Per Gessle’s tour finally reached the point when he performed in his hometown, Halmstad. We had been looking very much forward to this show, because concerts in home ground are always so special. This time it was even more special when we got to know that SVT was to record the whole concert. They prepared all cameras at different points of the venue, Simstadion Brottet and we could also see that there were huge screens on the 2 sides of the stage.
Fans came from several countries again: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, USA.
During the day, Lars Winnerbäck turned up in town, so we could sense there was a surprise guest appearance planned for the night. It became 100% sure when we heard Per and Lars rehearsing Småstadsprat and Honung och guld at the soundcheck in the afternoon (from 16:15). We were curious how they would rearrange the setlist if at all, now that Lars joined them for these 2 songs. These 2 songs they rehearsed for appr. 15 minutes and then came Min plats and a little Puls. Woohoo, so we were happy that the setlist might be longer, since Puls got back on it.
Helena arrived at 16:50 and she went in to the venue at the main entrance, so she was walking next to the whole bunch of fans waiting for being let in. We all applauded and cheered her loudly and she was happy about it. Such a lovely lady!
Mats MP Persson arrived to the venue at around 17:45. He was on the guestlist of course and came all the way by bike to enjoy the show. Many fans spotted him and jumped on him to take pictures together. He seemed to be a bit uncomfortable with it, but was posing for the pics anyway. Nice guy.
The SVT cameras for the show weren’t enough, Anders Roos was also there to take thousands of photos of this hometown show and of course, Åsa was also there filming a lot. This time she just couldn’t come to the front row, because the TV guys were moving there with the cameras too, so they would have bumped into each other. This way she was filming from the sides of the stage (and maybe from somewhere else in the crowd too? We will see when the vids are up on GessleHomeVids, YouTube).
First it was time for the performance of the support acts, Strandles and Good Harvest. Strandels put the crowd in a bit of a party mood, then Good Harvest calmed us down a bit. In between the support acts and before PG’s show we could enjoy the view of the huge crowd (11000 people!) on the side screens. The cameraman was very funny. He spotted some people and left the camera shooting them until they realized they were on the screen. The crowd was laughing at the reaction of those up on the screens. It added a lot to the mood of the audience. There should be such screens and cameramen at all venues.
Per’s concert kicked off some minutes after 21:00. To hear På promenad genom stan in Halmstad is a real pleasure, here it made even more sense to start the show with this song. It Must Have Been Love was a success and Helena got cheered loudly. Right after IMHBL came Småstadsprat, so there was the first change in the setlist. For the part which is sung by Lars Winnerbäck on the album, Lasse came up on stage and he was singing it. He got a loud applause from the crowd when he appeared. The song sounded beautiful. No other version sounds as wonderful as the one with the original duet, Per and Lars. What a delight! The crowd cheered the duo loudly during the song too and when they finished it as well and Mr. G told the audience it wasn’t bad. Per and Lasse hugged each other after the song ended. Then Per was talking about the rehearsals and that he tried to find songs which he didn’t play live before and he found there were 470 of such songs. He decided for a song off Gyllene Tider’s 1982 album, Puls. He said he knows Lars likes this song too and so they decided to sing it together. So they went on with Honung och guld. Lasse’s favourite album from GT is Puls and HOG is his favourite song off it. It sounded great in this duet version. After they ended the song, Per and Lasse hugged each other again and Lars went off stage. Per told the crowd it’s hard to top now. I have recorded the whole Lars Winnerbäck guest appearance in Halmstad (not the best quality video because of the smoke and lights, but still you might enjoy it). 😉 Watch it HERE!
Ljudet av ett annat hjärta and Gå & fiska! were the songs that made the crowd party the most. I actually expected a more active crowd in Halmstad, but they seemed to be a bit lazy during most of the songs. Of course, the first 5 rows and some smaller groups in the middle and in the back were more in jumping and dancing mood, but the rest of the crowd mostly was clapping and singing along.
