Tonight it was already the 35th show on this tour. Last time Roxette played in Antwerp was 6 years ago, during the Night of the Proms happening in 2009.
The band hit the stage with much energy and got the huge crowd of Lotto Arena sing along already with Sleeping In My Car. Marie was on a high, acting much with the fans during the whole show and Per had his batteries fully charged, too.
The crowd was getting wilder and wilder and burst out in a la-la-la-loud sing along. Actually, the party audience made their voice heard all night. Just to quote some of their comments regarding how much they enjoyed the show: ”They still have it!”; ”Still top!”; ”Forever the best!”; ”Roxette is still rocking!”; ”Lots of respect!”; ”Man, I’m reliving my childhood right at this moment! They’re brilliant!!!!” etc. Great to hear all the positive vibes.
One die hard German Roxer, Astrid Lenhard even called her friend, another hardcore fan in Austria, Karin Lessjak (who couldn’t be there at the concert) when Marie and Dea performed Watercolours In The Rain / Paint to let her hear Marie singing via the phone at least. Emotional!
The great Anton Corbijn was there in Antwerp, too. The new monitor engineer, according to Per. Didn’t he mention in an interview that they might make a video for the upcoming single? Hm. Could it be that they will work together with Anton on that? Would be fab! What we know for sure is that he took photos during the concert. Hopefully, we get to see them soon.
After Mr. G found his lost password to Facebook or the internet connection in Belgium got better or just took his time off (it’s not too common he doesn’t post for more than 24 hours 😉 ), he posted this after the show:
ANTWERP UPDATE: Yeehaa! Fab evening in front of a pumped up crowd in a sold out Lotto Arena. Great vibe, lots of familiar faces everywhere. Thanx for making this yet another everlasting memory from Belgium!!!! And hey, now it’s Marie’s beeday!! Cheers! /P
It’s indeed Marie’s birthday already. Hip hip! Some Roxers had the chance to sing her Happy birthday after the show, when she was leaving. They made Marie very happy about it. She smiled while they were singing, waved and thanked the fans so much. She said: “You’re always the best, remember that!” Watch the video of it. Thanx for filming and sharing it, Gyöngyvér Simon!
Next gig is on Monday (1st June) in Dublin, Ireland.
Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
The Heart Shaped Sea
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Attention! It’s almost the same “Joyride” clip as the one which was broadcasted on Avro TV. The only difference is that Avro TV showed Antwerp stage + Rotterdam audience and EEN – Antwerp stage and Antwerp audience. The same happened with “The Look“.
After I have seen 14 shows of this hilarious Night of the Proms tour it’s time to write a review about the last eight weeks, starting with my first show on October 23rd in Antwerp, Belgium. It is not only colder outside but also warmer inside of me. I am feeling exhausted, empty and happy at the same time. I don’t feel like writing at all, but with writing everything down I can share my experiences with all of you. Not only the performances changed during these last weeks – especially Roxette’s – but also my point of view has changed a lot. I got a lot more relaxed, especially during the last shows and seeing so many shows helped me to really get the Night of the Proms feeling itself. If I had to choose which show was the best I would certainly pick the second Frankfurt show, not only because of the balloons. But altogether if someone asked me to choose from the Belgium/Dutch or German shows I’d always pick Belgium/Netherlands, maybe I’d even pick Antwerpen. The Belgian shows were extremely good and the audience was much more into it than the German audience which seems to be a bit too old to have a party.. ! So if you want to see a Night of the Proms show next year or whenever, go to Antwerpen. You will love it. My review starts with the five Belgian/Dutch shows I have seen (and drove more than 2500 km):
Antwerpen, October 23rd, 2009
210 km to Düsseldorf, another 230 km to Antwerpen = 440 km
We arrived early since we wanted to have some time for shopping. Well – the city isn’t what you call beautiful so it wasn’t worth it at all. At the Sportpaleis we meet some fans who are already waiting for the doors to open. I remember a Brazil guy, Ivan and some Russians. Well – if you know who you are leave a comment here so I can add your names. Unfortunately all we got were seating tickets, faaaar away from the stage. Unfortunately not far away enough to not notice Marie’s problems during Wish I could fly. Sharon den Adel rocked the house before Roxette and I really liked the Belgian audience. On this first show Marie and Per appear on stage together – out of the blue, practically speaking. While Per just has to make one step Marie has to find her way to the microphone. Seeing this my first thought is: “Hmm, why did she agree to do it like this?” She can barely see something and has problems to walk over. It’s obvious. Wish I could fly starts and I am really nervous. Marie sings “Halfway through the night” three times in a row and I feel totally sorry for her. Nothing I can do from that far off. All I can do is hope that she doesn’t care and she really sings the rest of the song quite ok. My friend and I are worried about her in the break but she proves us wrong. She totally rocks her socks off during the second set. She’s great on The Look and Joyride and she sings so good on It must have been love and Listen to your heart. Yet – I feel like I need to support her. Unfortunately we have to go back to Düsseldorf in the night and arrive late (or early) at 3 am. We could have been there earliert but we waited for Roxette at the backstage entrance and I was really happy that Per decided to come to us after the show. We were not many, maybe around 10. He told us that Marie has a sore throat and doesn’t feel well. He signs stuff, everyone gets a photo and we chat a bit. When he left (with the words: “We’re here tomorrow. Same songs, different lyrics”, I won’t ever forget it, haha) everybody was happy. We didn’t even notice that Marie passed by while we were talking with Per. So, arriving in Düsseldorf I decided to go back to Antwerp the next day. Not to let me entertain. No, just to support Marie. I didn’t even have a ticket and I just drove 230 km without knowing if I could get in in the end. Fortunately I could..
