We miss Marie – 150 days later

Exactly 150 days have passed since Roxette cancelled their summer tour 2016 and in the same second ended their career as a touring band. 150 days until September 15th, a day that means a lot to many people.

I wasn’t even aware of the date until I read about it this morning on Facebook. I don’t really connect it to Marie’s illness. Yes, it was the day they let us know about it, it was a Sunday, never will be forgotten. But she knew before and everything happened before this day (in my world), so it’s not really a day of significance to me. Maybe September 11th, maybe not.

Photo: Gaby Hildebrandt
Photo: Gaby Hildebrandt

However, 150 days have passed since finally happened what was supposed to happen. We all knew it would happen, and many of us were actually waiting for it, not being able to see Marie struggle on stage any longer. It was a relief, it was a disappointment. It was the saddest moment in the history of Roxette for many fans, it was yet a step that made many of us just sit and nod silently in understanding and sympathy.

Now, 150 days later, finally the feeling of finality got to me. I woke up two days ago and missed Marie badly. I did before in these 150 days, but this was different. I thought of her, the many concerts I was able to join, her smiles, her voice, her moves, and suddenly I realized we will never have this again. Never.

I thought of this before, but I never felt it and now the feeling got to my heart and I couldn’t breathe for a moment. How silly, really! She’s not dead, I thought. Get over it! You have  your own life to live. But still, she was and still is a part of my life. For 25 years and for the rest of my life. She is part of my system.

It feels like she was kind of a battery that never ran low, she always provided strength and gave me energy to move on, even in the darkest hours of my life and even in the darkest hours of HER life. She never failed to do that and suddenly it feels like someone unplugged me from this battery. There is no more energy to come from this source; the source I got used to so much during all those years. I wondered why it felt like this, we had times of no messages, photos and concerts before. I remember seeing her now and then in the Swedish newspapers when she attended a concert or something else: even when she was ill.

But this is different for a significant reason: We had the best six years of our fan life. We saw Phoenix rising again, we saw her getting stronger and better again every night, we certainly helped her doing it, we connected with our favourite band in a very new and very special way. Somehow it felt like we finally became a family, as strange as it sounds. We became a family until the day we didn’t. The day we realized we didn’t – because not even family couldn’t prevent April 18th from happening. And while I was so disappointed that fate didn’t let them at least end their 2016 tour, now it’s about feelings. Här kommer alla känslorna på en och samma gång. Yes.

And even when she struggled so much last year with all the travelling – she still sent her waves of love, power, strength to the world and reached thousands of people. Yes, I miss her. I hope she is doing fine, enjoying the quiet and good life she of all deserves the most. Sitting on a table in the sun with her red roses and her beloved ones. That’s maybe all we can wish for.

We still hope for a life sign now and then. A photo, a video, a message. Don’t we? No, she doesn’t owe us anything. But you won’t deny your joy when we got that lovely little video 108 days ago, will you?

And while I am still trying to get over all of this, I hope that she thinks of us now and then with a loving smile on her face. We certainly do.

If you feel up to, send us your best meeting story or photo with Marie and let’s celebrate this special kind of love. The photo you see in the article has been taken in Amsterdam 2011. Marie came out and was in a great mood. She hugged almost everyone who stood there and it felt like she was very happy to see us. We gave her roses, talked to her and enjoyed every second, so did she. Gaby was quick enough to take this photo when she hugged me.

“Kom vila hos mig” featured on “Krigarnas Ö”

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Emil Jonsvik with Marie Fredriksson. Photo: Pernilla Petersson

It’s almost a year now since we reported that a song by Marie Fredriksson was supposed to be featured on the Swedish movie “Krigarnas Ö” by Emil Jonsvik (who directed Marie Fredriksson’s video “Sista Sommarens Vals“). The movie is out in Sweden since May and now it was time to ask Emil about the song and the movie again since we weren’t able to watch it until now and haven’t read anything about Marie’s song anywhere yet.

The demo version of “Kom vila hos mig” is what you can hear in the credits of the movie. Emil wrote us why he chose it:

“It’s a naked beautiful song of Marie Fredriksson and the tune written of Mikael Bolyos and it makes everyhing come together. I’m always happy to work with so genius musicians as Marie and Mikael.”

So, technically, when the movie was being shot, the song was still new. Right now, Emil is trying to make the movie available worldwide. Until now you can purchase the movie in Scandinavia only:

The film is right now released with the big company SF, SF anytime in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. (Se it on SF anytime, Telia, comhem, Xbox 360 app, bredbandsbolaget …) We hope to plan a world wide release later this year.

Thanks to Emil Jonsvik for the information!

 

What happened to the “It just happens” video?

It’s been 36 days since the release of the first single off “Good Karma” – “It just happens”. We got an official lyrics video which has around 260.000 views by now (the video which went live for Germany has 30.000 views so far). This lyrics video has been published and posted on Facebook shortly after the song was out. But we know for sure that there was a video shooting for a “proper” video – proper meaning it includes Per and Marie.

What we know so far is that a video has been shot between March 21st and March 28th – Per confirmed this in an interview on P4 Halland a week before the shooting. We also assume that back then the promo shots for the album must have taken place.

We know that on April 1st (certainly it wasn’t meant as April fools) they were still busy “preparing the new video”.

