Marie Fredriksson signing session at NK in Stockholm

When the news about yesterday’s signing session came out, most of us were really surprised. No one thought there would be such an event, taking into consideration how Marie talks about it also in her book what difficulties she has with writing after her illness. Many were worried about her, thinking that a signing session would be too tiring for her and it probably was in a way, but you could see she really enjoyed it. She was smiling during the whole session and anyone talked to her while she was signing, no matter whether in Swedish or in English, she had some nice words to everyone.

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Photo by Patrícia Peres

The session was to start at 1 pm. Some hardcore fans started queueing quite early, even before 10 am to be the first ones in the line. By 12 there was already a very long queue. Helena von Zweigbergk arrived at 12:45 and Marie a bit before 13:00. Marie came with Micke and he helped her to get down the stairs that led to the little podium. She walked so fine down the stairs. We shouted woohoo when she arrived and she was happy to hear it and see so many people there.

On the podium there was a small table with flowers in a vase on it, 2 chairs and a Xmas tree next to the table. First Marie was sitting on the left to let Helena sign the books first, but after a little accident of a fan knocking over the vase they changed places. It was just a little water coming out of the vase and it wasn’t a real issue. Marie took it easy, just smiled and even helped to wipe it off.

It was awesome to see her in such a great mood. She was happy to see everyone, but when she saw the real familiar faces to her, she was smiling even brighter. Fans came from all around the world. Besides Sweden of course, there were fans from Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Spain, Norway, Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, the UK and 2 people came even from Australia. Wow! Some couldn’t reach Stockholm yesterday because of storms. Ferries and trains didn’t come or didn’t arrive in time to the Swedish capital, so some who wanted to, unfortunately couldn’t attend the session. Some fans brought only 1 book, others brought 7-8 to have them signed for those fans who couldn’t attend the session.

Marie got tons of presents and flowers. Mainly white and red roses. She loved it! She couldn’t grab all the flowers of course, but Marie Dimberg was there to help her and she took all the flowers and gifts. Helena also got some flowers and she was glad about it, too.

Those who still didn’t have Marie’s biography, Kärleken till livet could buy it at NK. A shop assistant was bringing the books around, along the queue. The security team of NK was very nice and their system worked well and smoothly. They let fans go to the podium 1 by 1 to the signing stage and it was Ms. Dimberg who told them when they could let someone inside the cordoned off area. Sometimes even Marie told the security guy: “Nästa!” (“Next!”)

As it was stated on the event’s Facebook page by the organizers, we could take pictures of Marie, but not with Marie. Everyone understood it and was behaving well. Many were taking photos, so actually, even if one of course couldn’t sit or stand next to Marie, they could have pictures with her while she was signing their books, smiling at them, etc.

Those who wanted to have their names written in the book besides Marie’s autograph and Helena’s signature, got it written by Helena. Marie was so cute when grabbing the books to sign. If the book wasn’t open at the page where she wanted to sign it, she insisted on turning the pages. Haha.

Micke wasn’t there waiting until the end of the session, but Marie’s daughter, Josefin stayed there to wait for Marie. After the session ended at 2 pm, after everyone got their books signed, we applauded Marie and when she got off the stairs of the podium and she showed she was happy she could make it coming down the stairs we shouted woohoo and applauded her again. Watch THIS short set of videos. She’s just awesome! She really is.

You know Marie is no fan of Facebook at all. She made it clear several times, mentioned it in her book and also in the TV4 interview one could watch in the morning. So if a post comes from her – of course it’s not she writing the post itself, but D&D Management typing her words – it’s much appreciated. She wanted to express her happiness, so she thanked everyone for coming. A picture of approximately one third of the flowers was posted both on her Facebook page and on Roxette’s page with these words:

“Tack alla som kom till dagens signering – från när och fjärran! Och tusen tack för alla vackra blommor och presenter – mycket glad!” / “Thanks to everybody who came to the book signing today – from near and far. And a thousand thanks for all the beautiful flowers and gifts – very happy!” Marie Fredriksson

It was a wonderful one hour with Marie and we were all so happy about seeing her enjoying it too. Her smiles are priceless!

 

Photos:

bayart.se
Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15;

 

 

Per Gessle comes alive?

According to a recent tweet, there is a song registered for Addeboy vs. Cliff (Andreas Broberger & Hannes Lindgren) and Per Gessle. The title is ”I Come Alive”. If you check BMI’s repertoire, there is indeed a song under their names. The question is whether it is one of the new Roxette songs co-produced by the duo or a Gessle solo cooperation with Addeboy vs. Cliff. Well, all 3 guys are registered as songwriters / composers of the song, so it’s probably rather a cooperation like it was with Heikki L or Kill FM or Sebastien Drums.