Antwerpen, October 24th, 2009
230 km from Düsseldorf to Antwerpen, 230 km back to Düsseldorf, another 210 km back home = 670 km
I was lucky! Evgeny already had tickets for Antwerp but couldn’t go because of his Visa problems. His friend Emil sold me Evgeny’s ticket. If I didn’t say thank you until now: Thank you! So I didn’t have to worry about a ticket. My friend couldn’t join me so I was alone this time – just to meet some friends in Antwerpen. I arrived early (14.00) and only a few people were there. Since I had a standing ticket for this night I knew everything would be more exciting than the night before. And since there was a huge catwalk in Belgium and The Netherlands we even had to decide whether to stand on the left or the right. Usually the left side was always Marie’s and the right side Per’s. Soon a lot of people stood on the left of the entrance so we decided to try it on the right. Good choice – we made it to the front row and could stand next to each other and in the end it turned out that there’s no left or right anymore. Both standing quite in the middle of the stage everybody could see Per AND Marie, left or right – it didn’t matter (except one wanted to catch Per’s guitar picks). My decision to come back was the right to make. Again – on Wish I could fly both appeared together and Marie had to make another 10 steps to the mic, this not working at all. Again – she had problems with the text but everyone around including me screamed and sang with her, helped her through this song and we showed our support with all we had. During the ballads I kind of had the feeling that she was looking for help in the audience. She looked at us all the time, it was like she was trying to read the text from our lips. Well, we did our best. Even worse – her voice was just not there. We felt so sorry for her. She must have been totally ill that night but we could see she was fighting like hell and we loved her even more for this. Still – I couldn’t stop worrying and I couldn’t enjoy the Roxette performance at all. This was the worst of all 14 shows I have seen. I fellt sorry for Marie and hoped the several thousand people in the Sportpaleis weren’t too disappointed, especially since I knew she can do much better and she proved it only some weeks later. Unfortunately the most videos on YouTube you find when you search Roxette and Night of the Proms are from this night. Bad luck… or Murphy’s law. Whatever you want to call it.
Arnhem, November 13th, 2009
600 km in total
This show didn’t turn up in my personal “schedule” until three days before the concert. Well – we decided to just go there to “have a look” and to give some presents to the band and Per – one of these being the Roxopoly game. Well – unfortunately I checked ebay right in time and found tickets for that night. Too cheap to not buy it (15 Euro) and we decided to join the show. But more important were our presents and we had no idea how to hand them over since we didn’t find a particular backstage entrance. I had luck again: my seat was next to the stage entrance for the artists and after the show was over I waited for the band and asked if they could come out to get some presents. They could – and it was damn relaxed that night. We were only around 5 fans, we had all the time in the world to talk and when I showed my Roxopoly to Christoffer he helped us to make Per come out so that I could give it to him directly. Well – the rest you see on the video on YouTube.
The show itself was much better than three weeks earlier. Marie’s voice was back, she looked a lot more confident on stage and she even improvised during The Look, bringing the Hey Jude “Na na na na” up for the first time. We loved it. The sound wasn’t very good, maybe because they divided the venue in two parts and the voices just vanished in the “empty” part of the venue. Who knows..! Hard to rate this show, wasn’t the best, wasn’t the worst. The audience was so-so, too. So in the end it was worth the trip because of our presents and just because of that road trip feeling – we love to drive hundreds of kilometres not knowing what will happen when we arrive. But the three of us were happy – both going and coming back home: saturday morning around 4 am.
Judith and Kirsten met Christoffer Lundquist in Frankfurt before the show on Sunday. In the following interview you’ll find information about Christoffer’s career, love to music, touring with Per and Roxette and much more.
Judith: How did you start to play music, compose, get in to music?
