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.
The team that visited Marie and Micke told them that there has been a huge interest from around the world for the items. Marie was extremely happy to hear that andshe asked to thank us all for the support.
Remember you can bid on the items online already now or during the live auction on November 8th. It is surely a good cause to donate money to.
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.
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.
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:
Kärleken 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! 😉
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.
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. 🙂
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.
Thanx for the hint regarding the interview, Anja Hoppe!
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.
The 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.
From 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.
Per 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.
Just as short note before you go on reading. I tried to write this review without too many details – but there may still be some spoilers. So if you want to experience the feeling of getting the book and reading it yourself… stop reading here (and come back when you’ve read it).
I got “Kärleken till livet” on Sunday, directly from the book fair (thank you Paula!), and couldn’t wait to start reading it. But I would still have to wait for some hours… travelling and getting home first! The first thing I did when I got it in my hands was to look at the pictures, the design, the outside. And comment the first impressions with dear friends. The book looks very classy and nice. Once you open the book you see pictures of leather jackets, what? you may wonder. Well, Marie loves her leather jackets, she has a huge collection, and part of it has a special place in the book.
Then I looked at the pictures in the book. There are three sections with pictures in it, with short comments about them. Some are funny, nice, some are shocking, painful.
A special one for me, that I spotted inmediately, was the one of Marie and Efva Attling. Marie mentions Efva in the book a couple of times, like that they have the tradition to meet for a Christmas lunch, which they have kept for 30 years. It made me remember the 4-hour long interview/talk I had with Efva back in 2002. She explained many things about Marie and their friendship and also that they could talk for hours non-stop…
You also see Marie when she was small, her parents, siblings, Roxette, Micke, her children and pictures of the worst times of her illness. Another special picture is the list of names of the prayer chain that Marie Davis from Australia organised back when Marie got sick. Many fans added their name to the prayer chain and the list of names was sent to Marie, who put it in a frame and mentions that it means a lot to her. In the book she mentions that she keeps other presents she has received from fans and that fans are very important to her.
I started to read the book at the CPH airport but soon I realised I needed to be alone to read it, so I decided I would start in the evening when I get home. Be aware, the book is a page turner, so make sure you have the time to go on reading, or you don’t mind going to work very tired the next day. I read the book on Sunday evening, Monday morning, Monday evening and finished Tuesday morning. I couldn’t put it down, even though some parts were hard to take. But there are many nice touching ones too. Don’t forget to have some tissues around…
The book is written by Helena von Zweigbergk, who I think has done a great job write down Marie’s words. Helena explained last weekend on the book fair in Gothenburg about the process. She would meet Marie, go back home and write down what they had been talking about and get back to Marie, read the text to Marie and get her feedback. Sometimes Marie would remember new things, or want things written differently or changed.
And it feels at times as if you would be sitting in Marie’s kitchen having a coffee with her and talking about life, memories, anecdotes. Sometimes you laugh, sometimes you cry, you are shocked, you feel love, it’s a roller coaster of feelings. There are many parts where I could relate to and probably you will too, either because we have lived part of her stories “from the other side”, our side, or because it’s about things in life one has experienced or has had to deal with in a way or another. From meeting the big love to family matters to feeling good or bad about oneself.
The book is not written in chronological order but starts with Marie telling about September 11, 2002, the day Marie fell on the floor and had to be taken urgently to the hospital. Probably many of you will remember that day. For me it’s one of those days I will never forget. I had just moved to Austria and I didn’t have a job, I remember checking some online newspapers and the article on Expressen and Aftonbladet about Marie. We were all shocked. I remember the emails on the mailing list, the comments on TDR, emails and chats with friends, quickly set up a get-well wishes page (more than 1000 messages were later printed out and sent to her). That day we just knew that Marie had had an injury. Some days later we got the fatal news about the tumour. And the rest we know. Or we thought we knew. We have heard from Per, the book about Roxette, Marie herself in articles and interviews about those years, but the book gives some more insight about all those years, the treatment and long-term side effects of the operations and treatment. It is touching to read (tissues!). But in a way it is optimistic, with a feeling of hope, never give up. Marie wants to share her experience and with that help other people in same or similar situations. But also wants us to know that she is feeling fine now and is enjoying life and every day.