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© Per Gessle

Addeboy vs. Cliff are the guys who Roxette worked together on The Look 2015 remake. When Per was asked in the KappAhl interview about why they chose them, he replied:

I had started to work with them on another project via Cosmos Music. They are brilliant. Without them, I would not have dared to go in and record a new version of The Look.

 

In the Billboard interview related to The Look remake Per said:

I had started working with Addeboy vs. Cliff on some other projects a couple of months earlier so I thought they could be great collaborators. We got the backing track from them, which was the groove, drums and bass, and it sounded really cool and fresh, like the skeleton to something really interesting. I went into the studio with our regular producers, Clarence Öfwerman and Christoffer Lundquist, and added guitars, the solo parts and, of course, new vocals together with Marie. It took us two days.

With every album/project, I try to change one ‘important’ person, just to make everyone, myself included, stand on our toes. I always welcome change if it’s the right reason. In this particular case, new blood definitely needed to be injected everywhere. As always, we wanted to produce it ourselves so as to not lose control, but we needed a fresh start and a different angle.

I told Addeboy vs. Cliff we wanted it to sound like a hit record in 2015 and to pretend that the original Roxette version from 1988 is the demo.

He also mentioned they are producing themselves, but Addeboy vs. Cliff are involved in a few songs of the upcoming Roxette album, as well as other producers.

Let’s see what happens!

 

Roxette to perform in London 2016

After their sold-out O2 gig in London 2015, Roxette is back to perform in the city in 2016 as well. The show will be on 8th July and it’s part of the Greenwich Music time happening, a four day series of concerts, situated outdoor, in the magnificent surroundings of the Old Royal Naval College, over looking the Thames, lit by the big city lights of Canary Wharf.

Tickets go on sale 4th December at 9 am at Ticketmaster UK, but presale begins on Wednesday, 2nd December at 9 am local time! Good luck!

 

Rox_in_london_2016

East Coast Radio chats with Per Gessle

Yet another South African interview with Per Gessle has been made available online. Listen to it HERE. This one is done by East Coast Radio and it’s 6m 25s long. The content is very similar to the other SA radio interview, but there are some fun additions, like PG’s thoughts about Justin Bieber and the content of the family fridge.

To the question what’s happening in Sweden right now Per replied it’s pretty dark and people are preparing for the Christmas season and it’s raining on the Swedish West Coast.

The radio host mentions he knows Mr. G loves South Africa as he has been there a couple of times. Per says he has been there privately as well a few times with his family. They have friends just outside Cape Town. They enjoy the weather, the nice wines, the food and the people. He thinks it’s pleasant to be in South Africa and it’s great to perform there.

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Still is from the making of video of The Look 2015 remake

To the question what the secret behind Roxette’s 30 years of success is Mr. G replied he doesn’t know. They were lucky when they had their breakthrough in the late 80’s and that kept going. He says in the end it’s people’s choice and the Roxette fans have always been very active and a big part of the shows, a big part of everything. It’s just great to be able to continue doing this.

When Per is asked which song he likes the most when they perform, he says The Look is pretty cool and it’s always fun to perform. But also the big ballads, because Marie is a fantastic singer. She made all those songs into monster songs. Per says it’s a blessing to be part of all this, having all these crowds loving what they do and they sing along, they know the lyrics to every song.

Regarding what he is doing backstage while he is waiting to perform and if there is a ritual, he says the band, Marie and he get together and talk through things what’s going to happen. Then he goes back to his dressing room to focus. He also talks about them being an organic band and that they play 100% live.

The host had a funny question. He asks Per what one can find in his fridge right now. Per replies he was away for a week and he doesn’t really know, but he says he can guess there is some classic Swedish stuff like Swedish meatballs, because his family loves Swedish meatballs.

The producer asked Per to be honest and tell if he likes Justin Bieber. Mr. G hesitated a bit then he replied he can’t really answer that, because he doesn’t really know him that much. But he really likes some of his productions whoever the producer is behind them. He does have a few JB songs on his playlist on Spotify.

The host asked Per if Gabriel listens to Roxette. Per says he tried to make him listen to Roxette, but he probably doesn’t have Roxette on his playlist. He knows Gabbe likes Real Sugar. He is really open-minded to everything though, being an 18-year-old. He is listening to Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan, he also listens to Justin Bieber, but also Motörhead.

 

Per Gessle interview by Bok Radio, South Africa

As Per mentioned on Facebook, he was busy with some South African interviews yesterday. We are now glad to share one of them with you. Heinrich du Plooy from Bok Radio interviewed Mr. G on the occasion of Roxette’s comeback to South Africa next year. Huge thanks to Wynand van Heerden, you can listen to the complete, almost 20-minute-long interview by clicking HERE.

The program starts with The Look and The Big L., then it’s fun to hear some lines from our RoxBlog article about the announcement of the South African leg of the XXX tour. At the beginning of the interview it turns out it’s still tough to pronounce Per’s surname. Haha. An evergreen issue.