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Two weeks later, on April 16th, Per reminded us of the video and wrote this:

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Another two weeks later, on April 29th, The Daily Roxette asked on Twitter about the video and Per replied it will be out SOON. Sure, we know enough about Per’s understanding of the way “soon”, but another two tweeks later we are still waiting and there are some questions coming up:

1.) I Does it make sense to release a video for a single that basically flopped more than five weeks later (in case it was out TODAY which probably won’t happen) or even more?

2.) Why didn’t they release it only some days after the single – many artists do these, but I haven’t heard about one who waits more than a MONTH with it, especially not when the single isn’t a mega seller.

3.) What happened? Technical issues, human failure, Marie’s news made it impossible to release it or simply a promo strategy gone wrong?

Having discussed this topic on some Facebook walls and in Facebook groups some ideas came up to save the video from the trash can:

1.) Use the footage for the second single. Just cut what you filmed into something new and ignore the different lyrics.

2.) Release the video together with the album on June 3rd.

3.) Release the single again with the proper video and put some money into promoting the song and getting it to the radio stations.

Any other suggestions how to release the video after months of the single release without looking a bit bad?

Roxette Diaries – a review!

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Photo: Nico Radoi

Today was the day – time to watch the Roxette diaries. Yes, the film is out for a while now, but I didn’t bother to watch it any earlier since I had ordered the wrong version without English subtitles and I really didn’t want to watch it without them. Waking up today I decided to give it a try. My Swedish is not the best, but I learned enough from Per, Marie and Kent that I can at least read it very good. So I switched on the Swedish subtitles and the fun began.

It took me two and a half minutes to get into tour mood again. There are two simple reasons for me: There’s a very special energy between Per and Marie in the beginning and it lasts until 1993, I think. It feels very special to watch both of them interact. You can feel in every scene how much fun they had in the 80’s and in the early 90’s. They just did what they know best: music. And they had fun together, all of them. And this is maybe what most fans search or long for the most: They want to be sure that their favourite band is nothing but a big family, having fun together, on and off stage, create great music and conquer the world. Yes – this movie transports this feeling very well. At least the first hour. The whole band is just easygoing, lighthearted, happy, untroubled. My heart leapt watching this! And I remembered how much I love them – and we have a silver wedding this year. It’s been 25 years of unconditional love of my part this year. Can this be called the love of my life then?

The second reason why I suddenly can’t wait for June to roll on: I suddenly remembered that they still have an awful lot to give. They are not finished yet. Seven years have been stolen off them. Seven years of nothingness and yet seven years time to heal a strained friendship. I need to see more of this healed relationship between them. It has never been nicer to watch them on stage together.

And what I implied here I honestly mean: While in the beginning Marie and Per seem to be a unit, they certainly are no longer from 1993 on. Of course, this can be due to the cutting of the film, but did anyone else notice that Marie is almost not to be seen in the last 30 minutes of the film?

There’s one scene at the end where someone asks (is it Per?): “Where is Marie?” right before a performance. Yes, folks, I wondered the same. Where was she? And someone else in the film replies: “Ingen aning.” No idea. I had no clue either.

What we all knew to be true suddenly becomes real – yes, their friendship turned from friendship to business somewhen between 1992 and 1993. There’s no way to deny it. There’s no more fun around. And this is the shocking part of the diaries: Interviews, travelling, TV shows, promotion, concerts – there’s a 90 minute development of wearout to witness. It almost broke my heart to watch this. Smiles got less, fun got less, friendship almost not detectable.

But thinking about the recent years they gave to us, I can only say: We are the luckiest fans in the world. I don’t know how they did it, maybe it’s just the happiness, the gratefulness to have survived this bad illness Marie had, but they certainly overcame their problems and enjoy their time together again. And it’s something different now, when Marie isn’t doing interviews or doing all the other promo crap stuff that comes with being a pop star. We all do understand it and maybe we even understand it more when we know now what it did to them in the early 90’s.

Yet, this is a brilliant movie and my only criticism would be that there were too many concert parts at the end. I would have loved to see more of the Tourism and Crash!Boom!Bang! recordings. Maybe we get to see the rest of it soon. Per’s “soon” would suffice here, though. And I would also love to see the 2009-2016 footage. You know why – just to get me in the tour mood again and again and make me fall in love with them again and again. Nothing and nobody compares to Marie and Per.

More tour dates for 2016 announced

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Photo: Patrícia Peres

Here’s a list of the summer schedule so far:

30.06 Zimny Stadium O, Bratislava, Slovakia
02.07 Burg Clam, Klam, Austria
15.07 Sparkassen Park, Mönchengladbach, Germany
21.07 Zitadelle, Berlin, Germany
23.07 Schlossplatz, Emmendingen, Germany
09.09 Ice Hall Arena, St Petersburg, Russia
11.09 Crockus Hall, Moscow, Russia

They were pouring on us like rain today – more tour dates for the neverending RoXXXette tour. In the middle of the night German newspaper “Rheinische Post” announced on their website that Roxette would be back in Germany in 2016 – with four concerts in total and one of them in the county of Nordrhein-Westfalen. The show is in SparkassenPark in Mönchengladbach on 15th July.

