Per Gessle’s Italy

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.

solo_italia_01The 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.

solo_italia_03From 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.

solo_italia_02Per 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.


All photos in the Solo Italia article © Lars Nordin.

Roxette XXX Tour – Milan, Italy (Teatro Arcimboldi) – May 10 – #26

The long-awaited European leg of the XXX tour kicked off in Milan last night. Good sign to start a tour leg with a sold out gig, isn’t it? First the band, then Marie and Per arrived to the venue for a soundcheck in the afternoon. They were all smiles, so one could see they loved the fact the tour continues. After the F1 race had ended, they got on stage and did a more than 1-hour long soundcheck with the following songs: 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), The Heart Shaped Sea, Fading Like A Flower, How Do You Do!, Dangerous, Almost Unreal. So we could be really happy that they kept Crush On You.

When we were all checking our seats and it was almost show time, we realized the organizers took some VIP people to the very front, to the orchestra part of the theater. This way they were like in 0 or -1 rows. The show was to start at 9 pm, but there were a lot of people entering the venue late to take their seats, so Roxette got on stage only a bit later than 21:15.

Italy doesn’t get a Roxette concert each day, even Per mentioned it during the show that the last time they played in Milan was in 1989 at the Rolling Stone club. He asked if anyone was there from the crowd and said there were like 40 people or maybe 70. So it was extremely exciting to have the band playing live in Milan during the actual tour. Even if the venue was quite small (appr. 2300 people), it felt like we were in a huge arena. Believe it or not, the whole audience (even the VIP people) stood up even before the concert started and they didn’t really want to use their seats at all. The only song where the crowd was sitting was Watercolours In The Rain / Paint, but it changed quite fast with the next song, Fading Like A Flower when all people were on their feet again.

The audience was so active and loud! Everyone knew the lyrics to almost each and every song and was singing along all the time. The band, seeing all the happy party people in the audience put even more energy into the opening gig of the European tour. All of them were on a high. Marie was sitting during the whole show, but this didn’t stop her dancing on her chair and acting with the audience. Per was so happy to hear everyone singing along that he jumped and ran around the stage so much. Once he even ”kicked” Chris in the ass while playing the guitar. Chris went so crazy during The Look that he ran off the stage to the front row of the crowd and played the guitar there. Magnus joined him in some seconds and they went wild down there.

There was a funny conversation between Marie and Per before It Must Have Been Love about how Marie felt herself, if it was warm and that they didn’t really like the song in the beginning, but then it changed quite a lot in their lives. When IMHBL started, Marie was singing, then there was the crowd sing-along part and Marie liked it so much she asked the audience to sing more. She shouted into the mic several times ”I want to hear you sing!” Not only during It Must Have Been Love, but also during Listen To Your Heart. At the latter song, she had some problems with the lyrics and asked Dea to come closer to the front, so she could support her even more. Dea came to the front and they were singing together. Sounded fab! Actually, all songs sounded wonderful. All voices were in top shape and everyone on the stage was just shining. We loved seeing how the band enjoyed themselves and it was awesome to be part of such a fantastic crowd. Italy rulez!

Before we could enter the venue, we saw lots of firemen. Now we know they had to be there because they were afraid of Teatro Arcimboldi being burnt down. Gosh! Roxette put the theater on fire and it was burning from the very beginning till the very end.

After Joyride, the band went off the stage, but the crowd was shouting loud: Roxette! Roxette! and clapping and whistling and doing everything to get them back on stage. We didn’t have to wait for a long time. They happily got back to us and further entertained us with the 3 extra songs.

When Marie stood up at the end of the concert, she got a standing ovation. The crowd didn’t let them go off stage and it seemed like Marie and Per wanted to stay there forever. Then they started walking off and Marie looked at and waved back to the audience before they disappeared in the dark.

Åsa was filming a lot and even Micke grabbed the iPhone to take some videos, so we surely get some video updates on Roxette’s Facebook page.

Regarding the merchandise, a new item is a phone charger for 45 euros. One of the VIP presents in Oz was a similar equipment and Per liked it so much he promised to try to have it in the merchandise. Now there it is.

Per’s comment on the concert:

MILAN UPDATE: Thanx everyone for making the XXX Euro Tour start so good! The opening show in Milan was a blast!!! Wonderful crowd and a very jolly band enjoying every second of every song. We love Italy, we certainly hope we can come back to do some gigs here!! Thanx for making this happen, y’all! Grazie, P&M&Co
PS. Vids tomorrow…

Next gig is on Wednesday (13th May) in Madrid, Spain.


Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;
flickr – Alberto Pezzali
flickr – Francesco Prandoni
flickr – Mairo Cinquetti
flickr – Sergione Infuso

Roxetteblog Photo album on Facebook


Fading Like A Flower
Spending My Time
How Do You Do!
The Look

Video clip from Notorius


Pic by Patrícia Peres

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

Almost Unreal
Listen To Your Heart
The Look