Per was in Sweden, when he answered the questions, but he says it feels like being in London instead of the Swedish West Coast, because it’s just raining over there now.

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Screenshot is from the making of video of The Look 2015 remake

To the question how it feels being back on stage and touring again Per replied it feels really cool and they are happy to be back in South Africa soon. He states they are on this tour since autumn 2014 and that being on their 30th anniversary tour means they are getting very old. He says it’s a blessing and he is proud of what they have achieved so far.

Heinrich asked Per how they decide on which songs to put on the setlist. Mr. G replied it’s an anniversary tour, so they basically play their greatest hits. There are some changes in the arrangements though, because of the shows being 100% live.

Regarding any funny situation that happened to Per or Marie on stage Per says the hardest thing when you’re touring so much is that you don’t really know where you are. It can be embarrassing if you say a different city versus where you play actually, so Micke N-S started taping the city where they play in front of Per’s mic stand, not to screw it up. He also talks about messing up the lyrics and that fans know the lyrics much better than they do.

Bok Radio asks if they are more relaxed now after 30 years of their career, if they are still nervous when they go on stage or if they have a different approach when they go to the studio. Per says he is not nervous, rather focused. Before every show he locks himself into the dressing room and goes through the setlist, thinks about what he should talk about on stage if something happened during the day.

Per talks about the fact that songwriting is the No 1 thing for him and it feels like he has just started. He is very curious and is interested in pop music as a whole. He wants to try things out, so he worked with different writers and producers, he worked with David Guetta and young Swedish writers and producers just to see how people work. He mentions that a month ago he started his own record label to work with young artists.

Per’s reply to the question if he still considers Marie and himself as the dream team:

Yeah! I think Marie is a wonderful person to work with. I think one of the reasons why I’ve been so successful with my songs, my material is that I’ve been able to pick people who make my songs even better than they are. If you know what I mean. It goes for the producers and also it definitely goes for Marie. You know the songs like Listen To Your Heart or It Must Have Been Love or Queen Of Rain, all those fantastic ballads that she’s been doing over the years. She just makes those songs more… you know, it’s the way she sings them. I’ve been really blessed working with talents like she. And also of course we’ve been very very good friends since we were in our teens almost. So it’s been a long ride together. She’s just a darling!

They also talk about The Look that it was written for Marie, but she didn’t feel comfortable with it, because she wants big melodies and it’s just two tones, which is rather Per’s range.

Shortly they talk about Marie’s illness and comeback. Per explains how strong Marie is and says the fans were really really wonderful and he thinks what kept Marie going was the love and affection from the fans.

Heinrich quotes some lines from different London reviews of the sold-out O2 show at the end of the interview and Per says it feels amazing to hear that. He talks about the fantastic band, the active crowds, the great catalogue of songs and that with all this they can never go wrong. It’s a blessing to be part of this.

 

Marie Fredriksson NK signing session – Important details!

As you already know, there will be an exclusive signing session with Marie Fredriksson and Helena von Zweigbergk at NK in Stockholm on 5th December. The session is 1-hour-long, it starts at 1 pm.

Organizers of the event informed on the official Facebook event page about the following:

This is an event organized by NK book store.

People with books purchased elsewhere will have to wait until the end of the session and Marie will possibly have time to accommodate these signings as well. However, there is no guarantee for this. Photos can be taken of Marie but not with Marie.

We are all very happy that Marie has agreed to do this session and we’ll want to make this as smooth and pleasant as possible for everybody.

Please respect the rules and be patient while queueing. Good luck, everyone! Enjoy meeting Marie & give much love to her!

If you don’t have the chance to travel to Stockholm and you couldn’t order a signed copy from Adlibris, Bokus is offering 100 copies of Marie’s biography, Kärleken till livet signed. They deliver abroad as well.

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Short but intense Roxette gig at Tele2 Arena

Out of the blue there came a post from Per on Roxette’s Facebook page tonight:

FRIDAY UPDATE: Greetings an hour before gig #63 on the XXX tour. We’ve found ourselves at the Tele2Arena in jolly Stockholm playing for the Tele2 company and their customers, guests and friends. Look forward to this, folks. The train keeps a-rollin’. Vids coming up! /P.

We’d been looking forward to something still this year, but this time it was hard to find out what Per meant with his comment in September:

Yep, could be the last Rox concert this year. Might pop up something else as well. Will let you know, folks! /P.

So now we know it was about another corporate gig. And by that, being a corporate show, it can’t get a number. Just like the Warsaw gig didn’t get a number, because that one was also a kind of a private gig. Once tickets are not on official sale and a concert is a closed event, it just can’t be part of a tour. Not of the XXX tour for sure. We already had a number discussion with Mr. G when we didn’t count the cancelled show in Mainz. Then we gave in (because of the T-shirts… 🙂 ), but now we won’t. We can’t. 😉 We go on counting again from the first gig in South Africa. #62 is going to be Johannesburg if there is no other official tour date before that show.

