This is a very personal blog post to thank David Bowie for the music and for the inspiration.
As you probably now, David Bowie passed away on January 10th. It was a sad day for music world and everybody was very shocked. As for me, I had been listening to “Blackstar“, his new album which had been released on January 8th, the whole weekend. I had been looking forward to it since the first single was out in November (and some teasers the year before). And finally on “release Friday” there it was. It felt fresh, new, jazzy, I loved the drums!, the voice, the lyrics were mysterious again but felt defying, intriguing, strong. Sad too. I found the videos to Blackstar and Lazarus very mysterious and at times disturbing and sad. But I just thought it was his way to shock and be artistic in his way.
Monday morning I woke up humming one of the tunes, Lazarus. And then I just read the post on Facebook about him passing away. I was like what? No, NO, he just released an album. Can’t be. Like many others, I checked Twitter, news, comments of fans, the majority not believing it and thought the FB account had been hacked, that it was a hoax and bad joke. Minutes later his son Duncan confirmed it on Twitter. And all the pieces from his album fell into place, suddenly.
And since then I have been in a strange state. Shocked, thoughtful, sad, in disbelief, kind of lost, grieving. And I have spent hours trying to find out why. Probably there is no clear answer, just some thoughts that I had to put down in writing in a way to say thank you. For the influence, music, inspiration, artistry, love for music, innovation, daring to be different…
I actually got into Bowie’s music “for real” back in 2012 when he released “Where are we now?” from the then upcoming album “The Next Day”. I don’t remember how I read/heard about the release of the album, somebody (Per?) must have posted it on FB, or maybe I just saw it on Spotify. I was fascinated by the single, what a strong song, what lyrics, the voice, how the instruments fit together. Magic. So I then started to listen to his other albums. Sure, I knew many of the songs, but most of it was new to me. It was then that a new world opened up for me.
Bowie had always been in my life in a way or another. On one hand, I remember he was on TV, the Freddy Mercury tribute, but I guess I didn’t understand him back then, maybe was too young or thought he was weird, because I really didn’t listen to his music besides the known singles. But at the same time, I felt fascination, respect because he dared to be like that.
On the other hand, he was present mainly because I got to hear about him through my (music) heroes (Marie, Eva D, Per) and other artists that have impacted/inspired me (Nirvana/Kurt Cobain, Melissa Etheridge, Europe, to mention some). My favourite artists mentioned him here and there, whenever they talked about their youth, their roots. They count him as a big influence when they grew up, when they started to make music. I remember comments from Per and Eva the most. I cannot repeat the exact words, but it felt like for both he seemed to be a (the?) reference person for daring to be how they were back in the 70ies, 80ies. Seemed to be the one who helped them accept to be different, themselves. Just how they have helped me. This is how I see it at least (see at the bottom for a collection of references/tributes to David Bowie by Per and other artists).
When you listen to his music you understand why, or at least you can try. If now his music sounds (still) daring and even innovative, imagine how it must have sounded back in the 70ies and 80ies. And what it must have been to hold albums like Space Oddity, Aladdin Sane or Hunky Dory in your hands, play them. Not to talk about his outfits and looks. Pure innovation and reinvention. And as his last album showed us, until the end. I would dare to say that he has experiemented with all styles of music one can think of and more. So with time I realised that David Bowie had inspired as many artists as The Beatles have. In general, if you listen to Bowie’s discography, one cannot help but find similar sounds, references, inspiration in the music done by other artists.
And I also realised some years ago that indirectly he is an important part of my life, too. And in this state of mind one starts to think… without Bowie, what would they have developed into? Would they be who they are now? Would they have done the music they have done? And would they have touched me so deeply with their music as they have?
His death was so sudden. He had released an album just a few days before. It turned out, only his closest ones knew about his fight against cancer, so for many people it was a shock. And when one thinks of it, for the public, for the fans, he left the same way he had been surprising and shocking with his music. And he was ahead of us, again. One last time. To quote his producer Tony Visconti:
He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life — a work of art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.