Some hours went by and we got one more date – surprise: Roxette will also be back in Russia for another show: On 11th September they are on stage in Moscow, Crocus Hall! We waited for the official press release all morning, but nothing happened, until Per kind of confirmed the former dates by sharing the news and telling us that there was more to come SOON.

More hours went by and more dates came – two more shows suddenly popped up on the LiveNation website: 21th July, Berlin, Zitadelle and 23th July, Emmendingen, Schlosspark.  All German shows are open air. The tickets for Emmendingen seem to be on sale from TOMORROW already – that’s what the LiveNation site says.

At the same time the second Russian date appeared: 9th September, St. Petersburg.

20 minutes after we shared the news on our Facebook page the press release from “Team Rox” finally found its way to Facebook and mailboxes. Surprise – they actually only confirmed the dates we had found during the morning hours. The press release clearly states that “more dates are to come”.

And here we are, still waiting for the dates for South America (shows which are supposed to be during April) and hopefully some dates for North America and/or Canada. And in case the “Rheinische Post” was correct there is still missing one date for Germany.

Exciting times!

Update: Added date in Austria.

 

New Marie Fredriksson song out later this year?

Do you remember this artiMF_by_Pernilla_Petterssoncle? Marie writes music for a movie.

Well, Roxette fan Ken did. Some hours ago he asked what happened with the song Marie was about to contribute to the soundtrack of Emil Jonsvik’s movie “Krigarnas Ö” (The name of the game). A short research showed that the movie isn’t out yet. Director Emil Jonsvik informs us that the release date featured on imdb.com is wrong.

Unfortunately – the soundtrack isn’t out yet either. Asked about it, Emil, who directed the “Sista Sommarens Vals” video, told us that they will release the soundtrack and the movie later this year. Until now there is no actual release date.

It should be good news anyway – according to him there will be a new Marie Fredriksson song out at the end of this year and it will be featured in the movie as well.

Here you can watch the trailer to the movie.

(Information hasn’t been confirmed by the management)

German promoter Marek Lieberberg joins Live Nation

4Not really Roxette news, but a little bit related in the end: Live Nation Entertainment is partnering with German concert promoter Marek Lieberberg to form Live Nation Concerts Germany, promoting concerts and festivals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – beginning January 1, 2016.

This is indeed news because it means that Marek Lieberberg leaves his own company “Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur” – the one agency responsible for the huge festivals “Rock am Ring” and “Rock im Park” in Germany and also responsible for the Roxette shows in Germany and the Party Crasher tour back in 2009. The Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur belongs to German ticketing company CTS Eventim.

The ticketing for Live Nation Concerts Germany will be in the hands of Ticketmaster Germany. Ticketmaster Germany will serve as the lead ticketing company for the new venture, which probably means that the tickets get a bit more expensive in Germany than they already are, but that is just my humble opinion.

According to their own statement, Live Nation offers more than 23.000 shows for 60 million fans in over 40 countries. The “Lieberberg deal” is supposed to add another 700 shows and two million fans.

A (very personal) look back on 14 days and (almost) ten concerts

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Done without selfie stick: Kirsten Ohlwein

A week has gone since my last Roxette show (ever?) in Vienna. I tend to think it was my last Roxette show ever, but I am always open for a pleasant surprise, of course. Why I do think that this is it? The final countdown, the last tour ever? Yes, just because of Marie’s condition. I know very well that she is a warrior, the greatest warrior I know. Maybe, but maybe, just maybe, all of this is too much to fight for. I don’t know. I posted a very long text about her and my perception of her condition in another article (there’s an English translation at the bottom of the text). I don’t want to go in too much detail here now. It’s only part of my thoughts and I already have put them in words, so I try to move on from it. But yes, it felt a bit like a farewell to a long long dream for me.

So, my last show was in Vienna, Wednesday, July 8th, 2015. Unfortunately, the tour stress had totally exhausted me which forced me to leave my place in the third row during “Spending my time” already and got me to a spot on the side of the stage. Suddenly I couldn’t handle all the people around me anymore, it was too loud, too crowded, just too much. I had wished for a better ending to this whole touring experience as I have never done it this extensively (10 shows in 14 days). It wasn’t meant to be and so I stood at the very far end of the stage, held a mug with water in one hand and my jacket in the other and watched Marie trying to deliver her notes.

I joined the tour with the start of the German leg of the European part of the tour. Roxette had been on tour already six weeks. The first European show in Milan I had attended, yes, but after that, as said, six weeks break. So, I came to see the concert in Cologne and joined all the travelling until Vienna.

What’s left to say? It was a very intense, very confusing, very life-changing experience. Apart from the concerts I realized that I am actually really too old to queue the whole day in front of the venue in 36°C, even though we could mostly sit in the shadow. My body doesn’t want to be in the heat for several hours, then get tense when it’s close to inlet and then run for a minute and then relax, just to tense again when it realizes that air is practically not existing inside the venue. At least my body doesn’t want that several times a week and that’s probably what it showed me in Vienna.

I realized that I am also too old to stand in front of hotels and airports and waiting for the right moment to ask for a photo. This moment never comes. Every fan is so dependent on the mood of her star, so was I. Fortunately, with Roxette, I adore a band who always took their time and mostly never have a bad mood or when they don’t show it their fans, at least there was only one occasion I witnessed it.

