Per Gessle’s Roxette – Helsinki, Finland – 12th November 2018 – #18

The Helsinki gig last night was actually a delayed concert. The Per Gessle’s Roxette tour would have reached Finland already on the 3rd November, in Espoo, but the date had been rescheduled 2 months before, end of August and the venue had also changed to the culture house in Helsinki. You could exchange your tickets for the rescheduled date. I remember I was very disappointed, because I had already booked everything (flights, accommodation /non-refundable, why not… 2 month before the date nothing can go wrong…/) just 2 or 3 days before the announcement was published. It was my decision to book everything the way I did, so no one to blame for it. Then I thought, oh whatever, I could still add the new date (12th November, Helsinki) to the list of shows I could attend, a bit more losing on other flights I had also already booked for the Swedish shows after the original Finland date and the Oslo-Göteborg leg of the tour, it would still be worth booking. Then a long long long long long ”discussion” with Ticketmaster started regarding exchanging the tickets. First of all, when you don’t live in Finland, it’s very difficult to reach them. No direct phone number, no direct e-mail address. So you turn to social media, send them a message on Facebook and get an automatic reply including a phone number. Winning! Then you call them, but the number doesn’t work. You try to contact them on social media again, but all the time you just get the automatic message with the same content. Then for the xth time when you write, they get back to you and ask ”How did you hear about this? Did you receive a message of the reschedule? Did you have any instructions? There is no information in the event info.” Facepalm. THEY sent out the e-mail about the change with almost no information on how to exchange the tickets and they don’t know anything about it. Awesome. Some more messages exchanged and we finally get to the point. They realize that the date had indeed been rescheduled so they suggest me to reach the nearest outlet. Hello! I live in Hungary, bought my ticket online, the nearest outlet is hundreds of kilometers away from me. Any other suggestion in the 21st century? Oh yes, you finally get an e-mail address to which you have to send your order number and they exchange the ticket. Great! All discussed regarding the seat I had for Metro Arena in Espoo. That was the very first ticket I managed to buy right at the very first minute the ticket sales started. Front row middle. They assure that I can get the same seat in the new venue. Fab! Then I send the e-mail with my order number. Days pass, no reply… I get back to them on Facebook. Any news? Yes, I should receive my new ticket shortly. Great. I get an e-mail one day later with the new ticket. In the 4th row. Aha. Back to them on Facebook telling them there might be a misunderstanding, they promised to exchange the ticket for the same front row middle seat as I had for the original venue. And that shouldn’t be a problem, given the new venue is even wider than the originally planned arena. Sorry for the inconvenience they say and send new ticket 1 more day later. To the very side of the front row. I know, I know… First world problems, but once you agree on something I hate it when they don’t keep their word and think you’re stupid or something. I tell them it’s still not the same ticket. They say that’s the best they can offer. I then realize Helsinki doesn’t want to cooperate with me and tell them I would rather ask for a refund then. I thought then they might change the ticket to the one we agreed on, but no, they said OK, they send my money back. Oh cool. See the best lesson on how to lose a customer. You would think it happened only to me, but no. Once the event was rescheduled, they didn’t show the seatmap on the website, you could only see the ”best available ticket” option which was 3rd row. Those who live in Finland and went to an outlet to exchange their tickets they said that the first 2 rows in the middle were greyed out. So Ticketmaster simply kept those tickets reserved for who knows whatever reason. Similar issue we had in Stockholm regarding the seatmap. No seatmap available, only best available ticket option and since the very first minute the tickets went on sale in March many fans were checking the website daily, even several times daily to see when they would release the front row tickets in the middle section. It happened only a few days before the concert. Who understands that? Anyways, I’m just a marketeer, not a sales person, but I would certainly change the customer care system and some other things in the business model at Ticketmaster.