So the band performed at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm. Gyllene Tider played there in 2013 as the first musical act. Hopefully, the sound of the arena has improved during the past 2 years. Capacity of the venue is 30,000 for all-seater football events and 45,000 for concerts. Madonna did a show there some days ago for 40,557. We don’t have any confirmations on how many attended the Tele2 party.

One of the interesting things at this short Rox gig was that Dea is doing the Julgalan shows around Sweden and the premiere was exactly tonight. This way she couldn’t be on stage with Roxette, but there has to be a back-up vocalist and yes, Helena was happy to come back and join the gang for this bonanza.

It probably wasn’t worth bringing the XXX tour stage set to Tele2 for this short happening, so curtains were used as background design and the technicians played with the lights to make it look more interesting for the crowd.

Roxette went on stage after 11 pm and performed 7 songs.

Setlist

1. Sleeping In My Car
2. Dressed For Success
3. Dangerous
4. How Do You Do!
5. Joyride (intro: Gyllene Tider – Ljudet av ett annat hjärta)
6. Listen To Your Heart
7. The Look

 

Per after the show:

Short but sweet gig at Tele2 tonight. 7 songs. Great crowd, Helena did a fab comeback. Vids tomorrow, folks! /P.

Looking forward to those videos!

 

Photos and videos:

Instapics: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13;

Instavids: SIMC; DFS; LTYH; TL;

 

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Pic by bystrom

 

Roxette in Bratislava, Slovakia 2016

As Slovakian news sites informed about it on Friday, Roxette will perform in Bratislava on their XXX tour in 2016. Save the date, 30th June! Everyone was expecting the South American dates to be announced at last (rumor has it the band is there in April) and then bang, a European date for June leaked out. We love such surprises though! The concert will be organized at Zimný štadión Ondreja Nepelu, a stadium primarily used for ice hockey and has the capacity of 10 200 for concerts.

We expected Roxette to play in Europe only at festivals next year, so it’s a fantastic surprise for all European Roxers. It’s not yet known whether it’s only one show on the continent for 2016 or there are more dates to be announced soon. We hope for some more of course!

Eventim also confirmed the news. Tickets for the Bratislava gig go on sale at 10 am CET on 18th November.

Roxette_in_Bratislava

Facebook event of the show can be found HERE.

Extra Roxette show in South Africa!

Big Concerts has just announced an extra Roxette gig in South Africa. This way the fans can see the band at 5 shows. The additional date is at the end of the South African tour leg, so it closes with 2 shows in Cape Town, both concerts held at the same venue.

  • Johannesburg: 31st January 2016 Ticketpro Dome
  • Durban: 2nd February 2016 ICC Durban Arena
  • Port Elizabeth: 5th February 2016 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Outer Fields
  • Cape Town: 7th February 2016 Grand Arena, GrandWest
  • Cape Town: 8th February 2016 Grand Arena, GrandWest

Big Concerts Facebook update about the extra date:

Cape Town – an additional date has been added for Roxette on their celebrated world tour ‘XXX – The 30th Anniversary Tour’. This new date on 8th February 2016 at the Grand Arena, GrandWest has a smaller capacity offering fans the chance to see Roxette up close in an intimate venue.

Tickets are already on sale HERE.

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Roxette confirmed the news in THIS post.

Even better positions on the charts for Marie Fredriksson’s biography

Marie’s biography, Kärleken till livet reached even better positions on the charts during last week vs. a week ago. The story told by Marie herself, the promo the book gets via reviews and Helena von Zweigbergk’s media appearances, as well as her enthusiastic talking about the book at book shops and at the book fair in Gothenburg make many people buy the biography both in Sweden and in the rest of the world.

Actual positions:

Ginza book audio book

No. 2 among all books!!! (No. 1 last week.)
The audio book is No. 7 on the list of best selling books. (No. 8 last week.)

Adlibris book e-book audio book

No. 5 among all books! (No. 7 last week.)
Here you could order a limited number of signed copies if you live in Sweden or ordered the book to a Swedish address where you could pick it up. The book is nicely signed by Marie and Helena.

CDON book audio book

No. 10 among newly published books (No. 16 last week.)
No. 9 in non-fiction category (No. 12 last week.)

Bokus book e-book audio book

No. 5 among biographies!!! (No. 20 last week.)

Bokon e-book

No. 29 among all e-books (No. 31 last week.)
(You can also read a short part of the book here.)

Congrats to Marie and Helena!