After the party session there came the band presentation and Magnus there told the crowd a secret, that after the show there is an after party at Per’s place. He even mentioned a fake address and told the crowd to tell the guards they are with Magnus, so they can join the party. Haha. Mister Magnus also mentioned that Andreas had just turned 50 (which is still unbelievable, as he doesn’t look more than 40 – even Per was kidding him with it), so it’s time to celebrate. When it was Christoffer’s turn to play the intro to The Look and he was rocking to the right side of the stage, Magnus gave bunny ears to him. It looked funny!
Varmt igen and Tycker om när du tar på mej turned out to be wonderful this time too. Helena was singing her heart out and the audience appreciated it. In the first encore there was a change too, they put (Hon vill ha) Puls before Joyride. It was cool to hear Puls again. During Joyride some balloons were let into the air by front row fans.
For the second encore, Andreas went real wild on the Sommartider drum intro. This caught the audience too. Was cool to watch it on the big screens too!
The ending was new too. The closing song was Min plats. Before they started playing it, the crowd shouted ”Gessle! Gessle! Gessle!”. Per smiled, but other than that he didn’t really react on it, just talked a bit and started with the song.
At the very end, after the bow, before going off stage, Per tried to throw picks from the mic stand to the crowd, but most of them landed on the stage still, so he gave up. Not the first time. Haha.
The whole band was very energetic and gave their very best for this show. Also the guest appearance of Lars was very cool and from what we saw on the screens, the recordings will be fab. Looking very much forward to seeing it on TV and maybe it’s a good idea to release it on DVD just before Xmas. Hint, hint!
After the show many fans went to Hotel Tylösand. Not for an after party, rather to say thank you to the band for the show. When we arrived, we bumped into Jonas Åkerlund in the lobby. Then a fan from Norway approached to us. He found it fun that we are a younger generation and a fan of Per. Even if we became a fan of PG only 6-8 years after him. He is a fan since 1983 and so he missed the older songs of Per, the first 2 solo albums. Well, maybe next time, on a future tour we hear some songs off those albums too. Or maybe not. Haha.
Andreas, Malin-My, Chris, Clarence and Magnus arrived to the hotel and we thanked them for the gig and chatted with them for a while. They were all very nice and also kindly posed for pictures. Helena and Ola got to the hotel already before any fans arrived and Per decided to enter the hotel from a back entrance, so we couldn’t meet them. But still it was a very nice time with all the band members we could meet.
Lars Winnerbäck also spent the night at Hotel Tylösand and while we had a further nice night at Leif’s Lounge, we saw him having a chat with his friends there.
All in all, it was a cool evening and night in Halmstad, with PG and the band on fire, with a nice surprise guest on stage and some great crowd reactions. Now please, hurry up and share the recordings with us asap, SVT! And we want it on DVD too!
Per after the show:
Oj! Oj! Vilket fantastiskt gig det blev i Halmstad! Perfekt kväll, hur mycket folk som helst (11000? 12000?), grymt band och dessutom Linköpings stolthet Lasse Winnerbäck på besök. Tack alla som var med och sjöng och dansade och gjorde detta till en superb kväll att minnas väldigt länge. Love! /P.
PS. Vi filmade allt, kommer att bli en härlig rulle!
All photos in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.
1. På promenad genom stan
2. Vilket håll du än går
3. Juni, juli, augusti
4. Det hjärta som brinner
5. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
6. It Must Have Been Love
7. Småstadsprat (duet with Lars Winnerbäck)
8. Honung och guld (duet with Lars Winnerbäck)
9. Kung av sand
10. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
11. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
13. Gå & fiska!
14. The Look (with När vi två blir en as intro)
15. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
16. Tycker om när du tar på mej
17. (Hon vill ha) Puls
20. Min plats
Juni, juli, augusti
It Must Have Been Love: 1; 2;
Småstadsprat & Honung och guld (complete surprise guest appearance)
Småstadsprat: 1; 2; 3;
Honung och guld: 1; 2;
Ljudet av ett annat hjärta & Spegelboll
Varmt igen: 1; 2;
Sommartider: 1; 2;
Hallandsposten: 1; 2; 3;
SVT: PG interview before the concert