There are a few (must-read) articles talking about his last creations (the album Blackstar, two videos and the musical Lazarus). He lived for music through and through. And this is one of the things about music and artists that touches me the most.
Of course, my thoughts go to his family and friends. But also to my favourite artist. I wonder how they must be feeling. And I cannot avoid thinking of how I felt back in 2002 when Marie was diagnosed with cancer or Melissa Etheridge some years later – luckily they are still with us!! – Or when some very dear friend/family member has left. It’s just a void you cannot explain and – at least for me – regardless how much time passes by, it doesn’t go away, it just becomes bearable.
Thank you for the music and the inspiration and also the influence on my favourite artists.
David Bowie inspired…
Here is just a collection of references to David Bowie by some of my favourite bands / artists (that have and keep inspiring me) that have touched me through the years and this last week.
Patrícia has posted on RXB references to David Bowie by Per, who has also been posting videos and interviews these past days:
Of course, Gyllene Tider’s song “Åh Ziggy Stardust (var blev du av?) from 1980 – in fact I hear a bit of Bowie/Ziggy on the Gyllene Tider album.
Joey Tempest from Europe also mentioned some months ago in an interview that David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” inpired him to write “The Final Countdown”.
One of the performances that I remember very well from back in the 90ies was Nirvana‘s “The Man Who Sold The World”. I used to listen to Nirvana a lot back then and I loved the Unplugged from December 93, one of my favourite performances was their cover of Bowie’s song. Kurt’s death was probably the first of my idols leaving us, I remember that void very well, also because it was the time Crash! Boom! Bang! was released and helped me through it (and other issues) and kept my mind busy with other things.
Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Melissa Etheridge (listen to her words before she plays!) have covered David Bowie songs this week:
Recently Efva Attling also launched earrings inspired by Bowie, the Ziggy earrings.
It has also been very touching to see fans gathering in various cities to celebrate him and pay tribute to him. Not to mention that my wall has been full of David Bowie articles, videos, pictures, for the past week. Belgian astronomers have registered a constellation dedicated to him (you can add your comments here). His album Blackstar has entered #1 in many charts across the globe, including Billboard and UK. Also many of his albums have entered at different # in various charts (for example, 19 of his albums entered the UK charts) too and have been partly the most streamed these days. Just shows the impact of this iconic musician/singer/songwriter/ARTist/actor etc.
2015 was once again a year full of releases, concerts, travelling, meetings, happy faces… everything a fan could wish for.
In January we got a sneak peek of the newly built and designed stage that would be premiered a few weeks later. February brought Roxette to New Zealand (finally!) and Australia. Back in February we heard that the new Roxette album would be out in autumn 2015. Well, we already know that the release of the album has been postponed a few times and it seems 2016 will be the year! When? Let’s hope we will get some news in a few weeks. In February, some more dates were announced for summer 2015 too.
In April we got to know who would make our waiting time before a concert shorter and fun: Eskobar! I was personally very happy that Eskobar were chosen as supporting act for Roxette’s European leg of the tour. I have liked this band since early 2000 and it was about time to see them live! It turned out to be a great decision. Roxette fans loved the 3 guys, we hear some have started a fanclub….
The tour in Europe kicked off on May 10th in Milan and took the band to 20 countries (including Faroe Islands!) with a total of 36 concerts between May and August (including a cancelled one in Mainz) plus 2 corporate concerts, one in September in Poland and one in November in Stockholm. The cover of Marie’s book was revealed and we published an interview with Pelle and Eskobar.
Also we found out that Roxette Diaries – a documentary of Roxette done by Jonas Åkerlund with old recordings from late 80ies and early 90ies – would be released soon. The premiere took place in Göteborg in August and later on, it was revealed that the documentary will be released on DVD in March 2016.