Helena has followed Marie on tour a couple of times, both her solo tour that started in Helsingborg on February 19, 2014 and Roxette’s 30th Anniversary tour. Helena writes about her impressions of seeing Marie on stage, giving it all and being the queen of the whole place. There are also comments from Per, Dea, Christoffer and other band members about Marie. And, of course, also from Marie Dimberg, Marie’s manager and friend. One thing that touches me is that even though I don’t know Marie, my impression of pure feeling, big heart, strength, energy, fighting spirit, that charisma that one gets from her smiles, her looks, her words, gestures is also mentioned and described by those talking about Marie in the book. It’s something that I noticed before when interviewing Chris or Dea, for example, or talking with friends. Now after reading the book, we have talked again about this and we felt the same. For me this only has one explanation, and it’s that Marie is just who she is, herself. And that she is a very special person.
Marie also remembers her childhood, growing up in a family that had to count every cent, how she loved to sing already as a kid (she was singing all the time and she still does), that she could not keep still for a second, her love to music. She also mentions that she has always had a special connection with nature and animals, she loves flowers, her tree in the garden, birds. She goes on telling about moving to Halmstad, Strul, MaMas Barn, then to Stockholm, starting her solo career and Roxette. Like I said, there is no real order in the book, so stories are nicely brought to the reader connecting things Marie tells of the present and remembering the past.
Roxette is very special to Marie. She is very proud of what she and Per have achieved, and it was also Roxette that helped her back. As Helena mentions, “Dangerous” was the first song Marie hummed after the 3rd operation and suffering aphasia. We have also heard many times before, and Marie says this in the book too. Touring and being back with Roxette is the best therapy she could get. Marie also mentions her special relation with Per and the many great things they have done together.
There are also some interesting bits of information in the book. Like the fact that Marie and her family have a cat, Sessan. I didn’t know that and being a cat person myself (got two of them!) it just brought a big smile on my face. Helena was also at Marie’s home when Per, Christoffer and Clarence went to Marie’s to record two new songs for Roxette’s upcoming album, “Some Other Summer” and “It just happens”. An up-tempo and a ballad. And the book comes with a list of songs that mean a lot to Marie and her comments about these songs. The playlist can be found on Spotify!
And, of course, Micke, her husband, and her children have a huge place in the book. Micke and Marie tell about how they met in Australia and that they had engaged just a couple of days after having met. Marie also thanks Micke a couple of times for having been by her side all this time. For the good and the bad. She also mentions the small things in life that make her happy.
And actually these are the parts that touched me the most of all. These parts and how Marie – through a book (!) and her words, transported to us by Helena – spreads this energy and strength that to me, makes her so special. The success story, the keeping stubborn and fighting to do what she loves, sing and enjoy life. There are sad, shocking parts in the book, but always with this feeling of hope. It’s all about her love, love to/from her family, friends, music, love to live. Kärleken till livet.
I know I need to read it once again, or twice. There are many things to take in and reflect about one’s life too. It’s a very special and powerful book that I hope will be picked up with publishers outside of Sweden and be translated to at least the major languages. It’s not just a book about a pop star and the life on tour, but about life, about falling down and standing up again, the important things in life.
Aaand the book left me wanting for more! I want to read more of the anecdotes, stories, insight about life. So maybe what Marie said on the VI interview about writing another book wouldn’t be such a bad idea! 🙂
The book is available in hardcover (ISBN 9164204639) and audio book (ISBN 9164222787).
Paula and Christina travelled once again to Gothenburg (don’t miss their report about the Roxette Diaries premiere about a month ago!) to visit the book fair in Gothenburg where Marie Fredriksson and Helena von Zweigbergk book was presented. Helena also participated in a couple of talks about the book and answered questions about the process of writing the book. A review of the book is on its way!
Arriving at around 10:30 to a massive long line at the main entrance. It was amazing the amount of people wanting to get in! It seems this fair gets bigger and bigger for every year… Luckily by asking around we were told about a side entrance and we could basically go straight in – thumbs up!
Once inside we went on the hunt for both the Pirat Förlaget stand as well as the VI-magazine stand, since the new issue of the magazine features an interview with Marie and Helena, who are also on the cover of the magazine.
Once at the VI stand we talked to the staff and told them we had many requests to buy the magazine, telling them their issue would go out into the entire world. We ended up buying 20 copies for different friends. They were very happy with this as they said it was the biggest sell of the day! Also they were very surprised to hear just how big and popular Roxette still is out there in the big big world. It is peculiar this thing with so many Swedish people STILL not knowing how big and famous Roxette is, how they still tour around and fill arenas and sell out concerts.
