Karlstad set the expectations higher, so I expected an at least as fun concert in Linköping as our Friday night was. Another town, another ice hockey arena, same cold. Here the show was also originally planned to be standing on the floor, seated on the sides, but at the same time as it happened with Karlstad, appr. a month ago the floor was changed to unnumbered seats. Those who arrived first could occupy their spots in the front row. There was a meet & greet for a few fans before the show and to our surprise, seats in the second row were reserved for the participants. I think this was the first time ever, when it happened that a meet & greet participant didn’t really have to worry about losing his/her good spot for the show because of the M&G. Great support from the management!
Just like in Karlstad, Roxette music was playing inside the arena in the restaurant area. These ice hockey arenas know how to attract their visitors!
Nano started at 19:30 and the audience cheered him and was clapping along his songs. I found it quite promising! And then from 20:30 the crowd did show they love having Per Gessle and his band in town! When the gig started with The Look, the front row people were up on their feet and that’s what most people on the floor did, stood up in front of their seats. In Linköping even less people sat down during the ballads vs. Karlstad. It was great to see Per’s and the band members’ faces when they saw the crowd standing. It added to their mood again.
After TL, Per told the crowd it’s always fun to play in Linköping. The last time he performed there was last summer. He asked the audience if they were there and the crowd was shouting yeees. Per said they were there too, actually all of them on stage. He said they would play Roxette songs, but he thought to include some of his solo songs too, because it’s fun to play songs that nobody knows. Haha.
After beautiful MATAH Helena got a long & loud applause. Then Per talked about Capri 1993. He said they recorded there for 6 weeks and had friends and journalists there. And friends and journalists. Haha. They were eating pizza and drinking bad wines. But in that chaos they could record a quite OK album. CBB was a success in Linköping too. The crowd burst into loud clapping and shouting at the end.
Before DFS Per asked the audience if we were sitting. The crowd shouted ”neeeej!” (nooo!). Then Mr. G pointed at the standing people on the floor and said ”you are standing”, then pointed at the sides and said ”you are sitting there”. If I saw it right, it was DFS when a little accident happened to Per’s index finger (or power chord finger, how he calls it, LOL) on his right hand. I could already see it on some of my pictures from Karlstad that the nail looked damaged, so probably it got even worse while crashing the guitar during DFS and it started bleeding. From that moment when Per realized something was wrong with the finger, he looked at it many times during the rest of the concert, but never asked for a plaster or anything else and he was playing all songs PERfectly, as if nothing had happened. Hats off!
SGNO must have been a difficult one to play with that bleeding finger, but Mr. G managed it. While the whole audience was clapping loud, Chris played Ljudet av ett annat hjärta as the intro to SGNO. Everyone on stage was animating the crowd and they succeeded. SGNO was one of the best party songs on Saturday.
After SGNO Per picked up a black towel with which he usually wipes his face. Now he was wiping his bloody finger. While he was talking about his good day in 1990, he was constantly checking his finger and wiping it with the towel. He said he woke up one day and found a cute note on his piano saying ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). He had to marry his girlfriend after this note. The crowd was cheering and clapping and Per said ”she is not here tonight”. Obviously, he wrote Joyride, then he had a lunch break and then he wrote another song. SMT, of course. During the song Per walked to the left side of the stage to the technician board. Maybe he did ask Jakob for a plaster, but he might have run out of it because of a certain heavy user, a.k.a. Christoffer. Haha. Just kidding. It was funny that after fans saw the bleeding finger, they were trying to catch the thrown picks even harder than usual, to have one in their collection with Per’s blood on it. How cool is that! Haha.
During IGYC the power chord finger could have a rest. The duet of Per and Helena was fantastically beautiful.
Before STT Per talked about his Nashville adventure and said they would play a song the audience might already know in Swedish, Småstadsprat. He said they sing it in English, but if the crowd knew the lyrics in Swedish, sing along in Swedish and let’s see how it sounds. Haha.