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Helena von Zweigbergk & Marie Fredriksson Photo by Mattias Edwall

Marie Fredriksson’s biography entered the charts

ktl_3dKärleken till livet, Marie’s biography was published on 7th October. At least this is the date most sites promoted and this is the date till which we could see the countdown on Marie’s Facebook page. However, the publishing company, Piratförlaget still has 14th October on their website. It seems that most shops and webshops already got the book and shipped them to those who ordered it even from abroad. If you ordered it, but haven’t found it in your mailbox yet, keep calm, it will surely reach you one of these days.

The book entered several charts and it’s not even a week ago since it’s out. The positions show high interest in Ms. Fredriksson’s biography. Not only in Sweden, but also around the world. Look at Ginza! Imagine the sales figures if the book is translated into English and other languages! 😉

 

Ginza book audio book

No. 1 among all books!!!
The audio book is No. 8 on the list of best selling books, however, here it’s released on 16th October.

Adlibris book e-book audio book

No. 7 among all books!
Here you could order a limited number of signed copies if you live in Sweden or ordered the book to a Swedish address where you could pick it up. The book is nicely signed by Marie and Helena.

CDON book audio book

No. 16 among newly published books
No. 12 in non-fiction category

Bokus book e-book audio book

No. 20 among biographies

Bokon e-book

No. 31 among all e-books
(You can also read a short part of the book here.)

 

Congrats to Marie and Helena for reaching such nice positions on the charts! Looking forward to next week’s results!

Per Gessle in Tack för musiken?

Niklas Strömstedt posted a photo on his Instagram account some hours ago with this text: ”Tack för musiken…originalet. Stay tuned!” This is pure awesomeness!

Marie Fredriksson was a guest of the show in 2013 and when Niklas had a Q&A session on AskFM on 21st January 2014, I asked him which part of Tack för musiken with Marie he liked the most and I couldn’t help asking the question if he was planning to invite Per in the future to his show. He said he liked it very much when Marie was singing Sparvöga and to the Q regarding Per he replied ”well…, we will see”. Then seeing the list of guests of the 2014 series I was a bit sad that Mr. G wasn’t there, but now this instapic of the guys looks very promising.

The episode with Marie was incredibly fantastic. Read our summary of the show HERE. For that Tack för musiken we were able to apply for tickets to be in the audience and Marie was very happy to see some familiar faces in the front when the show was recorded in August 2013. Now it seems this option didn’t exist or at least we haven’t heard about it, because for sure there was an audience. It would have been cool to attend such a fab TV recording. If we are talking about it in past tense. But what if it’s a future happening? Fingers crossed!

In 2013 the recordings happened in August-September and the first episodes were broadcast in December. It’s not yet published when the next series of Tack för musiken will be on air on Swedish TV, but hopefully, it is announced very soon and we can watch it still this year. It’s already too exciting to think about what songs Per will perform live and who will be his guests in the show. If it’s really a complete episode about him and he wasn’t ”just” a guest for some other artist. Haha. But no. That’s impossible. He surely has a complete show. Or is this pic about Tack för musiken, the show at all? Or was it a real music show Per and Niklas attended last night (Peter Jöback & Helen Sjöholm’s I Love Musicals maybe) and Niklas just commented the pic with “thanks for the music” referring to that event? Oh, well… Too many “or”-s and “if”-s. 😉 Looking forward to some more details, aren’t we?

Oct 11th morning update: Niklas deleted the photo, which makes it even more interesting. Hm. And it seems that the event last night was Marie’s book release party. 🙂

 

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Pic by Niklas Strömstedt (Instagram)

 

Marie Fredriksson’s biography on Swedish TV

As we posted about it yesterday, journalist Tara Moshizi talked about Marie’s book in SVT’s morning program yesterday. Today it was Helena von Zweigbergk’s turn. She was invited to the same morning show on SVT, Gomorron Sverige and the reporter did a nice interview with her about the book. HERE you can watch it, but unfortunately, only if you live in Sweden. The important part starts at 1:23:13 and lasts until 1:35:09. 12 minutes about Marie on one of Sweden’s biggest TV channels sounds good, right?

At the beginning of the part about Ms. Fredriksson, the program leaders show the book itself, then there are some footage from Marie’s early live performances, Roxette’s Joyride video and Marie’s Skavlan TV show (2013) live performance.

Then the reporter starts talking to Helena. She tells about the title ”Kärleken till livet” that it was Marie’s idea. She was thinking about it for quite a long time, then one day when she was on tour with Roxette in Australia, she just came up with it and was very happy about it. To both Marie and Helena it felt like being the perfect title for the biography.

Helena also talks about how she was first hesitating about writing the book, but when she talked to Marie she realized how much Marie wants to tell the story about her life, without faffing around. While they were working together on the book, they became friends. They had a hard time writing the book, but also much fun.

