I started writing this while sipping a cup of coffee looking at the lake Siljan with a big silly smile on my face and thinking life is beautiful. And that I wouldn’t change a thing. For various reasons (including a 12-hour journey by car/plane back home, work and exhaustment) it took some days to finish this article, but better late than never, they say.

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Picture by Anne

Dalhalla, organisation, logistics
Roxette played at Dalhalla, an amphitheatre in an old quarry nearby Rättvik, which opened as a summer stage 20 years ago. To make it more mystique, they say that a meteor fell in this area about 360 million years ago and I suppose that the name is an allusion to Valhalla, the home of the Norse gods. In any case, the place looks awesome, probably one of the most unique and interesting places to play or attend a show, not only because of the sound but the surroundings and nature. It all makes the experience special.

Usually, there is a big separation between stage and the first rows of the audience, with water flowing in between, but for Roxette this was covered with a platform and seats were place on it, meaning the audience was much closer than usual. We guessed it was Roxette who wanted to have the audience closer, as they like to communicate with the fans. And that was a good thing. More about the audience below.

Organisation and logistics were also a bit… special. When we checked in at the hotel in Leksand (Rättvik was fully booked) they asked us if we were going to Dalhalla (was it that obvious?) and advised us to leave with loooooots of time ahead for two reasons: there was Classic Cars exhibition in Rättvik it would take us at least 1 hour to cross the city and Dalhalla is in the middle of nowhere, with a narrow road driving up a hill and the long queues to get to the parking / event can take up to 1 hour too. So we followed the advice and left earlier than planned.

Rättvik was indeed a chaos, but at least we enjoyed the (mostly) nicely kept old cars cruising up and down of Rättvik (we were told that this meeting is mostly just about that, showing off your car in the main street of the city). It felt almost like entering Grease movie. We left Rättvik behind us to get into the next chaos, in this case mostly because of the lousy organisation at Dalhalla. We arrived shortly before 6pm, the time they were supposed to open the doors. What we didn’t know is that the parking wouldn’t open until 6pm either. So cars just gathered in a more or less unorganised way in front of the gate, with no information or signs about that, nobody to guide and make sure cars stand in a row… I guess it says a lot when a fan ended up organising the car queue together with one of the workers because the others claimed “they only start to work at 6” (!). Parking was well organised, at least for the first/second row, afterwards cars more or less parked where they wanted.

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Picture by Connie H.

Eskobar’s last show as Roxette’s guest (?)
Unfortunately, it started to rain right before Eskobar, so this and the traffic jam to get to the venue were the cause many people were not in their places / seats when Eskobar started to play. The about 10 “hardcores” who were there agreed to make the best out of it anyway, and try to make a great last Eskobar show.

Since it was Daniel’s birthday, we also decided we would sing Happy Birthday after the first song. And it worked out very well!

Rox on!
After seeing the lack of enthusiasm of the audience, we hoped that people would cheer up and at least show some interest during Roxette. We decided to stand up no matter what, hoping nobody would complain, and it worked out just fine. Before the show, Atli from Sweden Show Security approached us and asked us just one thing, we could stand up if we wanted to but we should remain in our places and not go/run to the front. There was like 2-meter distance between the first row of seats and the aisle and we behaved (imagine that usually there are like 10 m or more separation between the stage and the audience!). Unfortunately, we were not allowed to the front during the last two shows, like it had been in Zurich or partly in London, would have been great to have another close-up The Look but well, security is security.

The audience wasn’t as bad as we thought, though. People next and behind us were standing up now and then, and even if it required hard work from Marie and Per and the rest to make people sing, it was loud enough.

Marie was in a great mood, as one could see and hear her laughing many times. For example, during Magnus-Per “Have A Nice Day” story, Magnus didn’t refer to “Baladas en Español” but a very unique limited edition of a rare  album, or when she made funny faces with Magnus or Dea. Or when she asked Per “är du med, Per?” She also enjoyed Chris solos a lot and did a lot of her “yeahs” here and there. At times it sounded like she had a cold, but on “Spending My Time” or “CBB” or “Listen To Your Heart” she left us all mouth-open.

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Picture by Connie H.

Per also joked about “Tourism”. When he mentioned “The Heart Shaped Sea” story, and that it was from Tourism, a few people cheered, and he jokingly say those are probably the only ones who bought it. The (few) hard-core fans also got lots of special attention from Marie and Per and the band. What can I say? Isn’t it just a great feeling when your favourite band knows you and makes contact with you?

Pelle was amazing on drums, improvising a couple of times. We’d love to hear more of that! Time for a long drum-solo? And Chris and Magnus just decided to run in the aisle from one side of the stage to another, which Åsa caputured on camera, as one can see here. Chris played Härjarevisan, a typical drinking song in Sweden, maybe as a hidden tip for the Swedes, to drink more and have more fun?

It was indeed a special and different concert. And we all had lots of fun, and the guys and girls on stage too. I already mentioned this before, but the concerts in Stockholm and Rättvik just confirmed it, seeing the band so tight, there is no way one can stop the band now. Let’s hope that what Per mentioned in his post is more dates! It’s just 3 shows to go in August (not counting corporate show in September) and we all are looking forward to the next schedule-trip-planning (not our accounts though).

I also have to say, I realised in the last two shows that the setlist is just awesome. First Sleeping and Big L to get people in the mood, then a few slower songs where Marie just shines with her voice, then Crush and She’s got nothing on which are pure craziness and fun. Then it gets calmer again with Heart Shaped and Watercolours (it works much better with both songs), and then slowly going crazy and powerful again starting with Fading almost non-stop until The Look, despite the fact that It Must Have Been Love and Listen To Your Heart and a break are in between, the arrangements of the songs rock big time, so it feels like a guitar-party non-stop.

Post-show

Per wrote a very long comment, specially mentioning Eskobar:

DALHALLA UPDATE: Yes, thank you! One of the most spectacular places we’ve ever played. Stunning! Beautiful!

And thanx for making this sold out show very special. Rain in the air but we all jumped between the raindrops. Great vibes were certainly floating around at this unbelievable venue.

Thanx also to Eskobar who did their last show with us. They’re not only a great band but really wonderful people. Pls check them out in the future, they’re def worth it!!! And hey, they make really outstandng music!!

So, now we’re taking a live break for ten days or so. The studio is waiting and I have some birthday parties to attend…. No rest for the wicked!

Thanx all of you hardcore Roxers for showing up at so many gigs, see y’all very soon again. You’re the one who make a difference!!

Also…. got exciting news re next year. More details to follow….
Stay tuned.
Cheers, P.

What a nice comment, especially about Eskobar and about the fans!

Talking about Eskobar, fans loved to have them as support act and have started a page on Facebook to ask to have Eskobar as special guest for the (possible) tour 2016. It would be great, wouldn’t it? And judging by Per’s comment, there seems to be something going on next year, so let’s cross our fingers.

Daniel also posted the day after that Marie had sung happy birthday for him backstage, lovely! Per also posted this picture two days later with the following comment:

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Picture by Anders Roos

THANX ESKOBAR for supporting us on the European Tour. A delight. Pic by Anders Roos. Cheers, P.

Articles, videos, pictures

This is a very nice summary of the show.
Dalhalla mix
Listen To Your Heart
(not complete)
It Must Have Been Love (not complete)
Joyride (not complete)
Sleeping In My Car
The Look craziness recorded by Åsa

Review on DT
Review on Dala-Demokraten

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 (intro: Gärdebylåten Härjarevisan)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look