Sorry for the long intro. Longer than what I’ll be able to write about the show itself. 😉 The doors opened for the concert in Helsinki at 7 pm and the gig started at 8 pm. There was no change in the setlist, so the gang entered the stage and started to play The Look. The crowd left their boogie shoes at home, they all remained seated. Actually, 2 girls stood up, but the security team then asked them to sit down. Still, one could feel the audience had much fun listening to Roxette’s evergreens and Per’s solo gems. They were clapping very loud and singing along too. You could clearly hear them doing so during IMHBL. This is also a way one can enjoy a gig and still show a high level of enthusiasm. It was only during Joyride when slowly but surely everyone stood up and from then on they didn’t sit back and waited for PG & Co to get back on stage for the 2nd encore. Yaaay!

The stage was very low and it was also very close to the front row, you could reach the band members who by the way were in top shape. Lots of smiles and interactions among the ladies and gents on stage. Åsa joined Per for the Finland trip and she also recorded some parts of the gig. DFS is already online on GessleHomeVids. Hope to see some more footage. Evgeny recorded TSHTSG.

Now only 2 shows left! Get your tickets if you haven’t seen this wonderful gang on tour yet! 😉

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the concert:

HELSINKI. Yes, this band is still groovin’ better and better for every gig!!! Thanx everyone for showing up this cold and rainy Monday night. You certainly brought a lot of sunshine!!! No blood on stage this time (hahaha) + got a couple of days off before Oslo on Thursday so my finger will surely mend. See y’all there!!!! Cheers, P.

Pic in the article by Samu Reijonen.

 

2 Per Gessle concerts in Finland are added

2 more dates are added to Per Gessle’s summer tour. Both dates are in Finland, at the end of August. This means the tour won’t end in Eskilstuna on 19th August and there will be a total of 21 concerts in the end. At least known at this point.

The 2 extra dates are Vasa 25th August (capacity of the stadium is 4000) and Borgå (Popkalaset festival) 26th August.

Tickets for Vasa go on sale on 9th February.

 

 

Interview with Per Gessle about the new Roxette album

Ruutu (Finland) did a lovely and interesting telephone interview with Per Gessle yesterday. Listen to it HERE! It will play after 1-2 ads.

Per says It Just Happens was one of the first songs they started to work with for the new album. It’s a classic Roxette midtempo song, it’s some sort of a power ballad. They wanted to update their sound while keeping the classic Roxette sound. They decided quite early to bring fresh blood into the production side, so they started working with different producers. Some of them they used, some of them they got rid of very quickly.

The reporter asks Per if It Just Happens is his attitude for life and if he believes in destiny. Per replies most things in life that change you just happen. Like falling in love or situations that take you to different directions. You can’t really plan anything, it just happens. So in the end, he believes there is some sort of destiny.

PG_wma_1
Still is from the Warner Music Argentina video

About Good Karma, the title of the new album Per says he had the song, Good Karma. He thinks it’s a positive thing and sums up Roxette’s special history. They had all the success, then came all the disaster when Marie got ill in 2002, then they did their 2009 comeback against all odds.

We want to make a positive statement with this album. There is a certain positiveness around the whole album.

Per says about his personality that he likes to have his antennas out and if there is something attractive to him, he uses it.

Going with the flow is just a great expression of how I live my life. Of course, you have to have your fundamental rules in life, but you have to be open-minded, curious. Especially when you’re getting older and especially in a business like the music business. It’s crucial to be aware of what’s going on, listen to new stuff. Otherwise everything is going to be the same and the same and the same and the same and I hate that, you know.

The reporter asks Mr. G if he still gets excited or even nervous when they release new stuff. Per says he doesn’t really get nervous, but he is always very curious about the reception. He is very much aware of the music industry. They still work in the Top40 format and it’s almost impossible for bands and artists like them being that old to get across, because pop music is always about today. It’s music for younger people. At the same time he finds it challenging to improve their sound or update his style of writing. He is not the one who can judge the end result.

Sometimes I say to myself, hey Per, you’re only just beginning. Everything is in front of you. And I think it’s a great attitude. I think it works.

According to Mr. G, the worst thing you can do is to close the door to new technology, new sounds. There is so much going on in the art world, not only in music, but photography, television, movies and social media for that matter that wasn’t on when he was a kid.

I thinks it’s crucial to be part of today and not only to be part of yesterday, because you’re getting old.