The (digital) new version of the super hit was released on 17th of July, right on time when Roxette was about to bring the tour to Sweden. The remake was recorded as part of Kappahl’s campaign and remixed by Addeboy vs Cliff. A video of the making of the song was also released. A 7″ vinyl was released later in August.
In August the tour ended in Drammen, Norway, with a very special concert with many fans from around the world. But we would not have time to get bored, since the dates for South Africa were announced. The PLECtionary was updated once again. As we mentioned before, Roxette Diaries movie was premiered on August 14th in Göteborg.
In September the promotion of Marie’s biography “Kärleken till livet” started. The co-author Helena von Zweigbergk, visited the Göteborg book fair to talk about the book and give some signing sessions. An interview with Marie and articles about Marie and the book could be found on the major Swedish newspapers/magazines around the time the book was released (October 10th). Roxette played in a corporate concert in Warsaw, which despite the difficulties to get a ticket, some fans managed to attend. Also “Some Other Summer” by Sebastien Drums was released. This song is actually composed by Per, and the single released by Sebastien Drums is even sung by Per (and a few backing vocals by Marie). According to Per, the “original version” of “Some Other Summer” will be included in Roxette’s upcoming album.
More 2016 tour dates were announced in November. To our surprise… for Europe! Everybody was expecting South/North America, and maybe a handfull of shows in Europe. But so far we already counted 11 concerts, and rumours have it that there are more to come! According to the information available so far, the first concert we know of will be on June 3rd in Switzerland. The last one on the list is on September 11th, in Moscow. Tickets for all the shows are already on sale, so hurry up! Roxette gave the last concert of the year at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, a corporate concert for Tele2 (telecommunications operator) customers and other invited guests.
Marie gave a signing session in Stockholm on December 5th. On the same day, an interview with her and Helena was broadcast on TV4 Nyhetsmorgon. Many fans travelled to Stockholm for the chance to say hi to Marie and get the book signed personally by her.
As I am finishing writing this article one thing (Aretha Franklin’s performance yesterday at Kennedy Center Honors, if you are interested) brought me to another (Aretha’s influence on Marie, which made me think of I Never Loved a Man) and I ended up listening to Roxette’s MTV Unplugged from 1993. Yes, recorded almost 23 years ago!
If one would ask me what would make the 30th anniversary of Roxette in 2016 very special my answer would be, loud and clear: an (or more) unplugged show.
Of course, looking very much forward to Roxette’s tour in Europe, something that came very much unexpected. And one can only feel thankful. That is the world I would choose for all what is happening. I am thankful it IS happening and I can experience it. With a small break in between in 2013, we have been able to see Roxette live almost every year since 2009.
What will happen in 2016? Here is a schedule of what we know so far:
June (?) – September (?): Tour in Europe is planned
Roxette turns 30!
Somewhen in 2016: a new album should be out soon. Per mentioned some days ago on FB that it’s almost done! (and Christoffer is very busy mixing!)
A big thanks once again to all of you reading us, sharing our articles (thanks Per!), joining our discussions on FB, for the hints, sharing your experiences in articles on our website.. thanks for your support! And from me big thanks to the RXB team, it wouldn’t be possible without you! We’ve had some issues this year with the servers (especially because the site doesn’t stop growing) so I’ve been kinda busy trying to solve that and some other tech-stuff in the background, so I feel so lucky to count on such a great team, thank you Patrícia, Kirsten, Tomasz and Sascha for the articles, brainstorming, ideas, laughs, meetings, experiences etc etc.
Ticketcorner notified those who asked for a ticket alarm that Roxette will perform at Stars of Sounds festival in Switzerland next year. The concert will take place in Murten, on 3rd June. Tickets are already on sale HERE.
The South African leg of Roxette’s XXX tour was announced in August with 4 concerts, but already in October an extra date had to be added, because Cape Town on 7th February became sold out. The extra date is 8th February and it’s the same venue in Cape Town, just the arena will be fully seated for the 2nd show.