At the VI stand there was also a huge poster showing the cover of the magazine hanging as the background of their tiny stage. It was so nice to see!
After buying these many magazines at VI, we crossed the aisle and entered the rather big and fancy stand belonging to Pirat Förlaget, the publishing company releasing Marie’s book. The stand and area were big and had many authors presenting their latest books. There were many shelves with books everywhere and there were more Marie posters and photos to welcome us. The one that blew our minds out the most was the amazing entire body picture with Marie on the door to the authors’ “backstage area” (that Judith posted yesterday on Facebook!). We immediately felt right at home!
Helena Von Zweigbergk would first be doing a seminar talk at 12:30, to which you had to have the special seminar ticket in order to enter (very expensive one so we didn’t have that…), but we knew she would be doing 15min talks at Pirat Förlaget’s stage at 13:50 and 16:20.
We had a stroll around the fair before returning to this stage by 13, in order to get a good spot. (There were continuous talks only separated by 2min breaks throughout the entire day with several famous Swedish authors such as Jan Guillou, so you can imagine the crowd!). It was a nice and interesting experience to be able to hear so many different authors talking about their books and inspirations and ways of writing!
When Helena finally came on stage she was interviewed by journalist and TV-presenter Fredrik Belfrage (he worked for Swedish television and radio for several years and had a well known TV-show in Sweden called “Go’morron Sverige”… And even presented the “Melodifestivalen” a couple of times). During this first talk Helena explained the whole reason for the book and how it came about. The second talk was very similar to the first, but there are some slight differences and details she added or omitted. Stina filmed all of the second talk and you can find it on YouTube and a summary in English on Facebook.
The first talked started with the journalist asking Helena how the whole idea of the book started. Helena said that Marie Dimberg (Marie’s manager) called her and asked her if she could consider writing Marie’s biography and she described how she in the first place was very doubtful about it since she had met Marie before and thought it had been so tough to get contact with her. She even mentioned that she interviewed Marie many years ago and how she felt through the whole interview, how Marie did not like to be interviewed and talk. But she went to her place one day and then and there she met a completely different Marie, very open and with such a will to make this happen. She said it was a whole long process as Marie has difficulties reading, Helena listened to her, made notes, wrote and then she would read it to Marie and together they took out parts and changed words, or added new things Marie remembered.
Helena also mentioned that Marie only got the book the day before and also that she called Marie in the morning and asked her what she would like her to say to the audience who was going to listen to her talks. Marie had answered to please tell them “I am ok, I feel fine and tell them what a great time and how much fun we had while making the book together.” Helena said that Marie is quite tired of always being related to her illness and all the negative part of her life. So she really wanted Helena to tell people she’s so happy. Actually, at the end of this first talk, Helena took out her smartphone and told the audience that as Marie couldn’t be there herself she wanted to film us all saying HI to her, and that she was going to send it right away to her [Helena posted the video on Facebook too].
This journalist Fredrik also talked about Marie in a very nice way and was very good at keeping a smooth flow during the whole interview which for many moments actually felt more like a conversation between him and Helena, almost forgetting audience was there. He said he would never forget the time when they held Olof Palme’s funeral on TV. He was there and he really wanted Marie to perform “Mot okända hav” and how he called her in the very last minute thinking she wouldn’t make it but she did and it was for him an unforgettable and touching moment. He also mentioned he was happy to read in the book that Marie herself remembered that day! And Helena added that Olof Palme had meant a lot to Marie and her family, being a role model to look up to.
A nice and funny moment was when Fredrik asked Helena – after having mentioned some of the consequences Marie’s illness – what Marie does to remember the texts and lyrics of the songs now that they are touring so much. Helena talked about how Per and Marie had joked about that themselves when Per was making comments to Marie such as: “hey, you forgot the lyrics before too so what’s the big deal?”… Or “… Worst case you just point out the microphone to the audience so they sing along!” … And then she explained how Marie sits down with her son Oscar and together sing and go through the lyrics so she keeps them in her memory! It was funny and tender to hear this!
Helena also talked about Per and Marie’s different personalities and even music taste… Per being pop and very order freak and Marie being more rock and soul and more “messy” … And how those differences make them complete each other so well and how this has contributed in the creation of the Roxette sound we all know and love so much.
Also she told us that after the last surgery Marie had, she went through her worst period. She was blind on one eye, couldn’t read or write, got easily lost, had problems with her balance and barely remembered anything and that she was also suffering from aphasia (some form of inability to talk and produce words) for a long period of time. Marie felt locked inside her own world as in a bubble. But then suddenly one day, out of the blue, the tones of Dangerous came to her mind and she started humming the melody. And that is why Roxette has become such a very important part of Marie’s recovery as she little by little started remembering again.