I also realized that I might be too old to adore people who don’t even know me. I started to ask myself what I actually expect when I meet them? I wrote in my other post that it’s the feeling of breathing the same air for some moments. This might be it. I don’t know. I know it’s different when it comes to Marie. Since her illness all I ever wanted was to show her my support in every situation possible. There were many times when she gave back so much, thanked for our support or even begged for more. Moments I can hardly forget or ignore. It stopped this year. For me and for her. She doesn’t notice or doesn’t want to notice her fans anymore and it’s finally time to step back for me. Concerts: Yes. Anything else: No.

So, yes, I’d do it all over again, travel miles and miles and never stop, I would, but my reasons have drastically changed. Still, there is this “have to support Marie” thing, it’s very strong, it can’t be abandoned easily. Then there is the other reason that got stronger and stronger during my journey: Meet other Roxers, laugh together, wait together, sing together, enjoy time together. I am so happy that I met so many nice people, maybe this was the most important thing for me during this trip. I finally remembered why they all are so special, even those who I thought wouldn’t speak a word with me anymore. I really really loved that. In the end we’re on this ship together and when it’s time to wave the white flag, whenever that is, we have to do it together somehow anyway.

I am trying to point out some of my personal highlights of the ten shows I saw now:

The best Roxette show I ever saw was the one in Berlin. This was another topic I wrote something about it, unfortunately it’s in German only so far, sorry for that. This was a magical night, moments that can’t and won’t be forgotten. The audience maybe wasn’t the loudest, but the most empathic. It took over when Marie forgot the lyrics and from that moment on everything could happen and it did. I am happy I was there. I could feel the love floating around from the stage to the audience and back. It was the one perfect night.

The best local song Christoffer played was probably “An der Nordseeküste” in Hamburg. It worked surprisingly well regarding the fact that this isn’t a German song in origin. The audience sang even louder than the people in Cologne who got their very own anthem “Viva Colonia”. For Non-Germans: “Viva Colonia” is T-H-E song in Cologne and even in parts of Germany. So I really wondered why it didn’t work THAT good this time. The funniest moment was most certainly Christoffer’s attempt to play Helene Fischer’s “Atemlos” which was probably the most played German song in 2014 and 2015 (just guessing).

I loved that Per shared our “bring us some water or ice” photo from Stuttgart. We had so much fun that day and it made us smile despite the heat. Unfortunately, we never got the ice or the water (just kidding, of course).  Being a Roxer for 24 years you very well realize how special it is to communicate with your star in such a direct way. You post a photo, you know for sure that he sees it and when he shares or likes you are in heaven for some hours. Yes, that’s how it works. Praise the internet!

I also won’t forget the very messed up inlets in many many German cities, almost all of them. Gates that get less and less, although people are already queuing, scanners not working, security staff who don’t know how to mark a ticket, entrances that get closed completely ten minutes before the doors open, security staff telling you you are not allowed to sit down, because it’s too dangerous, others not telling you where you have to run – it was a mess, really. After three shows we joked about founding a consulting agency for security companies. They know so little, they do want to know so little – it can make you really angry. Worst are those who keep the guitar picks for themselves, by the way.

But let’s get back to the positive things. One of them: The amazing setlist Per Gessle put up. What a trick to end the show with “The Look”. What a great idea to bring “How do you do” back as standalone song again. People always have loved “How do you do” so much and it worked so very well at every single show I have been to. This was most often THE party crasher and people were not to stop from that point on. Yes, the audience expects the hits, the great number ones and the singles – it’s true and I can live with it, but after my last show I joked that I really don’t want to hear “Joyride” again so soon and that I am actually happy that I could keep myself busy with the balloons rather than singing. It’s a pity, of course, that I never applauded the band during the band presentation because I was so busy with getting the balloons ready. I still love the balloon thing very much.

We also had a talk about the stuff the fans do during the show and another fan had a very new thought: That we fans are part of the show as well. We do the balloon thing, we clap in moments non-fans don’t know (you know which songs I mean, Dangerous (attracted to go-go deeper tonight), The Look (head drum)), we try to sing “How do you do” on our own after the first riff and get the rest of the audience to join (it never worked until today, of course). Yes, there might be something to it. I had so much fun with all of this!

The general audiences really surprised me, though. I cannot count the times I heard people singing “The Look” while leaving the venue. One sang the verse, others joined in with the “Na na na na nas”. They were full of love for the band and didn’t hesitate to show. This felt much different during the last tour in 2011 and even more different during the Room Service tour 2001. Which brings me to my next point: This band loves to play, loves to be on stage, to play live, to improvise a bit, to make music together. You can see it every second they are on stage, even on their tired days. And this transports so much that people can’t help but join in. It might be compassion, farewell or memories bringing them to the shows, but they leave with different feelings: admiration for the band, the love for music and the will to definitely buy a new Roxette album. This band is so rocky. I heard that on the radio one morning: Roxette came as a pop-rock band to the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, but left as a rock-pop band. What a compliment for a band that earned so many bad reviews for their bubblegum music back in the 90’s!

So, what’s left after my last show in Vienna?