The program leader asks about how popular Marie is internationally and Helena tells Roxette is incredibly huge and Marie gets so much love from the fans and she is really a loved artist.

Helena talks then mostly about what’s in the book and how they were writing it together. A little about how Marie grew up, her family, how Marie met Per and their work together, how Marie and Micke met and how happy Marie was about it, etc.

She says Marie is a strong and weak person at the same time, but when she is sitting on stage, she is sitting there like a queen and all the fans are just cheering her on.

It was a very nice interview and hearing more and more how Helena is talking about Marie and the book itself, it definitely seems that she was the best person to choose to cooperate on this long-awaited biography.

Here are some stills from the morning show. The older pics are probably taken from the book.

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mf-003  mf-004

mf-005  mf-006

mf-007  mf-008

mf-009  mf-010

mf-011  mf-012

Thanx for the hint regarding the interview, Anja Hoppe!

Per Gessle’s Italy

As we already informed you about it approximately a month ago, Per appeared on the cover of the latest issue of Sweden’s biggest magazine about Italy, Solo Italia.

solo_italia_01The magazine contains 10 pages about Per Gessle’s Italy. The article is written by Lars Nordin, a dear friend to Per and Åsa and the photos included are also taken by him. When I saw Lars in Milan at the Roxette concert in May, I wouldn’t have thought he was going to publish an article about the show, as well as tons of Italy-related details connected to Per Gessle. It’s a really nice reading and great to see some older (Capri 1994) and new pics attached, too. Thanks a lot for that to Mr. Nordin.

In the article Lars Nordin writes about how awesome and magical the Roxette gig was in Milan, that everyone was standing during the whole show and the seats remained unused. He writes about the goosebumps moments of sing-alongs, how excellent Marie was and for him, seeing many Roxette shows before The Look in Milan sounded the best so far. He also writes about the deafening cheering of the crowd when Marie and Per left the stage and turned back for a last waving goodbye. After the show they (Lars & Co., i.e. some Ferrari fans) met Per in the lounge.

solo_italia_03From the article you get to know Mr. G’s Italian favourites. He says that besides Asian meals, Italian food is his fave. He likes that you often get the ingredients separated: cheese, olive oil, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, etc. One of his most favourite meals is Veal Milanese (Vitello Milanese) with spinach and a little spaghetti, garlic and oil on the side. VM is what he has on his plate on the pic on the right.

Regarding fashion, Per mentions he has no Italian brands he is following closely. Gut feeling is there not only when it comes to songs, but also when it comes to shopping. Right now he wears a lot of Yves Saint Laurent and last year he thought Rick Owens was good for him and his [I quote him] ”weird body”. If Italian, he thinks Costume National almost always do some cool stuff.

We already know Per thinks Italian wines are fantastic and he gives a list of some great regions and wines: Tuscany, Ornellaia, Masseto, Solaia, Sassicaia, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino.

In Solo Italia Per talks about his favourite Italian cities. Florence and Venice are the top for him, but Milan is fab for shopping clothes and interior stuff. Rome is wonderful with all the stunning architecture. The album cover of Mazarin was photographed there by Anton Corbijn. He likes Lake Como and Lake Garda and mentions the Roxette recordings in Capri in 1994.

Six weeks in the sun. In addition, I won the tennis tournament. Grazie.

solo_italia_02Per when asked about Italian artists, he mentions da Vinci as a classic, but also Modigliani and Fontana. And he says one half of Gilbert & George is Italian, too. Regarding Italian movies, he tells Fellini’s films are still good. He is gladly watching them on a rainy Sunday.

Besides Ferrari, Per finds Pagani and Alfa Romeo nice. He says cars are mostly about the design for him. His fave Ferrari F1 racers are / were Gilles Villeneuve, Kimi Räikkönen and Schumacher.

In the article which was probably written in May, the new album is still mentioned to be out in November. Now we know it’s out a bit later.

The Per Gessle Selection, at least 2 wines from the set, namely Kurt & Lisa and Furet can’t be left out from such an article. Both wines are Italian, from Tuscany and they are the result of a cooperation between Mr. G and Marilisa Allegrini. Per talks about both wines and at Kurt & Lisa he explains it’s the name of his parents.

Both of them taught me early to appreciate the good in life.

When he tells Furet is the name of that part of Halmstad where he was born, he says:

There thrived my passion for fine pop music, neat hairdos and ingenious football feints.

 

All photos in the Solo Italia article © Lars Nordin.

Roxette rocked the National Stadium in Warsaw

It turned out already some days after Roxette’s very successful Warsaw gig in June that they would play in Poland’s capital once again in 2015. What also turned out quite fast is that the concert was announced as a corporate event, the 25th anniversary of Inter Cars. The company planned to celebrate with a huge party in the National Stadium in Warsaw, inviting their best clients. Besides other Polish artists, they thought Roxette is the band they should invite as well for such a milestone celebration in their history.