They talk about playing in Jyväskylä, Finland on 18th June and the reporter asks Per if he has any special memories from Finland or the Finnish audience. It’s always been great concerts there, so they are really looking forward to play at this place which he count pronounce. He asked just bring the sunshine for the outdoor show.

Thanks, Ruutu for the great interview!

Roxette XXX Tour – Vasa, Finland (Wasa Open Air) – August 15 – #60

Roxette’s 60th gig on this tour happened in Vasa, Finland last night. This time there were 2 ”support acts” to warm up the crowd. No, unfortunately, Eskobar wasn’t one of them. The first was Frida Andersson at 18:00, then came Alphaville at 20:00. Yes, Alphaville. Do you remember the ’80s? It wasn’t only the decade of Milli Vanilli, Modern Talking and Roxette with shoulder pads and great hairdos, but it was also the brightest era for the band that constantly asked if you really wanted to live forever, forever young.

roxette_in_vasa_01
Pic by Mari Pudas

If they succeeded with the warming up? Well, it took a bit of time for the crowd to clap along, but after Roxette came up on stage at 22:00 and kicked off the show with Sleeping In My Car, the audience did feel the heat.

The concert was expected to be sold out, but there were still some Golden Circle spots and standing tickets left. All in all, the planned number of visitors was 11,000 and in the end more than 10,000 people came to see Roxette and party to their evergreens. Nothing to complain about.

It was an open air show and it was windy and cold, so many had to wear jackets. Of course, Marie was among the freezing ones and she was wearing a jacket, a scarf and gloves, plus she had the already well-known heaters turned on. Nevertheless, she had much fun on stage, smiling during the whole show and was singing perfectly. Per was on a high. While showing how fit he is, as usual, he hit the right strings on the guitar and his singing did the magic, too. The band showed their best as well. Dea joined Marie with a neverending smile and brilliant vocals, Chris and Magnus joined Per in going wild and Pelle and Clarence were rocking in the back.

The crowd appreciated Roxette came to visit them and realized they still rock. People were loud with their sing-alongs and were clapping hard. Those who were standing in the back could watch the 2 side screens, so they were charmed well enough, too. The crowd left the venue in high spirits. No other option after hearing an ass-kicking version of The Look.

On a side note, it was so windy in Vasa that at the end of the concert, while waving goodbye Per just showed his six-pack. This pic is by Evgeny Perekopskiy, but similar photos (even official ones) appeared here and there of this unique moment. Yeah, 10 minutes at the gym every other week still pays off. In a way. 😉

Per after the show:

VASA, FINLAND UPDATE: A great summer evening, nice temperature, beautiful sky light you’ll find up in the north, splendido people everywhere, a band eager to please. What can go wrong? Nothing! We had a blast. Thanx Vasa for taking care of us. Love to come back and play for you guys & dolls!!!! Anytime. Cheers, P.

Next stop is Elvefestivalen in Drammen, Norway on 22nd August. Can you believe that only 1 gig is left for 2015? Impossible! BUT the tour goes on and on and on next year! South African tour stops are out and surely, not much time left until we get to know even more dates.

 

Articles and photos

Beauty pics by Teppo Kangas Photography on Wasa Open Air Facebook page (you can play with the panorama pic on Virtual Finland)
Iltalehti.fi
Vasabladet (another article is available if you subscribe)
Pohjalainen: 1; 2;
svenska.yle.fi
Niclas Glasberg Photography

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25;

Videos

Stars
Crush On You
Fading Like A Flower
Joyride

 

Setlist

roxette_in_vasa_02
Pic by Evgeny Perekopskiy

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Säkkijärven polkka)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Thanx for the help with the setlist, Evgeny Perekopskiy!

Roxette to play in Finland in August

After two successful concerts in Finland last November, it is very probable it will be also Roxette’s second to last stop on the European soil. According to VK.se article, Roxette was set to perform in Vasa on the 15th of August, but it would be confirmed by the 10th of February as there was some “misunderstanding” issues between concert’s organizers and Roxette management.

Anyway, August seems to be busy with late summer festivals for Roxette team with already confirmed gigs on Faroe Island and Norway.

UPDATE (Feb 10th): Today, the concert in Vasa has been officially confirmed by VK.se.