There’s a lot of good memories, some bad memories, decisions I made, a heart that’s still full of love for these people who accompany me for 24 years, a wish for another tour at least in North America so that I finally have a reason to go to New York (and I already have made appointments there with fellow Roxers, I didn’t forget that, Basia, Mareike and Mariana), and a deep deep longing which stands over it all that certain conditions get better again, the deep hope that something or someone can stop what we unfortunately witnessed this year and really don’t want to see and to see happen at all. The one topic we never talk about much. And then there’s the will to go on tour like this forever and that time just stands still, please.

Roxette XXX Tour – München, Germany (Olympiahalle) – July 07 – #49

Certain things were cooking today. Two of them: Munich from the outside (36°C) and from the inside, or rather inside the Olympiahalle. 8300 enthusiastic people helped themselves with the heat and made the roof fly away at Roxette’s 49th show on this world tour in Munich.

For many die-hards the day was also the day of goodbyes: Goodbyes to fellow Roxers who they won’t see now for quite a while and the goodbye to Roxette, who played their last show in Germany. So for many it was quite sad and true when Per Gessle said that this will be the last concert for a while in Germany and therefore certainly a night to remember. Some fans even think there won’t ever be another Roxette tour, so they were prepared for a sad goodbye anyway.

Per, though, couldn’t have been more right. He might not have known at this very moment that the Munich show could reach the Berlin league, but this hot and sweaty summer night became one to remember. The sweat didn’t stop the audience from dancing, shouting, singing. There was such a tremendous noise in the Olympiahalle that some people in the standing area turned their heads, looking around and wondering if this really could be the audience singing. It was! I don’t think I have ever heard German fans sing this loud. It gave many of us int the front rows goosebumps and forced us to go on and on with clapping, jumping and singing – besides the heat that had weakened us tremendously while waiting outside for the doors to open.

Munich is almost always a blast, but this night was very very special. So, now, after the German leg of the tour is over it is easy to choose the best two shows: Berlin and Munich. The audience in both cities was cooking, could never be stopped and came to the show for one main reason: to party together with their idols from the past.

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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

It didn’t  matter that not everything worked on stage and that the sound in the front rows wasn’t the best (it never is, I know that, but in this case, it was a bit worse than usual), it was enough to hear 8,000 people sing together. Again almost instantly when “How do you do” started and even more than at the other shows during “She’s got nothing on but the radio” audience and band became one. We tend to forget that “Radio” was a chartbreaker a few years ago, but the audience didn’t. So those two songs might have been the best tonight – they turned the last German show into a glowing memory for all of us!

Vienna tomorrow!

Per after the show:

MUNICH UPDATE: Oh yea, finishing the German leg of the tour in style. We had a blast tonight in front of a superb crowd, 8300 wild ones. So dear German friends, see y’all soon, it’s always a pleasure being here and enjoying your endless love, affection, beer and hospitality!!!! Danke schön! /P.

 

Articles and photos

merkur.de
Abendzeitung

Videos

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: Ein Prosit)

Extra:
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Roxette XXX Tour – Bad Kissingen, Germany (Luitpold Park) – July 03 – #47

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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

More sweat. More awesomeness.

Outstanding.

Keep this band playing forever!

Per after the show: 

BAD KISSINGEN UPDATE! Yes, another great concert in broad daylight (to begin with). Really lovely crowd. The heat was silly (hey we’re from Sweden, we’re not used to these temperatures!!!!) + lots of strange mosquitos the size of Pelle’s cymbals flying around…… but nevertheless a fab show!!! We loved every moment of it, I think you did too! Thanx for stopping by. Day off tomorrow, Formula One qualifying in the UK….can’t miss that…… Cheers, P.

 

Articles & Photos

Mainpost

Setlist

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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

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)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer)

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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

Extra:
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Roxette XXX Tour – Stuttgart, Germany (Porsche Arena) – July 02 – #46

The first things that come to my mind when thinking about the Stuttgart show? Heat, 34°C outside, no air condition inside the arena, strange waiting lines outside by people who don’t know what a queuing order is, a door that opens much later than the other which means that half of the die-hard Roxers  who waited there since 9 in the morning didn’t make it to the front row (things like that happen, yes, but it’s annoying, every single time), sweat, sweat, sweat, fainting people and more sweat.

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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

How it’s possible that a concert can take place in an Arena without air conditioning when it’s THAT hot outside – I don’t know. It shouldn’t. It’s pretty dangerous to gather people in front of stage and not give them enough fresh air to breathe. This has to be said at this place. It’s not Roxette’s fault, of course, but it has to be said anyway. I have never seen any Roxer being that wet after the show. We looked like as we were in heavy rain but certainly not a concert. When somebody asks me in three years about the Stuttgart show 2015, I will most probably say: It was one of the best Roxette shows of the  leg, but it was much too hot, really silly and dangerous.

Which brings me to my next point: the show! What a show! Wow! The heat most certainly did not affect the band and did most of all not affect Marie. She also had a hard time with the heat but her voice didn’t. This could have probably been the best vocal performance by Marie on this leg and it’s most definitely the second best show of the German leg after Berlin. Maybe the only reason why this show can’t top Berlin is that the last spark between audience and band didn’t catch fire. Don’t get me wrong – the audience was great, cheering, full of love and support and understanding, but Berlin is hard to top. It’s just a feeling, but what happened in Berlin is probably a “once in 100 shows” thing.

