Per Gessle’s Roxette – Helsinki, Finland – 12th November 2018 – #18

The Helsinki gig last night was actually a delayed concert. The Per Gessle’s Roxette tour would have reached Finland already on the 3rd November, in Espoo, but the date had been rescheduled 2 months before, end of August and the venue had also changed to the culture house in Helsinki. You could exchange your tickets for the rescheduled date. I remember I was very disappointed, because I had already booked everything (flights, accommodation /non-refundable, why not… 2 month before the date nothing can go wrong…/) just 2 or 3 days before the announcement was published. It was my decision to book everything the way I did, so no one to blame for it. Then I thought, oh whatever, I could still add the new date (12th November, Helsinki) to the list of shows I could attend, a bit more losing on other flights I had also already booked for the Swedish shows after the original Finland date and the Oslo-Göteborg leg of the tour, it would still be worth booking. Then a long long long long long ”discussion” with Ticketmaster started regarding exchanging the tickets. First of all, when you don’t live in Finland, it’s very difficult to reach them. No direct phone number, no direct e-mail address. So you turn to social media, send them a message on Facebook and get an automatic reply including a phone number. Winning! Then you call them, but the number doesn’t work. You try to contact them on social media again, but all the time you just get the automatic message with the same content. Then for the xth time when you write, they get back to you and ask ”How did you hear about this? Did you receive a message of the reschedule? Did you have any instructions? There is no information in the event info.” Facepalm. THEY sent out the e-mail about the change with almost no information on how to exchange the tickets and they don’t know anything about it. Awesome. Some more messages exchanged and we finally get to the point. They realize that the date had indeed been rescheduled so they suggest me to reach the nearest outlet. Hello! I live in Hungary, bought my ticket online, the nearest outlet is hundreds of kilometers away from me. Any other suggestion in the 21st century? Oh yes, you finally get an e-mail address to which you have to send your order number and they exchange the ticket. Great! All discussed regarding the seat I had for Metro Arena in Espoo. That was the very first ticket I managed to buy right at the very first minute the ticket sales started. Front row middle. They assure that I can get the same seat in the new venue. Fab! Then I send the e-mail with my order number. Days pass, no reply… I get back to them on Facebook. Any news? Yes, I should receive my new ticket shortly. Great. I get an e-mail one day later with the new ticket. In the 4th row. Aha. Back to them on Facebook telling them there might be a misunderstanding, they promised to exchange the ticket for the same front row middle seat as I had for the original venue. And that shouldn’t be a problem, given the new venue is even wider than the originally planned arena. Sorry for the inconvenience they say and send new ticket 1 more day later. To the very side of the front row. I know, I know… First world problems, but once you agree on something I hate it when they don’t keep their word and think you’re stupid or something. I tell them it’s still not the same ticket. They say that’s the best they can offer. I then realize Helsinki doesn’t want to cooperate with me and tell them I would rather ask for a refund then. I thought then they might change the ticket to the one we agreed on, but no, they said OK, they send my money back. Oh cool. See the best lesson on how to lose a customer. You would think it happened only to me, but no. Once the event was rescheduled, they didn’t show the seatmap on the website, you could only see the ”best available ticket” option which was 3rd row. Those who live in Finland and went to an outlet to exchange their tickets they said that the first 2 rows in the middle were greyed out. So Ticketmaster simply kept those tickets reserved for who knows whatever reason. Similar issue we had in Stockholm regarding the seatmap. No seatmap available, only best available ticket option and since the very first minute the tickets went on sale in March many fans were checking the website daily, even several times daily to see when they would release the front row tickets in the middle section. It happened only a few days before the concert. Who understands that? Anyways, I’m just a marketeer, not a sales person, but I would certainly change the customer care system and some other things in the business model at Ticketmaster.

Sorry for the long intro. Longer than what I’ll be able to write about the show itself. 😉 The doors opened for the concert in Helsinki at 7 pm and the gig started at 8 pm. There was no change in the setlist, so the gang entered the stage and started to play The Look. The crowd left their boogie shoes at home, they all remained seated. Actually, 2 girls stood up, but the security team then asked them to sit down. Still, one could feel the audience had much fun listening to Roxette’s evergreens and Per’s solo gems. They were clapping very loud and singing along too. You could clearly hear them doing so during IMHBL. This is also a way one can enjoy a gig and still show a high level of enthusiasm. It was only during Joyride when slowly but surely everyone stood up and from then on they didn’t sit back and waited for PG & Co to get back on stage for the 2nd encore. Yaaay!

The stage was very low and it was also very close to the front row, you could reach the band members who by the way were in top shape. Lots of smiles and interactions among the ladies and gents on stage. Åsa joined Per for the Finland trip and she also recorded some parts of the gig. DFS is already online on GessleHomeVids. Hope to see some more footage. Evgeny recorded TSHTSG.

Now only 2 shows left! Get your tickets if you haven’t seen this wonderful gang on tour yet! 😉

Setlist:

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
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the concert:

HELSINKI. Yes, this band is still groovin’ better and better for every gig!!! Thanx everyone for showing up this cold and rainy Monday night. You certainly brought a lot of sunshine!!! No blood on stage this time (hahaha) + got a couple of days off before Oslo on Thursday so my finger will surely mend. See y’all there!!!! Cheers, P.

Pic in the article by Samu Reijonen.