Christoffer: My parents got me and my sister when I was 6 years old to play violin. And I hated that. I hated every second of it, and I never practiced, never did anything, was horrible, but I sort of discovered it was nice to play notes and find them for yourself, and make up little tunes, so when I was maybe 10 or 11 I skipped the violin and finally dared to tell my parents I didn’t want to do that anymore, and I got an old guitar from my aunt, who also introduced me to the Beatles. From then on I’ve done nothing but playing, try to write arrangements, I am a totally single-minded person, that’s the only thing I do.
J: How many instruments do you play?
C: I actually only play guitar and bass, you know, reasonably well, the rest is sort of just cheating, but since I buy so many instruments, I have the possibility to practice with them. I play a bit of decent flute, half-decent saxophone, clarinet, I got an oboe, that was fun for a year and then it was too hard, so I skipped that. I have so many different instruments in my studio, but they are all kind of keyboard instruments.
J: Was Brainpool your first band?
C: No, I had my own band when I was in high school, we played prog-rock, loooong 20-minute songs which I wrote and forced everyone else to play.
J: So when did you start to compose your own stuff?
C: Probably at the age of 10, when I got the guitar. That’s the reason for playing for me, to try to make your own music or play your own stuff.
J: Did you actually study music?
C: No, never, the three years of violin when I was 6 to 10 is all my music education.
J: And how did you get to Brainpool?
C: David Birde was a friend of mine from high school, he had Brainpool going, the bass player was to go and do this army service, so I just joined as a replacement for him. But it turned out that the four of us got along very well and we liked each other, so when his army was over, he was no longer welcome I am afraid, it’s a bit harsh, but it’s the way it was. That was I think 91. It took a few years until we got a record deal and released our first album.
J: How was it that Per discovered your music in first place?
C: He had just started this side of Jimmy Fun Music which was going to release other music, besides Per’s own. We were one of the first bands to send him some demos, just by chance, that’s just the kind of music Per likes. Besides that, our singer, Janne, he sounds a little bit like Per, a little bit of this childish voice if you like, a bit high pitched, so he just fell for it. Back then Per used to listen to all the demos which had to do with Jimmy Fun, later he got a bit tired of it, and didn’t care so much, but in the beginning he was really into it.
J: So it was actually his decision to publish your music.
C: Yes, his and Ben Marlene, the guy he had hired to run Jimmy Fun Music. So yes, we were the first band he signed.
J: Tell about your first album, Soda, which songs were included?
C: You normally collect the best songs from many years and put them on the first album, so that’s the way it worked with us. The second album was a bit more difficult because we had to write the same amount of good quality songs in a shorter period of time.
J: How did you write the songs? Did you compose them all together?
C: Janne and David wrote most of the songs, I helped with a couple of them, and then I was mostly into the arrangement and producing.
J: The style throughout the albums changed quite a lot.
C: Yes, that was because we got easily bored. Once we had done something, we wanted to try something else, different.
J: Indeed.. you started with some kind of punk and..
C: …and ended up with rock operas! Haha! That’s a huge change, I agree.
J: I actually got the first CD when you went on tour, during C!B!B!, you might not remember, it’s 15 years ago, some fans were waiting outside of the hotel for Roxette to come out, and you came out, all of you four, we stared to talk with you, you looked quite surprised we even knew who you were. How did you experience the touring with Roxette?
C: Well, we came from nowhere and in a couple of months we were suddenly playing to 15000 people in Barcelona, so we were just “aaaahhh!”. It was an amazing adventure. We soon realized it was amazing and fun and learnt a lot. But at the same time nobody really wanted to hear us, of course, I mean, that’s the way it is with support acts. We also realized that after a while, some of the hard-core Roxette fans sort of started to like us, so that was nice. We got a better reaction in some countries. But I remember a gig in Prague, where they had particularly big tickets, and “Roxette” was written on them with large printing, after we had played a couple of songs, people started to raise their “Roxette tickets” .. but well, it didn’t matter, we just played even faster and louder.
J: But I still remember in Barcelona some people sang along. My sister and I had spread your CD … We had lots of fun.
C: Yes, I remember that. That was fun, to find small groups of people at the shows who actually listened and sing along. I remember the gig in Barcelona, we didn’t get much reaction from the audience in general, but Spain is different, you know, so I remember I was playing, I just took a couple of steps to the left and then everybody stood up, I was like “WHAT?”, that had never happened before. Haha!
J: I remember there was even a fanclub, started by a Swedish girl called Annika.
C: Yeah! There was also a girl called Nadja, yes, I think that was the name, from Germany.. or maybe Austria? It was really crazy in Sweden for a year or two, a lot of young girls, like 14-year old girls who fell in love with Janne. It was a bit like Gyllene Tider but on a smaller scale. Btw, the first concert I ever went to was a Gyllene Tider concert, during Moderna Tider, I remember I listened to it in secret because I thought it was a big embarrassing, a bit girly music, and I liked heavy important prog rock, but there was something about his voice you couldn’t resist, couldn’t not listen to it, that hit me.