Halmstad hillbilly IHAPIMH was much fun to hear, the flute ladies did their best again. After the song Per mentioned it was on his album, Son of a Plumber from 200? (twothousandsomething), he can’t remember. Magnus pointed at someone in the crowd and told Per someone knows the date. Per said ah, one person heard about that album. Great! Haha. Then Mr. G said he suggested 88(!) songs to the band to rehearse. Magnus said 12 is the maximum, they told Per. Per said Magnus has 2 favourite artists Roxette and Lars Winnerbäck (his hometown is Linköping). The crowd was cheering when they heard LW’s name. PG said thanks to Magnus we could hear the next song, IMHBL. It was very much welcomed by the crowd, but they showed it rather via their cheering, not via singing along loud. Still fair enough.
OppNox and TBL were again ass-kicking. One can’t get enough of these 2 songs in a row! Then we stayed in the ’90s and before the gang performed FLAF Mr. G asked the audience if they remembered the ’90s. We replied yeees! Per asked Magnus about the ’90s. He said he himself was the ’90s. When it was the ’80s, he was already the ’90s.
When it was DMS’s turn, I went live on our Facebook page, so you can watch the epic performance of the song. Christoffer on a high. Pure awesomeness!
During the band presentation the crowd rewarded each and every band member with a loud applause and cheering. Wonderful! After Per finished the introduction, someone in the crowd shouted in Swedish: ”And the man in the middle?” Christoffer grabbed the mic and said ”song, guitar and especially many many very good songs, Per Gessle! From Harplinge… or Furet!” Haha. The teaser to HDYD worked with clapping, but only the front row fans started singing the song, so Per took the mic and he started to sing himself. Both HDYD and Dangerous kept us warm because of the jumping. One can’t get tired of these songs either.
The Linköping crowd wanted to have the gang back on stage again, so they didn’t stop shouting, whistling and clapping. PG and the band came back after 3-4 minutes and performed QOR and then Joyride. Joyride was definitely one of the highlights at the Linköping concert. Helena and Per were constantly animating the crowd and during the second half of the song Chris was down on his knees in front of us, playing the guitar. Per came to him and they were fooling around. Then Helena came there too and sat on the edge of the stage with her tambourine and then Chris sat next to Helena and they were singing and playing there. Pure Saturday night fever!
The crowd was very happy to have PG & Co back on stage again after a very short break before the second encore. Per said they thought to play a song from the ’80s, a song which he wrote to a good friend of his. LTYH it was, of course. After the wonderful TSHTSG it was very hard to let them go off stage. The crowd was still loud, clapping, cheering Per and the band.
What a most fantastic Saturday night! It could even top our Friday in Karlstad I would say! Who would have expected it?! Not me! I realized it only towards the end of the concert that Christoffer’s shirt got torn on the right side. He must have been rocking out to one of the uptempo songs when it happened. A real rock ’n’ roll guy! Haha.
Let’s hope Per’s power chord finger has enough time until the next gig to heal. Micke N-S must have had a hard time in Linköping, cleaning all the guitars and strings. Well, the strings, maybe he changed them anyway. Just more often this time. On the guitars to that part where you can see Per’s blood he stuck some black stage tape. I guess it’s easier to remove the tape than cleaning the blood off the guitar.
So, guys and girls, those who could catch a bloody Per pick in Linköping, keep it safe in your collection. It doesn’t happen too often that you can get hold of such a rare item! 😉
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
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
17. Queen Of Rain
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye
Mr. G after the gig:
LINKÖPING. Oh yea, another great gig. We’re on a roll right now, doing superb interpretations of the Rox songs and having lots of fun along the way. I’m sure you notice if you’re in the audience. The Linkoping crowd was awesome, thanks everyone for joining the party. Had a little problem with my power chord finger (check out that guitar…), it happens every year around gig #15…. Anyway, promise to be in good shape in Helsinki on Monday. Love to you all, thanks for being there! Love from P&Co.
All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.