But Stuttgart comes close for sure. The band sweat their asses off, Per was soaked at the end of the show and he had even changed his shirt. Go figure!

Highlights tonight most certainly were Listen To Your Heart, Crash!Boom!Bang! and The Heart Shaped Sea which for me worked for the first time in seven shows that I have attended so far. Finally I could actually hear Marie. The song which is meant to be a duet found its way back to the duet. Thanks for improving this, guys!

Marie was in top top top shape, which means that some of her gestures and faces reminded of the 1994 Marie. There’s so much energy, determination and love for what she does in her and it totally showed today. She doesn’t have to stand or walk around to let it show. All she needs is her mic, a cheering audience and a good day. It was astonishing to witness these flashback moments. It’s all there in her and you get the most exciting concert when she has a day to show all this.

The whole band seemed even more energetic than in Mannheim, which also was a great show, but this one topped it for many reasons: audience, Marie’s top top top shape, the awesome sound that this arena provided (finally the music was louder again which meant we couldn’t hear ourselves singing which was different in Dresden and Mannheim) and an dialogue improvising Per who didn’t care about the heat and ran his ass off on stage. To say he was soaking wet is probably an understatement.

This show comes right after Berlin, no doubt. One of my highlights of the show was this dialogue:

Per: “We played here four years ago. Were you there?”
Audience cheering.
Per: “I was here.” (pointing at Marie) And you were here. I remember you.”
Marie: “And I remember you. Thank God.”

It says so much, it says a lot lot lot about Roxette, about everything around it, about Marie. Maybe it’s all you need to know when you attend a show.

Per after the show:

STUTTGART UPDATE: Oh yeah! 34 degrees on stage and the whole arena was cookin’!!! Fab gig tonight, folks. Thanx for stopping by and making us sweat a bit…… Lovely to see so many people having such a good time. Loads of familiar faces in the front rows! Nice!!!! The Rox machine moves with ease to Bad Kissingen tomorrow. Cheers! /P.

The next show is on July 3rd in Bad Kissingen.

 

Articles and photos

Photos by Marco Franzese
Stuttgarter-Zeitung.de

Videos

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: Muss i denn zum städtele hinaus)

Extra:
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Roxette XXX Tour – Mannheim, Germany (SAP-Arena) – June 30 – #45

Mannheim! Mannheim left DSC00624me a bit irritated, but certainly amazed. I was irritated because I (once more) realized that the perception of a concert can be totally different. While I thought that the ManDSC00610nheim show was much better than the concert in Dresden, not everyone agreed on that. Most of the fans I talked to shared my opinion: Marie’s voice was outstanding, the band had their energy back after a well-deserved day off and most important: The audience was much more affectionate than in Dresden. But then there were a few who disagreed. So all you ever get in our reviews is, of course, a personal opinion.

The SAP Arena, though, wasn’t sold out, many seats were empty. Well – to everyone who decided not to go in the end: You missed a great show, thDSC00601e 45th on this tour. The best way to check if the show was good or not is, though, to talk to or listen to the no-die-hards leaving the venue. Yesterday I picked up words like “Es war so hammergeil” which can be translated as “This was so fucking awesome”. Other people were singing “The Look” while they made their way to their car with several hundred other spectators. The love and affection already showed during the show and once people start cheering, that band cannot stop to rock. It’s not the die-hards who make the show a success – it’s all the people in the back. Once Marie and Per got them they never let go. I witnessed this in Cologne, Hamburg certainly Berlin and now in Mannheim. “How do you do” is the one song that can turn a show in Germany – it never did in Dresden, but it did in Mannheim and the roof almost went off. It doesn’t matter that not everything goes right. Per missed his part in Joyride, Marie cursed a bit about some lyrics she had forgotten and the “99 LuftbalMannheim_1lons” intro to Joyride didn’t really make the people go crazy – but in the end this is a live band and this is what makes them so special. The sound was terrific – this band sounds damn tight and if we not already had gotten a live CD I would have begged for one at this very point. Yes, maybe, Roxette never sounded better live than between 2012 and 2015.

So, this show was definitely a success – and again I think my point is proved that there’s no better way to end the show than with “The Look”.

It’s hard to write review after review – this has been my fifth show of ten in total and I wonder what more is to come. I hope there are some more surprises hidden (Per’s white clothes, Almost Unreal *hint*).

 

Per after the show:

MANNHEIM UPDATE! Thanx everyone for yet another hotblooded evening in Germany. We had a wonderful time just like we had in 2011! Day off tomorrow, then the mighty Stuttgart: The XXX-trek continues, folks! /P.

 

Articles and photos

Mannheimer Morgen (article), Mannheimer Morgen (gallery)
Regioactive
Mannheim24
Cityguide Rhein-Neckar

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: 99 Luftballons)

Extra:
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Roxette XXX Tour – Dresden, Germany (Elbufer) – June 28 – #44

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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

There’s only one question  left after tonight’s show. When you already think you have seen a 100% show – what else is there? I can only say that my expectation for tonight’s show in Dresden weren’t high, just because I am right now very convinced that I already have seen the best show there will be in Germany, which is of course unfair, because it doesn’t leave any room for surprises. Surprisingly, I am not the only fan who thinks like that, but I am not the only fan either who definitely wants to be proved otherwise!

