Arriving to Karlstad, seeing all the Per Gessle promotion (digital screens, posters, banners) in town one could feel very welcomed. The concert was held at the ice hockey arena and while we were waiting outside, shivering with cold I thought how good it will be when they finally let us inside, so we wouldn’t feel cold anymore. Haha. It’s an ice hockey arena you know and how they rearrange it for non-ice-related events is that they cover the ground, but leave the ice under. Of course, silly me. So the cold we didn’t get rid of until Per & Co came up on stage.
The show was originally planned to be standing on the floor, seated on the sides, but appr. a month ago the floor was changed to unnumbered seats. There were 40 seats in a row, so enough for those who had been waiting outside for long to get in and have the best seats. Fortunately, it was already stated in the e-mail they sent out about the change that one could be standing in front of his/her seat at the concert. Woohoo!
Inside the arena there was Roxette music playing in the restaurant area, so another thumbs up for the venue.
Nano, the support act started to perform at 19:30 and hey… what happened? Did I hear cheering people, clapping loud already during the support act? Couldn’t go wrong during the real deal either, I thought. And I was right. Yay! At last a Swedish audience that knows how to party! Might be because of the ice hockey matches they can practice at. Haha. Great!
Even if it wasn’t originally planned, Anders Roos was there again to take pictures and record the show and he was to come to Linköping as well. Judging by the camera settings, we will (hopefully) get to see some fab shots from Karlstad too.
So, Per and his beautiful band entered the stage at 20:30 and the front row stood up right at that moment. When they started playing The Look, most people on the floor stood up and remained standing during the whole concert. Some sat down during the ballads, but actually, it looked quite good when I looked around and saw all those standing people. This probably added even more to the anyway great mood of PG & Co. After some days off, they charged their batteries to be able to bounce around the stage. They were in top top shape. As Malin-My also said, after some days off they come back and there is always something new happening on stage. Indeed! There were some more spontaneous actions and pure energy.
After TL, Per greeted the audience and said it was debut for him in that ice hockey arena. Well, not really, because almost exactly 17 years ago he played there with Roxette during the Room Service tour. Time flies, memory fades. Haha. He said he played there with Gyllene Tider in 2013 in Mariebergsskogen. He asked if anyone else was there and the crowd shouted yeees. Per said ”those were the days!”. When he said he had been writing songs for more than 40 years and that they would dive deep in the Roxette song catalogue, the crowd was loud cheering.
MATAH sounded wonderful in the arena. Great acoustics, fab ballad! Then Per talked about the Capri adventure of Roxette in 1993 and that besides the world’s most expensive pizza and drinking incredibly much wine, they could record a quite OK album in 6 weeks. They played CBB of course and Helena got cheered after it. She was throwing kisses to the crowd to thank.
Before DFS Per looked around and asked the audience if we were sitting. The crowd burst out into a loud shouting ”neeeej!” (nooo!). PG said sitting wouldn’t fit the next song. Haha. And it didn’t fit SGNO either. There was no GT song intro now, but Christoffer’s intro was rocking anyway and Per was clapping above Christoffer’s head while he played, so cool! When Chris lost his hat and it was laying upside down on stage, Per came and throw a pick into it as if it was a coin, then went to pick another plectrum off the mic stand and threw one more and one more. I was laughing my ass off and I heard the crowd laughing too! It was a great spontaneous action. Loved it!
After SGNO Per told the audience Chris actually grew up in the neighbourhood, in Värmland county. Chris laughed and said, yeah, in Lund… (which is in Skåne county). Haha. Per asked the audience if all was good. He got a loud yeees as a reply. Mr. G said ”what a Friday, shit!” He said they feel very good on stage here in Karlstad. He went on with his Joyride-SMT story and said the last time he had such a good day was in 1990. And the story goes: he woke up one day in May in Halmstad and found a note on his piano saying ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). He just had to marry his girlfriend after seeing this note. He wrote Joyride and it felt awesome. Then he ate lunch and rank some coffee, Löfbergs (that was the name of the arena and it’s a Swedish coffee brand) and he wrote another song. SMT, another ballad that sounded fab in the arena. Helena got her huge applause after this song too.
Then came IGYC. I love the arrangement of this song and the setting of the lights as well, how first it’s only the silhouette of the musicians we can see on stage.
Before STT Per said he always had the dream of going to Nashville and record there with local musicians, but he also took some of his friends with him, e.g. Chris and Helena. STT is always so beautiful from the first note Malin-My plays on the violin through the wonderful duet of Per and Chris to the last guitar tune. Pure love!
Swedish hillbilly IHAPIMH with the flutes sounded great in the ice hockey arena and then came the Magnus-Per stand-up comedy part before IMHBL. Per said he gave 86(!) songs to the band to rehearse and they didn’t want to. Magnus said it was 89 songs. Mr. G said there was one he was thinking about not playing, but Magnus said stop, the crowd would be crying if they didn’t play it. Per said Magnus has 2 favourite artists and one of them is Roxette and the next song is one of his faves, so they played it and most people in the audience sang along. They weren’t incredibly loud, but still they were singing.
OppNox and TBL kicked ass in Karlstad too. For us longtime fans for sure. Heavy party in the front and loud clapping in the whole arena! Then it was time for a ballad again, so FLAF was performed, but before that Mr. G asked the xrowd if we like the ’90s. The reply was a loud yeees! Per asked Magnus about the ’90s. He said he can’t remember much, because he was born in 1991, but he remembers he saw a match in this arena in 1993 and he told a short ice hockey anecdote about the local team, Färjestad BK.
DMS, another highlight at each concert! I could listen to it and watch the band playing it 24/7! Christoffer’s hand is not bleeding that much anymore. He said he doesn’t do the things he would love to, to take care of the hand, but still he is rocking during this song every time.
PG introduced his wonderful band to the crowd. Each one of them got a loud applause. So well-deserved! They are absolutely fantastic musicians, all of them! When Per introduced Clarence he said he missed the tour bus today, but they are very happy that he took a taxi and he is here now. Haha. There was no introduction of Per in Karlstad, they went on with the teaser to HDYD. The crowd was clapping loud and Per said it’s not bad. Then we started singing when he stopped playing, but it wasn’t the whole audience singing, rather the front section only, so then he started to perform the song himself. Dangerous was also ass-kicking before the gang went off stage.
The arena was loud of the audience shouting and whistling and clapping, wanting Per and the band back on stage. They came back after a few minutes to perform one Mr. G’s all-time fave Roxette songs, QOR and then a groovy Joyride.
How the band came back for the second encore and LTYH you can watch in the live video I posted on our Facebook page. Another most fantastic ballad! One can’t get enough of it! And you can’t get enough of the closing song either! TSHTSG! Yet another song I could listen to and watch them playing it during the rest of my life.
The concert ended with Per saying thanks to the crowd and wishing ”Merry Christmas!”, just like that. Haha. Loved the whole show! Oh and thank you Sweden for showing your other side crowdwise! 😉
1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
17. Queen Of Rain
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye
KARLSTAD. Yeehaa. What a fun Friday evening! Had a blast with the Greatest Band On Earth + a super crowd. It’s kinda strange for me to perform in Sweden without playing my Swedish songs which have been so monumental in this country for decades. But tonite it all felt perfect. I had such a good time. Thanks everyone who showed up, love you dearly. Linköping tomorrow. Look forward. /P.
All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.