Today Big Concerts not only announced that the support act joining Roxette will be Watershed, a South African acoustic rock band from Johannesburg, but also the fact that the tour leg opening concert in Johannesburg is also sold out.
So 2 shows out of 5 are sold out! Sounds great and there is still time to buy tickets for the other 3 gigs to make them sold out as well. 😉
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.
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.
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!
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.
1. Sleeping In My Car
2. Dressed For Success
4. How Do You Do!
5. Joyride (intro: Gyllene Tider – Ljudet av ett annat hjärta)
6. Listen To Your Heart
7. The Look
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.
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.
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
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.
Musik Mot Cancer (Music Against Cancer) has organised an auction to raise money for Barncancerfonden Väst (Childhood cancer foundation west) and the children’s department of the hospital in Norra Älvsborg this year again. The non-profit organisation has collected items signed by celebrities once again that will be auctioned in an event that will take place on November 8th, 2015 in Trollhättan starting at 16:00 CET (details here).
If you cannot attend the event, you can also bid online live during the event. For that you would need to register beforehand here. And you can already place your bids via the online auction page.
The following Per and Marie items are being auctioned. More items may be added soon:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 😉
Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
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
Joyride (intro: Maya The Bee theme song – same as on the June gig)
As Per confirmed it a couple of weeks ago, one of the new songs off the upcoming Roxette album will be out in a French DJ’s interpretation before we have the chance to hear the original version. Sebastien Drums, who says it’s ”a pleasure to work with legends”, posted a pic on Instagram at the end of July showing his monitor how he was finishing Some Other Summer.
One month later he also posted about shooting a video for this new track where he used the original Roxette vocals, but remixed the song itself.
The video clip of my new track featuring Roxette is done. Such a good experience! Big thanks to the entire team ( director, drone operator, actors, etc ). Bye bye IBIZA !! Cant wait to see the final result
Hopefully, the video will be checked by Roxette before it’s out and there won’t be any similar issues to the ones with the Heikki L video. Well, at least Per shared SD’s post about the shooting with this text:
YEP, Good luck with the video, Seb!!
For all you curious ones… SD has made his own interpretation of one of the new Rox songs (you’ll find the “original” version on the new Rox album early next year) and we think it sounds really cool. Badabam, P.
So sadly, we can listen to the original version only early next year.
We’ve been expecting a Sebastien Drums single to be released and it’s surely still a plan, we just don’t know any exact date for the single and the video releases. Now it turned out the track will also be included in a big DJ project. According to Warner, a double CD with the title DJs – Die neuen Superstars will be released on 25th September. Some Other Summer is on CD1 as Track 18 – Sebastien Drums feat. Roxette and it will be 3:13 long. Here you can see the front and back covers of the CD.
It seems to be an even bigger project, since there will also be a long documentary under the same title as the CD on German VOX TV on 3rd October. Besides many other DJs (e.g. David Guetta, Avicii), Sebastien had also been interviewed for the docu, but probably, he talks only about his own DJ stuff there.
The double CD with the DJ version of Some Other Summer on it you can buy on Amazon.de and the track can be bought in mp3 as well. Available from 25th September. German iTunes has listed it, too and there you can listen to a 1.5-minute-long snippet, so you can judge yourself how it sounds. An Ibiza video will absolutely fit it.
Looking forward to hearing the original version with hopefully more Roxette-ish sound!
Judith: Since it was a special show for us and there is so much to tell… we decided to write this review together. So please bear with us. It may be a bit longer than usual. 😉
PP: The last show of the European tour leg was a festival gig in Drammen, Norway. We were all afraid of having a very short concert because of other artists also being present at the festival, even after the main act, Roxette, but fortunately, the organizers arranged 2 stages and so the concerts right before and right after our band were at another stage. This way there was no need to hurry with building and getting down the stage, so the setlist wasn’t shortened. Only The Heart Shaped Sea was missing, but we got used to it during other festival shows.