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Pic by Patrícia Peres

The venue is quite huge. Approximately 60,000 people fit in the stadium, so we thought there would surely be enough space for some hardcore Roxers even if they are not clients of the company. We tried to move every stone to get invitations, contacted the headquarters in Warsaw, checked the possibilities with their affiliates in several cities in Poland, as well as the local Inter Cars affiliates in other countries. We even tried our best to contact clients of Inter Cars to find out if there are any invitations left to offer them for Roxers. Trying to contact the company as a fan or as RoxetteBlog, from Poland or from abroad didn’t help. They seemed to be strict and refused any queries, insisting on the fact that the gala was for their clients only. To cut a long story short, some Polish fans – Basia Konarzewska and our RoxBlog team mate Tomasz Wysocki among them – managed to obtain some client invitations, so a handful of Roxers could attend the party in the end. We’re all very grateful to those who helped. Some of us could even manage to change their seated tickets to standing ones, however, there was a golden circle, which was too big and only VIP people could enter it. So most of the hardcore fans ended up either in the front of the normal standing area or in the seats at different sectors more in the back of the stadium. Anyway, even Christoffer said they were not allowed to invite guests, so they were surprised we could manage to get tickets and hearing this we were proud of that.

When the gig was announced we thought the band would play 2-3 songs or maybe 5-6, because they were announced as “the icing on the cake”. Then there were rumours it might be a complete concert, so we started hoping for the festival setlist. The agenda Inter Cars shared some days before the event confirmed there should be a 1.5-hour-long Rox show.

Before the gala started, Per went up on stage to check it at around 18:45 for 1 minute. While he was going backstage, some staff members or Inter Cars employees stopped him to ask for autographs. He of course signed what they wanted.

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Pic by Patrícia Peres

Not long before the celebration started at 20:00, a bat flied in and tried to find his way out desperately. We hope he managed. Before Roxette we saw 7-8 other Polish artists (bands and dancers), as well as some company-related interviews and we heard company speeches, too. The stage set looked awesome and for a 25th anniversary it was a very impressive gala. Actually, the stage was so high that in the VIP golden circle you couldn’t see all parts of it very well, but all other standing and seated spots were too far from the stage. So I couldn’t say there was a perfect spot in the stadium.

What we realized already during the other acts was that there were many cameras filming the crowd and the stage from different angles. There were also huge screens, so at least everyone could see what was happening on the stage.

Each perfomer had the time they had left shown on a monitor in front of them, but several artists didn’t finish their little gig (the plan was 15 minute per performer) in time. Because of that Roxette got on stage 20-25 minutes later than planned, some minutes after 23:00 (instead of the planned 22:40). We started worrying about the setlist being cut shorter. The Roxette crew got 20 minutes to rearrange the stage and they did a good job, as usual. During these 20 minutes all countries’ representatives where Inter Cars is present were called up to the stage. We would have loved to see the crew doing their job instead though.

Our time had come and Marie, Per and the band kicked off their performance with Sleeping In My Car. Despite the huge Inter Cars stage set with all the screens they used their own stage set, the one from the XXX tour, keeping only the 2 huge screens on the 2 sides of the stage. They used 3 blinds from the 5, which was a bit strange, because the stage was really huge, so 5 would have fitted more. But it still looked OK.

There was a 1-month-long break between the last show and yesterday’s appearance, so Marie had her time to rest and you could see it did her good. She was in a very good mood, smiling all the time, walking quite good with BoJo up and down the stage. Her voice was the most powerful during Listen To Your Heart. The ending of the song sounded fantastic again.

We discussed it’s maybe because of the huge stage or because of the fact that we saw the whole thing from a larger distance, but Per wasn’t as active as usual. He was of course bouncing from one part of the stage to the other and animating the crowd, doing his circles during Joyride for example, but even the guitar fights with Chris seemed to be less than we got used to.

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Pic by Patrícia Peres

What we missed very much by standing / sitting further away from the stage is definitely seeing their faces, their facial expressions from a closer distance, because watching them on the screens is not the same. Being far away from the stage you might think you can’t miss a thing, because you see the whole stage at once, but actually, you seem to miss more by looking at the screen on the left, then realizing something else what’s not on the screen is happening on the stage, so you look there, but the faces are tiny, so you try to check the screens again if they show Marie or Per with a close-up… Oh well… This distance is not really for the hardcore fans. You totally miss the emotional part, not mentioning the eye contacts.