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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

Anyhow, the Dresden show couldn’t repeat the magic that happened in Berlin – due to many reasons. One of them was the not very good sound (again).  Since this was the first open air show I am certain things will get better at the outside venues. A proper soundcheck could help here maybe. The second reason is certainly the audience. Earlier today I read a comment of a guy who had attended the Berlin show and he wrote that audience and band became one soul and it felt exactly like that. In Dresden, however, this didn’t happen. It can’t happen every night, that’s for sure, but the Dresden people were too shy to show their true love and affection for Per and Marie. Less noise, less clapping, less “give us more”. The third reason can be seen as the one reason that always comes up when talking about Roxette: Marie’s shape on that particular day. First of all, she seems to have a cold (already noticed in Berlin, but it obviously appeared that the virus made her stronger in the beginning) which seemed to affect her a bit in Dresden. Then, either her mic was not loud enough again or it was her who didn’t sing loud enough. If  you want my opinion – it’s not the mic. At the end of Listen To Your Heart Marie sang her heart out (loud, clear, touching, there was everything in it) and totally showed us her famous victory pose.  She earned a lot of clapping for it – well-deserved. Then, on other songs you could barely hear her and sometimes I wondered if her mic was even on.

The band seemed in top shape but also in need of some free time, a day off, some decent sleep, a lot of ginger tea and some tissues to clear the throat. There was a slight tiredness that could be noticed.

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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein
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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

Unfortunately, The Heart Shaped Sea was kicked off the setlist, because they decided to leave that one out on festivals. According to Christoffer they decided to cancel THSS, because they think people will be talking and not be interested enough.

So, this was all the negative stuff I can come up with. There are lots more positive things, of course: How do you do? rocked once again, this is a real kicker in Germany – no wonder, it was a huge hit in the charts back then.

Then, this band is just amazing – you can see how much fun they have on stage, how much they enjoy to play together, to make music, to improvise, to play the songs differently every night. This is a gift for all of us listening and I really hope it goes on forever. Roxette never sounded rockier. So, when we left the venue, one guy said to this friend: “Did  you think they could rock like this?” – He obviously didn’t. Roxette still have the power to surprise, the power to rock and the power to make people rock with them.

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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

And this is another plus: The setlist they are playing is much better than three years ago. Why? Playing Dressed for Success, Dangerous, Joyride, Listen To Your Heart and then END the show with The Look doesn’t leave room for discussions. With all the “Na na na nas” in your head you can nothing but smile and want to listen to Look Sharp! again as soon as possible. It’s good that there is indeed no ballad at the end, because it couldn’t end better but with the No. 1 killer song The Look. This works and it also did in Dresden.

Marie! She wants it, she wants to jam, to improvise, to rock, to be who she is – a true and committed singer. In Berlin I said to the girl next to me that I expect Marie to get up from her stool every second, because it looked like sh e was going to explode on it. The same goes for Dresden. She enjoyed the songs, she danced as much as possible while sitting, trying her best and making people simply love her.

Per! It’s him who does all the run and get closer to the audience stuff and he does it so well. Without this the show would be much more boring. This also includes the band – their performance on stage makes you wonder where to look first and how long and it makes you think that you miss too much of what’s actually going on up there.

BTW: We are also happy about a day off. Sleep is overrated, of course, but it helps to keep you going. And please bring either Queen of rain or Almost unreal and the white clothes for Per back!

Per after the show:

DRESDEN! Oh yeah, the first ever Roxette show to take place in this wonderful city. We’ve been here once before doing some TV-show but not a proper concert. Revenge came tonight!!!!
Beautiful crowd, around 8500 people enjoyed the warm summer breeze and this humble but focused power pop combo from the swedish forests and beaches. We had a wonderful time, I know you did too judging by the smiles everywhere!!!!
Thanks for having us, Dresden, promise to come back!!! Day off tomorrow, some of us need that!!!! Cheerio, P.

Next stop is Mannheim on 30th June.

 

Articles and photos

dnn-online.de
jumpradio.de
sz-online.de

Videos

Listen To Your Heart

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)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Atemlos)

Extra:
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

 

Roxette XXX tour – Hamburg, Germany (O2 Arena) – June 25 – #42

Oh, what a  night. Late June, back in 2015. What a very special time for me, as I remember, what a night. Hypnotizing, mesmerizing me. She was everything I dreamed she’d be.

1_DSC00354
Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

Oh yes, it’s definitely time to quote The Four Seasons (especially here in Hamburg) after tonight’s Roxette show in O2 arena. There’s no better way to describe this night.

After a very smooth entrance and nice security guys in front of the venue we had to experience some very silly rules when we got inside: we weren’t allowed to sit down, we weren’t allowed to  hang whatever over the fence, we weren’t allowed to take photos during the first song, which is funny, because the security guys told everyone in the first row about it and obviously expected us to spread the word among the rest of everyone in the standing area. At least we were allowed to breathe, sing, get the balloons ready, dance and have fun – and how much fun we had.