Judith: Also it was about a month I had seen them in Rättvik and there had been just 2 shows since then (Faroe and Vasa) so I wondered how they would be after a “break” or bigger breaks in between. The weeks before we realised many fans were travelling to the ‘last’ show so I was sure it would be a party.
PP: It’s also a rare occasion when at least 3/5 of the RXB Team is there at the same show. This time Judith, Tomasz and me were there to eye- and ear-witness the last European gig and – together with the rest of the whole crowd – we were all blown away by what we saw and heard. It was a perfect ending of this tour leg.
Judith: I didn’t know what to expect, maybe just a great Rox concert as always. But surely not what we experienced. It is hard to find words for it. I felt like at my first Rox concert in Barcelona 1994, an incredible energy but transmitted in a different way. This is probably my #1 of this tour, even though all the others I saw were amazing. Hard to choose, but no need to really. Just need to think of the great memories I am taking home.
Judith: The usual suspects were there very early at the main entrance and started the numbering system, which worked very well (except for two Swedes who didn’t want to be nice but well, there is always that one…). It worked fine in the end for the rest, but one cannot help and wonder why? Was that necessary?
PP: The local newspaper soon got to know about what was going on and went to interview those fans who had been there already from the early morning.
Judith: The reporter was very interested in our story, how many shows we had seen, where we come from, how long have we known each other, how do we pay for all the trips, and when she saw the chickens she wondered about them too (watch out for them on videos and more). She wrote a nice piece in the end, I think.
PP: The article with photos was published not much later as we got to know from Polish-Roxer-living-in-Norway Magda Kulinska and during the day those who read it came to ask if we knew how famous we got and that the local media was full of the Roxers. Haha. Surprise, surprise.
This time the waiting period included some creative preparations, too. Some days before the show Judith came up with the idea if we should do something special during the show, since it was the last one for a while. Soon it got decided that it’s actually a huge thank you we want to say to Roxette for this amazing European tour, so we decided for writing ”thank you” on paper in different languages. Thanks for the blue and yellow paper support to Basia Konarzewska. Besides thank you, tack, gracias etc., some fans got more ideas to put on paper. There were many questions from those passing by, who certainly hadn’t read the news and had no clue about who was playing in Drammen that night. They asked why we were there, what band were had been waiting for, etc. When we said it was all about Roxette, they found it cool and showed thumbs up.
Judith: Since everybody passing by was looking and we were working on the signs, I just joked maybe we should put up a sign to ask people passing by to support the next tour. Mind you it was a joke…
PP: Paula Cafiero Högström and Christina Tholander identified themselves with the idea and thought these people might be kind enough to help them and decided to put out the chickens (“Poshos” which is how Argentinians pronounce pollos = chicken) they usually bring to the shows and wrote “Support the next tour” on a paper. They even had a hat for collecting the money, but well, they surely won’t get to another continent from the money collected. It was of course just for fun and we had a good laugh. Álex Usero was very much into Per’s guitar picks, so he created several asking-for-a-PG-pick papers. They looked quite cool including pick drawings and saying ”throw me a pick”. One of them you can see at this link. There were several other short texts, like Marie’s name in a heart, ”Magnus = sex machine”; ”Pelle, I’m in room 69”; ”Per you look great” and ”Per you look sexy” among others. We thought for a last show it could be fun to hold up these papers. Later we tell you how these signs worked.
Judith: Don’t forget the “Pelle = såååå snygg!” one. It was surely fun to make the signs. I think I had never had so much fun waiting at a queue (which I don’t do often…).
PP: The organizers and the security team were very kind and understanding, so they supported us with letting us in a bit earlier to be able to reach our most beloved spots in the front. Huge thanks to them again. Unbelievable that the staff can be so cooperative in another country as well, not only in Sweden.
Judith: Indeed. They were very surprised when they found out about the numbers and saw that we were just sitting there having fun while waiting and not causing any problems. So they helped us back too.