The sound of the stadium wasn’t the best of all. Roxette sounded good, but sometimes the sound echoed, which was quite strange. Another crappy thing was that the crowd couldn’t be heard at all. Even if we were singing along Spending My Time, no one could hear it. The band didn’t hear us, so they got confused how to move on with the song. After the usual singing along part was over, Per didn’t really know if he should say anything to the mic if it was fantastic or what, because he didn’t hear anything. Marie got also confused and didn’t start singing again. Per realized something wasn’t OK, so he walked back to Marie, miming her how the song goes on and then she got it and SMT was continued after long seconds of silence. It was a bit better at faster songs, but our It Must Have Been Love sing-along was the same silent and Per again wasn’t sure about telling anything about it and our nanananas during The Look or ”She rox you like a baby” during Joyride wasn’t the same powerful as at any other shows. Have to mention the balloon thing. We had some with us, but it took like 3-5 seconds for them to disappear after we released them. The wider crowd didn’t have a clue what to do with them.

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Pic by Patrícia Peres

Regarding the setlist, they skipped 3 songs from the latest wider setlist: Crash! Boom! Bang!, The Heart Shaped Sea and Watercolours In The Rain / Paint. Fortunately, they kept Crush On You in. Woohoo! It was funny enough that we didn’t realize CBB was left out until we had a nice chat with Jakob (Christoffer’s technician) after the show. We insisted on they left out only THSS and WITR/Paint when he said there was one more song. We looked at each other… the hardcores… it can’t be, then he said CBB and we face-palmed ourselves… Haha. Well, we were happy about hearing the more powerful songs, skipping some slower ballads.

There were some funny moments when for example Marie asked the crowd before It Must Have Been Love: ”Are you feeling good?” There was a little crowd reaction confirming we felt good, but certainly it wasn’t too powerful. Marie anyway said into the mic: ”Good!” Then Per started with his usual talk before IMHBL (hairdos, shoulder pads etc.), but this time out of the blue he added Samantha Fox after Milli Vanilli and Modern Talking as ’80s bands. The cutest was when before Marie started singing the song, they held each other’s hands. Too lovely. You can watch the talking and the hand-holding moment in THIS video.

The catwalk wasn’t used very often, but Per and Chris went there doing their guitar fights sometimes. One of those ”fights” you can watch in THIS video, the ending of She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio). Dea and Magnus went to the catwalk only at the end of The Look, while Chris went off the stage to play the guitar down there at the golden circle part of the stadium.

The catwalk was also a ”pick catcher”… Most of the plectrums Per was throwing landed on the catwalk ground, so they never reached anyone. 1-2 picks flew to the VIP crowd, not too many.

By the way, we tried to go to the golden circle part of the crowd area, but the security team didn’t let us go, not even for the last 2 songs. The strange thing was that the show being a corporate gig and that all other acts didn’t come back after they left the stage, a huge part of the crowd wasn’t prepared for Roxette coming back, so they started leaving the stadium. When Marie, Per and the band came back, we looked behind us and there were only ”a few” people left in the standing area and the seats were almost all empty in the back… Oh my… It was an interesting experience. Never mind, we enjoyed the last 2 songs very much regardless.

At the end Marie thanked twice saying: ”Thank you!” ”Thank you very much to all of you!” and Per said they hope to meet us somewhere down the road and take care of each other. By this time there was much smoke in the air, because the organizers were already being prepared for the laser show, so we couldn’t see Marie and Per for the last goodbye wave very well… The laser show was useless anyway, because only a few hundreds of people stayed until the very end of the show.

Per says there were 25-30,000 people, but the organizers said there were appr. 45,000 in the arena and seeing the crowd, knowing the max. capacity is appr. 60k, we thought 45k fitted indeed.

Åsa was there filming and she mostly filmed at the VIP area. Micke Lindström came to film to the normal standing area, but filmed the stage only as we could see. Looking forward to some videos to appear on Roxette’s Facebook page. There might be some dancing to Rox songs vids, because many in the VIP area were dancing with each other. Nice, but this way they totally missed what was happening on the stage.

Per’s comment after the corporate boogaloo:

WARSAW UPDATE: Oh yeah! Very late gig in front of approx 40.000* beautiful people at the National Stadium in Warsaw. We certainly had a blast. Great vibe and most folks knew all the songs. Thanx Warsaw, thanx Poland. We love to play here! Hope to see y’all soon again. RoxAir back to Sweden. /P
PS. Pic by Micke N-S

*Per wrote “approx 25-30.000 beautiful people” first, but some hours later (after he shared this article) he edited the text of his post and the number became 40.000. /PP

The next stop is… Who knows? In a post sharing this company event Per teased us with a comment that there might be something else announced for this year:

Yep, could be the last Rox concert this year. Might pop up something else as well. Will let you know, folks! /P.

What’s that? A New Year’s Eve party maybe? No clue, but it would be awesome! We just hope the location will be easy to reach and tickets will be easy to obtain. Soooo, Per, share the date and place with us asap, please! 😉

Setlist

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Maya The Bee theme song – same as on the June gig)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look