Compared to Cologne, this band got even better. Marie was definitely in a top top top shape, she jammed, improvised and finally revived Hey Jude during The Look. Oh, it was the moment she started to hum the Hey Jude-na na na’s when I realized how much I had actually missed it. If she continues like that everyone will have lots of fun. Per also rocked the stage once again, gave everything he could which we could judge by his sweaty face very soon.

Christoffer surprised the Hamburg citizens in the audience with his version of “An der Nordseeküste” as Joyride intro and people even started to sing while he played and they obviously sang loud enough to make Marie wonder about that particular song. I had actually expected this to happen with “Viva Colonia” in Cologne, but this one was definitely better. We expect a very rocky version of “Berliner Luft” on Saturday, btw.

 

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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein
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Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

During “Sleeping In My Car” it seemed the sound was rather bad, but it was only minutes  later when we finally could actually hear them singing. The Hamburg show on June 25th 2015 definitely was one of the best shows during the European leg – voicewise, musicwise, energywise, audiencewise. Can things get even better?

It didn’t make much sense to turn the heads around when you were in the front row. Unfortunately there weren’t so many hands up in the air right behind us, but the audience on the seats made quite a noise and it boosted the band to new heights. Keep the whistles, shouts and claps coming, folks. They want it, they need it and we can easily give it.

Funny side fact: German radio station NDR 90,3 broadcast a special show about the concert between 22:00 and 00:00 and while we waited in the car to leave the parking lot we just tuned in when the host said they are about to play some live song directly from the arena – what followed then was the Travelling live version of It’s Possible. But they had vox pops from the people leaving the arena when the show was finished – everyone very positive, very touched by Marie, very happy and very thankful, one woman even said she feels it is an honor to hear Marie live again. So sweet!

Per’s comment after the show:

HAMBURG UPDATE: Oh yea! Awrite! Supergig tonite at the O2 World in Hamburg. Thanx all you approx 8000 ppl showing up. We had a perfect Thursday!! Thanx for all your singing along + your support, let’s continue this German tour like tonight!!!! Cheers, P.

Next stop is Berlin on Saturday, 27th June.

 

Articles and photos

Hamburger Abendblatt
bild.de
ndr.de
radiohamburg.de
welt.de
Mondkringel Photography

Videos

Video including short parts of several songs
Concert ending

 

Setlist

1_DSC00361
Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

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 /w Nordseeküste

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Roxette XXX Tour – Cologne, Germany (Lanxess Arena) – June 24 – #41

So, this is a short review of the Cologne show, because we need to get up in four hours to drive to Hamburg, but here it is:

DSC00185
Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

The German leg of the tour has finally started – and HOW it did. Per, Marie and the band were unstoppable in the not sold out but very full Lanxess Arena in Cologne. They even made us forget the really unprofessional entrance situation some hours before. (Just a tip for the Lanxess folks: Don’t write the name of the entrance on a ticket, when everyone can get in everywhere and please don’t send people from doors they have been sitting in front of for six hours.)

Everything was forgotten when the lady in white and the guy in black entered the stage and took us away with them on another journey through their career. It’s also good to see that so many people came – we discussed the audience while waiting for Eskobar and found that the German shows now and back in 2012 sold better than in 2001.

Unfortunately it took a while for the audience to wake up – the same goes for Marie, though. It took her some songs to get into the groove, it almost seemed like in some moments she didn’t trust herself or felt not self-confident enough, but then – it began with Stars and got much better with every song – her voice made the roof almost explode. The audience woke up at How do you do! and never stopped afterwards.

DSC00234
Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

There was much energy on the stage and it found its way to the 10,000 or little more people in Lanxess Arena. Marie was, once more, in top shape, after she managed to untie the knot. Though, we talked to other fans after the show who had decided not to stand this time but to sit, her amazing performance couldn’t be heard very good at some spots in the arena. It must have been either due to bad acoustics in the arena or due to the fact that her mic was not loud enough. I had heard complaints like that before, but when you are in the front, you don’t notice these problems. Whatever it was, we hope it gets better tomorrow (or rather today). Another complaint was – again – the missing video walls. People in the back didn’t see much and wondered why there weren’t any, since they are almost standard equipment in large arenas like the one in Cologne.

DSC00229
Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

BUT – besides the complaints, and you all know I am one of the rather critical fans out in the Roxette universe – this was  a really good show. There was a lot of energy, love and fun floating around on stage. We loved Pelle’s solo during She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio), we loved the funny faces Magnus and Marie threw at each other during a wild  solo by Christoffer and we certainly loved all the love that came back to us from stage.  These guys fully enjoy what they do and they transport this feeling still very well. This tour could certainly go on forever.

Per after the show:

COLOGNE!!! Yeehaa! Opening show of the German leg of the XXX-tour. Magnificent! We certainly had a blast, you did too (it looked like that anyway….). Thanx for stopping by, almost 10.000 in the audience but you sounded like 20.000 sometimes!!! Hamburg tomorrow. We’ve only just begun! Cheers, P.

Next stop is Hamburg (25th June).

 

Articles and photos

Kölner Stadt-Unzeiger
RuhrNachrichten.de
RP Online
wdr.de
rundschau-online.de
focus.de

video report from WDR

Videos

Band intro + Viva Colonia
The Look

Setlist

DSC00278
Photo by Kirsten Ohlwein

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 /w Viva Colonia

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look