THE BAND BEFORE ROXETTE
PP: No Eskobar, no mix tape. Too cruel this world is. We better don’t even talk about the band that played on the same stage where Roxette performed later. After we got inside the festival area, it was a Norwegian band’s, Razika’s turn to entertain us from 18:45. They looked and sounded like a beginner school band. Vocally and musically they were a bit too far from what we, spoiled Roxers got used to. So most of us were quite happy when they left the stage. At the same time I must admit, there were some locals who could sing along and dance. OK, we had worse before.
Judith: I missed Eskobar too! I danced and clapped with Razika because the tunes weren’t that bad. And I always think… it must be weird to stand on a stage in front of people with poker faces… and I was way too nervous. I needed to get myself busy somehow.
PREPARING THE STAGE FOR ROXETTE
PP: Already when we took a walk around the festival area we realized that not only the stage was very small, but also the place for the crowd. Everything was so close to us. There was only the main stage, no front part where usually Per and Chris are doing their guitar fights. Both Pelle’s drum set and Clarence’s keyboards were set much closer to us, they weren’t placed as much in the back as normally. It was only when Marie’s chair and mic stand, as well as the heater, plus Per’s mic stand were put to their places we realized how close they would be to us. It was only 2-3 meters between Marie & Per and the front row.
Judith: That didn’t make us feel calmer, did it? The whole thing was getting better and better! Funny how we all felt so excited as if we had never seen Rox live before! And that it was common, not just me.
PP: This time Micke N-S, Per’s technician wasn’t there, so Micke Lindström prepared the guitars and plectrums for Per. Besides the red acoustic picks, the white Touched by the hand of Per and the white Pop til you drop picks were put on the stand. By the time the stage was ready, we were all too excited. We couldn’t really explain why, but it felt completely the same as if it was the first show. Strange that most of us, coming from different countries (Germany, Spain, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Russia, the UK, Finland, Sweden, Norway, etc.) seeing the band at several shows during this tour, all felt the same ROXcitement. It was harder and harder to wait for the show to begin.
ROXETTE, THE MAIN ACT
PP: When the band came to the stage, the crowd went wild and screamed and shouted already during the intro. Then they started playing Sleeping In My Car and no one could stop us anymore.
Marie recognized many familiar faces in the front during The Big L. and she waved to them. She was all smiles during the whole show and you could see she had so much energy she could be touring forever. She was acting a lot, her gestures were priceless and her facial expressions, too. Her voice charmed us again. And again. And again. She’s the top she’s got the world on a string, she makes us boogie makes us do anything. Yea yea.
Judith: It is just incredible to see. For us who saw the first shows in Milan or Barcelona. And even in the middle of the tour. So much energy! It is really hard to describe, but anyone who knows Marie probably knows what we mean. But this goes for the others too. It felt like a magical interaction with everybody, everywhere you looked you could see happy faces all around. Biig biiig smiles! Our belly and face muscles felt sore afterwards of so much laughing/smiling.
PP: Mister Duracell Bunny Per didn’t have much space to bounce around on this very small stage, but he found the way to let his incredible amount of energy spread. He did more circles and more Gessle choreography including new moves even. Killer moves, killer voice, killer guitar-playing. What else could you ask for? Eye contact! We got that, too! On a side note, Per’s black nail polish disappeared. Whatever happened to it.
In between the songs they talked in Swedish, just like on their Trondheim concert. Norwegian and Swedish are very close, so they can understand each other’s languages very well.
Before playing Crush On You, the chat between Per and Magnus started the same way as usual, Per mentioning Magnus’s fave Rox album is not Look Sharp! or Joyride, but Have A Nice Day. Magnus being a better actor and more of a stand-up comedy guy, this time he didn’t reply his all time fave Roxette album is Baladas en español, but he was joking it’s ”High Over The Borderline”, a common album of Roxette and A-ha which had Marie and Morten on the front and Per, Magne and Paul on its backside.
