judith: Indeed. They were very surprised when they found out about the numbers and saw that we were just sitting there having fun while waiting and not causing any problems. So they helped us back too.
THE BAND BEFORE ROXETTE
PP: No Eskobar, no mix tape. Too cruel this world is. We better don’t even talk about the band that played on the same stage where Roxette performed later. After we got inside the festival area, it was a Norwegian band’s, Razika’s turn to entertain us from 18:45. They looked and sounded like a beginner school band. Vocally and musically they were a bit too far from what we, spoiled Roxers got used to. So most of us were quite happy when they left the stage. At the same time I must admit, there were some locals who could sing along and dance. OK, we had worse before.
Judith: I missed Eskobar too! I danced and clapped with Razika because the tunes weren’t that bad. And I always think… it must be weird to stand on a stage in front of people with poker faces… and I was way too nervous. I needed to get myself busy somehow.
PREPARING THE STAGE FOR ROXETTE
PP: Already when we took a walk around the festival area we realized that not only the stage was very small, but also the place for the crowd. Everything was so close to us. There was only the main stage, no front part where usually Per and Chris are doing their guitar fights. Both Pelle’s drum set and Clarence’s keyboards were set much closer to us, they weren’t placed as much in the back as normally. It was only when Marie’s chair and mic stand, as well as the heater, plus Per’s mic stand were put to their places we realized how close they would be to us. It was only 2-3 meters between Marie & Per and the front row.
Judith: That didn’t make us feel calmer, did it? The whole thing was getting better and better! Funny how we all felt so excited as if we had never seen Rox live before! And that it was common, not just me.
PP: This time Micke N-S, Per’s technician wasn’t there, so Micke Lindström prepared the guitars and plectrums for Per. Besides the red acoustic picks, the white Touched by the hand of Per and the white Pop til you drop picks were put on the stand. By the time the stage was ready, we were all too excited. We couldn’t really explain why, but it felt completely the same as if it was the first show. Strange that most of us, coming from different countries (Germany, Spain, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Russia, the UK, Finland, Sweden, Norway, etc.) seeing the band at several shows during this tour, all felt the same ROXcitement. It was harder and harder to wait for the show to begin.
ROXETTE, THE MAIN ACT
PP: When the band came to the stage, the crowd went wild and screamed and shouted already during the intro. Then they started playing Sleeping In My Car and no one could stop us anymore.
Marie recognized many familiar faces in the front during The Big L. and she waved to them. She was all smiles during the whole show and you could see she had so much energy she could be touring forever. She was acting a lot, her gestures were priceless and her facial expressions, too. Her voice charmed us again. And again. And again. She’s the top she’s got the world on a string, she makes us boogie makes us do anything. Yea yea.
Judith: It is just incredible to see. For us who saw the first shows in Milan or Barcelona. And even in the middle of the tour. So much energy! It is really hard to describe, but anyone who knows Marie probably knows what we mean. But this goes for the others too. It felt like a magical interaction with everybody, everywhere you looked you could see happy faces all around. Biig biiig smiles! Our belly and face muscles felt sore afterwards of so much laughing/smiling.
PP: Mister Duracell Bunny Per didn’t have much space to bounce around on this very small stage, but he found the way to let his incredible amount of energy spread. He did more circles and more Gessle choreography including new moves even. Killer moves, killer voice, killer guitar-playing. What else could you ask for? Eye contact! We got that, too! On a side note, Per’s black nail polish disappeared. Whatever happened to it.
In between the songs they talked in Swedish, just like on their Trondheim concert. Norwegian and Swedish are very close, so they can understand each other’s languages very well.
Before playing Crush On You, the chat between Per and Magnus started the same way as usual, Per mentioning Magnus’s fave Rox album is not Look Sharp! or Joyride, but Have A Nice Day. Magnus being a better actor and more of a stand-up comedy guy, this time he didn’t reply his all time fave Roxette album is Baladas en español, but he was joking it’s ”High Over The Borderline”, a common album of Roxette and A-ha which had Marie and Morten on the front and Per, Magne and Paul on its backside.
Before the show started, with Mariana Gumuzio we decided that if Per appears on stage in white, we put up our signs already at the beginning of the concert, but if not, then it’s Crush On You when we should use them. So the song started and we held up our signs. Mariana got ”Per you look great”, which Per recognized and smiled at it and I got ”Per you look sexy”, which was recognized by Åsa and she showed thumbs up for that and even filmed it. Let’s see if Per feels sexy enough to post that video. 😉 Anyway, always nice to see a proud wife how Åsa is of his hot man. She shot a lot of videos again and while shooting she was singing along and even dancing a bit. She’s too cool!
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint sounded awesome in Drammen. Actually, was there any city where it didn’t sound awesome? Marie and Dea = a wonderful combo. They got a very loud applause and screams from the crowd.
The audience got into complete party mood after Fading Like A Flower. How Do You Do! made people jump and dance even more. It Must Have Been Love without a doubt was huge and the crowd sing-along was wonderful.