J: What happened then with Brainpool?
C: It was mainly, the three of us who are still in the band, we drifted apart from Janne, so to say. It’s not that we weren’t friends, but we didn’t have that much in common, didn’t spend that much time together. The three of us are like brothers, so I guess that was the reason, he felt it wasn’t fun anymore. I don’t think he coped very well with the fame and success thing, he just didn’t like it so after a couple of years he felt like he didn’t want to do that anymore.
But we continue, it’s still fun, even though it’s more a hobby band now.
J: Do you still meet and play?
C: We try sometimes, let’s make a new album, but we need time and money and we are busy with many other things, to support ourselves. But we will again, one day, I’m sure. The Junk rock opera is very much alive. The American director who did the show in LA with it, two years ago, is coming to my place in January, we’ll write some new songs for it and develop it. They’ve done like 30-40 shows and now he knows what he feels is missing in the plot, so he’s going to tell us “we need to change this here,” or “this character is not clear enough”, so we are going to record some new music in January. I am really looking forward to it. After that we’ll start working on new Roxette music.
At the 7th of November there was no big difference to the day before. If I have to compare them I would say the 6th was just a little bit better. Problem for me was, that at WICF Marie was sitting on the right side of the stage (one day earlier she was sitting on the left) and between her and me was the camera guy. That was really disturbing because I couldn’t see her at all. The rest was as great as the day before.
A lot of eyecontact with P & M, Per using the catwalk, Marie standing up from the barstool in the middle of IMHBL and LTYH but Chris without hat this time. At the end Per was looking where to throw the flowers and when he looked at me I was pointing at myself, screaming “C’mon, over here!” and… yes, he threw them into my direction and it was easy to catch them. Good shot, Mr G! Thanks!!
This time it was C&C coming out after the show. We asked them which show they think was best so far and they said probably the 6th of November. While we were talking to them the van with Marie, Per and the rest of the band was driving by. All of them having a big smile on their faces. We offered C&C a ride to the hotel but they refused it. To quote Per: “hey, can’t win ’em all!” 😀
It was wonderful. For me it can’t get any better but still I’m looking forward to Rotterdam… Wooooohhhhhoooooo!!!
THEY WERE AWESOME!!!! Marie was doing EXCELLENT and I mean EXCELLENT!!!!!
And most important of all it REALLY REALLY REALLY was NOT playback. […] She was really in the best shape I have seen her since she was having her illness! And it WILL only get better, I bet you! When they entered the stage, they both had a strange and dangerous look in their eyes as if they were gonna conquer the world and let them know that’they still Rock! And boy, they did ROCK!!!
I am really happy to bring you the good news and for all of you, forget the first concerts and join in the next shows. I am sure the best is even yet to come! Roxette you ROCK!!!
Okay, here is my little review from the 6th of November. I really coudn’t wait to come to Antwerp again. I have seen the first two shows and after two weeks reading discussions about Marie’s voice and playback stuff I just wanted to see the good things again. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed and I was soooooo right! The best show that I have seen so far.
It was a totally different and especially Marie looked more comfortable and more relaxed than at the first two shows. Her voice was strong and smashing and it felt great to see them both performing. Per used the catwalk on Joyride as well and during IMHBL and LTYH Marie sat on the barstool at first but it didn’t hold her there and in the middle of the songs she stood up. Like Roxer allready said, they were in top shape! When Per and Marie left the stage at the end of LTYH Per picked up Chris’s hat from the stage and put it on Chris’s head again. He was shaking his head a bit until the hat fell down and there it stayed until the end of the show. We all forgot about the hat until the big final.
Then came some pyro-effects and it immidiately caught fire. In a second there came a guy running onto the stage extinguishing the hat or what was left of it. It really smelled terrible and Per was pointing at the hat telling Marie and Sharon den Adel what has just happened 🙂
After the show Per came out once again. We were 6 people waiting and one of us was a Sharon den Adel fan. I told Per that they are getting better with each show and he answered that this is because they are getting healthier each day. Makes sence to me 🙂 I asked him to sign a photo for my best friend and besides that there was some chitchat. They are working on 11 songs and it will be pure studio songs (no Tourism-suitcase-drums and such stuff) He bought the hat for Chris in Antwerp a few days ago and now they have to see if they can get another one (seems there will be another TV-recording and then Chris needs a similar hat) We got some plecs from him as well… what a generous guy 😉 Then we said goodbye until the next day. Whatelse can a fan want. It was a night to remember…