Before the show started, with Mariana Gumuzio we decided that if Per appears on stage in white, we put up our signs already at the beginning of the concert, but if not, then it’s Crush On You when we should use them. So the song started and we held up our signs. Mariana got ”Per you look great”, which Per recognized and smiled at it and I got ”Per you look sexy”, which was recognized by Åsa and she showed thumbs up for that and even filmed it. Let’s see if Per feels sexy enough to post that video. 😉 Anyway, always nice to see a proud wife how Åsa is of his hot man. She shot a lot of videos again and while shooting she was singing along and even dancing a bit. She’s too cool!
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint sounded awesome in Drammen. Actually, was there any city where it didn’t sound awesome? Marie and Dea = a wonderful combo. They got a very loud applause and screams from the crowd.
The audience got into complete party mood after Fading Like A Flower. How Do You Do! made people jump and dance even more. It Must Have Been Love without a doubt was huge and the crowd sing-along was wonderful.
Judith: I love this part. Like I mentioned in another of the reviews, I think the setlist is perfect. It just flows. And when FLAF starts it’s like a sing-along crazy party until the end with The Look. It feels like first one is building up expectation for Watercolours/Paint and enjoy Marie’s and Dea’s wonderful performance. And then the excitement starts again towards The Look. During HDYD! some of us wore funky hats and the chickens. Marie couldn’t help laughing and trying not to look at us and concentrate. At the end of the song she couldn’t help it and just laughed.
PP: During Dressed For Success / Dangerous something happened to Per’s guitar, because he started playing the one he usually uses for these songs, but at one moment I just realized he was playing the one he uses for Crush On You and She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio). I couldn’t see when he changed the guitars though, but something must have gone wrong.
After these 2 songs, before Joyride there was the band presentation, but this time Chris didn’t play a local song. Magnus talked about BoJo having his 60th birthday (on 23rd August) and asked him to come up to the stage. At the same time we were getting prepared for Joyride with blowing up the balloons, so even that fitted. Bo came and they played ”happy birthday to you” and all on and off the stage were singing happy birthday to him. He was very touched and this happening almost got him into tears. He’s THE MAN! The ”birthday party” video you can watch here! We all love it when something really spontaneous is happening at a Roxette show.
Judith: Marie and a few others also sang Hurra! Hurra! Hurra! typical for birthdays in Sweden, but I think not many heard it/joined as BoJo was already leaving and Joyride getting started.
PP: So the balloons (yellow and blue – thanks to Basia Konarzewska) were ready to be released and we let them fly not much later. They looked fab! Lots of them landed on the stage though, so there wasn’t too many left in the air to play with until the song ended. Those that landed on the stage rested mainly around Marie. While Per was bouncing from one side of the stage to the other he even hit one of them with his guitar while playing and Chris and Dea tried to push the balloons back to us, without much success. One blue and one yellow balloon got stuck right at Marie’s heater, the rest on the stage was removed during the break before the extras.
The crowd wanted Marie and Per and the rest of the gang back on stage and when they came and started playing Listen To Your Heart, we held up our ”thank you” signs. See it in this video. It looked great and they recognized the ocean of thanx signs and smiled. Marie even mimed ”thank you” to us. How lovely! Åsa filmed the signs a lot, so hopefully, at least one video of this will end up on Roxette’s Facebook page.
After LTYH only The Look left. A mind-blowing version. During the nananananas Per sat down a bit on the speaker on the right side of the stage. It was funny. Marie was again singing a bit of ”you’ve got the look” while pointing at fans. And we all pointed at her. She’s got the look.
It was very hard to let them go. A last European bow, a last European walking off, but turning around before leaving the stage. Too emotional. But we all know, it all begins where it ends. Soon more fun is waiting on other continents. Watch the last goodbye here.