Judith: I love this part. Like I mentioned in another of the reviews, I think the setlist is perfect. It just flows. And when FLAF starts it’s like a sing-along crazy party until the end with The Look. It feels like first one is building up expectation for Watercolours/Paint and enjoy Marie’s and Dea’s wonderful performance. And then the excitement starts again towards The Look. During HDYD! some of us wore funky hats and the chickens. Marie couldn’t help laughing and trying not to look at us and concentrate. At the end of the song she couldn’t help it and just laughed.
PP: During Dressed For Success / Dangerous something happened to Per’s guitar, because he started playing the one he usually uses for these songs, but at one moment I just realized he was playing the one he uses for Crush On You and She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio). I couldn’t see when he changed the guitars though, but something must have gone wrong.
After these 2 songs, before Joyride there was the band presentation, but this time Chris didn’t play a local song. Magnus talked about BoJo having his 60th birthday (on 23rd August) and asked him to come up to the stage. At the same time we were getting prepared for Joyride with blowing up the balloons, so even that fitted. Bo came and they played ”happy birthday to you” and all on and off the stage were singing happy birthday to him. He was very touched and this happening almost got him into tears. He’s THE MAN! The ”birthday party” video you can watch here! We all love it when something really spontaneous is happening at a Roxette show.
Judith: Marie and a few others also sang Hurra! Hurra! Hurra! typical for birthdays in Sweden, but I think not many heard it/joined as BoJo was already leaving and Joyride getting started.
PP: So the balloons (yellow and blue – thanks to Basia Konarzewska) were ready to be released and we let them fly not much later. They looked fab! Lots of them landed on the stage though, so there wasn’t too many left in the air to play with until the song ended. Those that landed on the stage rested mainly around Marie. While Per was bouncing from one side of the stage to the other he even hit one of them with his guitar while playing and Chris and Dea tried to push the balloons back to us, without much success. One blue and one yellow balloon got stuck right at Marie’s heater, the rest on the stage was removed during the break before the extras.
The crowd wanted Marie and Per and the rest of the gang back on stage and when they came and started playing Listen To Your Heart, we held up our ”thank you” signs. See it in this video. It looked great and they recognized the ocean of thanx signs and smiled. Marie even mimed ”thank you” to us. How lovely! Åsa filmed the signs a lot, so hopefully, at least one video of this will end up on Roxette’s Facebook page.
After LTYH only The Look left. A mind-blowing version. During the nananananas Per sat down a bit on the speaker on the right side of the stage. It was funny. Marie was again singing a bit of ”you’ve got the look” while pointing at fans. And we all pointed at her. She’s got the look.
It was very hard to let them go. A last European bow, a last European walking off, but turning around before leaving the stage. Too emotional. But we all know, it all begins where it ends. Soon more fun is waiting on other continents. Watch the last goodbye here.
Judith: It felt strange after they had left. It may be the first time that many of us haven’t planned anything for the next time. Many are waiting for USA/Canada or South America to be announced to decide what to do. A few have already started to plan South Africa… Some are waiting for more Europe in 2016…
AFTER THE SHOW
PP: We all wanted to say thank you for an amazing tour leg and a perfect ending to it, so after the show we went to the back entrance and waited for the band to come out. They certainly celebrated a bit more backstage before they go on a longer tour break. Probably, BoJo’s birthday, as well as the successful European tour leg, so it took a while until they came out and we could tell them how much we loved the tour. First came the band, then came Per and Marie was the last. Per took his time and signed many autographs and he was also kind enough to let us take pictures with him. He was still in a great mood and relaxed. Marie came out with BoJo and we applauded her. She was also still in a smiling mood and she was waving to us while getting into the car.
After they left, it was time for the fans to say goodbye to each other, wondering which show is the next we will meet. For some it’s going to be South Africa and probably another continent for others. But we meet soon, that’s for sure.
Judith: It was the perfect ending to an incredible Euro-tour and amazing last concert. It just felt right to say bye and most important, say thanks for all these special moments and memories. There are some things coming up now. Marie’s book, the new single/album, this collaboration with Sebastien Drums and who knows what else…
The last European goodbye… for a while – Pics by Patrícia Peres
DRAMMEN, NORWAY UPDATE: Truly magnificent gig in this amazing town. Beautiful summer evening and loads of party people everywhere. Thanks for making this “the last show in Europe for a while” happening big time. We had a blast, the band is really really tight now, everything works like clockwork, it’s such a pleasure to play together!!!
We even managed to bring the great BoJo on stage (he’s 60 tomorrow). Thanx for singing Happy Birthday for him, he’ll never admit it but he loved it!!!!
Vids by Åsa to follow tomorrow! Cheers everyone. /P.
Now comes a longer tour break and Roxette then further celebrates the 30th anniversary in style. Next stop is Johannesburg, South Africa on 31st January 2016.
Articles and photos
Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Listen To Your Heart