After both talks Helena signed the book for those interested and we each had ours signed of course, followed by a VERY nice chat, where Helena thanked us for being there. We asked her if it was ok we filmed the second talk for all the fans to be able to listen and watch. And she said of course!
After the second talk we waited for her just to say thank you and goodbye and we asked her to greet Marie many times and tell her thank you from all of us.
We were so happy and overwhelmed with this whole experience. It was so so so nice to be there and listen to Helena. Get the book, see all the books and posters.
After the second talk we sat down somewhere upstairs away from the massive amount of visitors, to have a moment to go through the many, some new to us, photos in the book and we were caught on camera by one of the official book fair photographers having NO idea he had taken photos of us. He came up to us afterwards asking for permission to use them and he showed us a series of photos showing all of our reactions: pointing, smiling, laughing, being amazed, surprised, completely sucked into the world of the pages like only books can do.
Well, Roxette fan Ken did. Some hours ago he asked what happened with the song Marie was about to contribute to the soundtrack of Emil Jonsvik’s movie “Krigarnas Ö” (The name of the game). A short research showed that the movie isn’t out yet. Director Emil Jonsvik informs us that the release date featured on imdb.com is wrong.
Unfortunately – the soundtrack isn’t out yet either. Asked about it, Emil, who directed the “Sista Sommarens Vals” video, told us that they will release the soundtrack and the movie later this year. Until now there is no actual release date.
It should be good news anyway – according to him there will be a new Marie Fredriksson song out at the end of this year and it will be featured in the movie as well.
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!
As we informed you yesterday, the documentary about legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz premiered on SVT2 today. Unfortunately, the film Rock Photographer Henry Diltz – A Boy And His Camera can only be seen in Sweden. Click HERE for watching it on SVT Play.
The docu is almost an hour long and it is definitely worth watching if you are into photography or music history or a wise, positive guy with great sense of humour. Henry who has always been close to music (even singing and playing the banjo and other instruments) bought his first camera, a second-hand one in 1966. Since then he just can’t stop taking pics. Not only of rock stars and musical events, as well as for album sleeves, but literally everything from cows to forks. In the film he tells lovely stories related to his iconic shots and music history at all. It’s not only him talking in the docu though, but several huge artists who became friends with him over the years. Most of them are friends with him since the very first time they met. Besides Ringo Starr, Graham Nash, Michelle Phillips (The Mamas & The Papas), David Cassidy, Jackson Browne, Robby Krieger (The Doors), Micky Dolenz (The Monkees), Julian Lennon and others there is our Mr G. talking. Per says:
I think every artist is probably a good photographer as well, because if you’re a singer or a writer or a painter, whatever, I mean you have this artistic thing going on. And it’s not that big difference, you know. A lot of people who write songs are interested in images. Joni Mitchell is a fantastic painter, you know. And Ringo Starr is a great photographer. Graham Nash is a fantastic photographer. Michael Stipe is a great photographer. It goes well hand in hand with your occupation. Absolutely.
This part is on from 41:30 to 42:07. You might remember Per’s 6 seconds (starting from 00:50) in the teaser of the docu which was published last year. That part is missing from the film now. So either this is the final cut and those 6 seconds (and maybe more PG talking) won’t ever appear in the documentary anymore or there will be that originally planned 90-minute-long version with more Gessle in it. Who knows. Either way, the documentary is very well done by director Janolof Fritze.
As we already informed you about it almost a year ago, Per will appear in a documentary about legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. The docu premieres on SVT2 tomorrow (4th September 2015) at 20:00.
Originally, the film was planned to be 90-minute-long, but for the premiere it will be a 1-hour-long version. Not sure if the whole conversation recorded with Mr. G will be included, but at least a pic of him and Henry appeared in the 2-minute-long teaser. Promising! 😉
The documentary, Rock Photographer Henry Diltz – A Boy And His Camera has been almost 3 years in the making. 30 interviews and about the same number of great songs from the ’60s and ’70s music scene are featured in the film by Janolof Fritze, Keijo Liimatainen and Gunnar Nordström.
The docu is worth watching anyway. Mr. Diltz was there and photographed big moments of music history. He’s a real legend shooting iconic photos of iconic artists. Hopefully, the film will be available outside Sweden as well.