Judith: It felt strange after they had left. It may be the first time that many of us haven’t planned anything for the next time. Many are waiting for USA/Canada or South America to be announced to decide what to do. A few have already started to plan South Africa… Some are waiting for more Europe in 2016…
AFTER THE SHOW
PP: We all wanted to say thank you for an amazing tour leg and a perfect ending to it, so after the show we went to the back entrance and waited for the band to come out. They certainly celebrated a bit more backstage before they go on a longer tour break. Probably, BoJo’s birthday, as well as the successful European tour leg, so it took a while until they came out and we could tell them how much we loved the tour. First came the band, then came Per and Marie was the last. Per took his time and signed many autographs and he was also kind enough to let us take pictures with him. He was still in a great mood and relaxed. Marie came out with BoJo and we applauded her. She was also still in a smiling mood and she was waving to us while getting into the car.
After they left, it was time for the fans to say goodbye to each other, wondering which show is the next we will meet. For some it’s going to be South Africa and probably another continent for others. But we meet soon, that’s for sure.
Judith: It was the perfect ending to an incredible Euro-tour and amazing last concert. It just felt right to say bye and most important, say thanks for all these special moments and memories. There are some things coming up now. Marie’s book, the new single/album, this collaboration with Sebastien Drums and who knows what else…
The last European goodbye… for a while – Pics by Patrícia Peres
DRAMMEN, NORWAY UPDATE: Truly magnificent gig in this amazing town. Beautiful summer evening and loads of party people everywhere. Thanks for making this “the last show in Europe for a while” happening big time. We had a blast, the band is really really tight now, everything works like clockwork, it’s such a pleasure to play together!!!
We even managed to bring the great BoJo on stage (he’s 60 tomorrow). Thanx for singing Happy Birthday for him, he’ll never admit it but he loved it!!!!
Vids by Åsa to follow tomorrow! Cheers everyone. /P.
Now comes a longer tour break and Roxette then further celebrates the 30th anniversary in style. Next stop is Johannesburg, South Africa on 31st January 2016.
Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
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
The last time we updated the PLECtionary was 5 months ago. The XXX tour’s European leg did deserve some new Per Gessle guitar picks, so it’s time for another update. Mr. G posted on Roxette’s Facebook page on 28th March that they had just ordered new plecs for the then upcoming tour leg. The picks were ready in time and he posted a photo of the new beauties some days before the first European gig in Milan.
Aaaah at last! My new guitar picks!!! Enjoy and grab one flying like a rocket at the shows, folks!!! /P.
Reading the word rocket I thought immediately of a real gem on The Per Gessle Archives and this went on and on in my head ”Picks are everywhere / catch a rocket in the air / be ready when they’re there / like a rocket in the air!” Oh well… Grabbing a flying plec is really not that easy, but not impossible at all. There are many lucky Roxers who will surely pop til they drop having a Gessle pick in their collection and there are many who still can’t believe they obtained a pick touched by the hand of Per.
I thought it was convenient to say a big THANK YOU to:
DUNLOP CUSTOM PICKS
for those custom made picks I do my best to spread around the globe with mixed results. Hey, you’re pretty good at catchin’!! To my defense, those red acoustic guitar picks are so thin, they won’t fly…..
Sandra Knospe is of course both handy and lucky, so the PLECtionary gets its update. Sandra found the time in between heavy touring and her also busy non-Rox-World-related life and now before the last show this year in Europe she took the photos and shared the trivia she knows about the plectrums. Check out the PLECtionary and look for the guitar picks No. 100-105! It also includes a new print of the latest Professor Lundquist pick. At No. 157 you’ll find another new item, a Mister Magnus pick. You know, he’s the viking member of the band whose fave Rox album is Baladas en español. Vikings don’t need customized plectrums. Haha.
Huge thanx again for the updates, Sandra! Your collection looks more and more eXXXquisite!
So, one more gig is left for this year and you have the chance to confirm that Per is right when he says we are pretty good at catchin’. Once you catch a pick you have to take care of it though. The print on them is a little bit dangerous. Good luck, you all!