In summer, Per Gessle & Co. had 10 very successful, sold-out gigs at Hotel Tylösand and when the last show ended on 3rd August, we all hoped there would be more concerts of this format. We didn’t have to wait for too long until the announcement of an unplugged tour. On 30th August Per announced he would go on tour around Sweden in November-December, playing at concert halls and theatres to keep the intimate atmosphere. Tickets went on sale on 2nd September and they were selling like hot cakes. 3 extra gigs had to be added to the originally planned 12 shows, because several were sold out already the first 1-2 days. So altogether there will be 15 gigs this autumn.
The premiere happened in Linköping last night. And what a most awesome first show it was!
The concert was set to start at 19:30 and the entrance to open at 19:00. When we got to the venue it was nice to meet some familiar faces we already met in summer and of course at other Rox World-related shows.
First we checked out the merch stand. For this tour there are black T-shirts with 3 different designs, all 3 of them having the concert dates on the back. There is a tote bag and a poster with the tour dates as well. Earlier we could see Per posting different designs and white T-shirt too, but it’s only these 3 in the end that got produced.
When we entered the concert hall we could see the stage set which was very similar to the Hotel Tylösand set, but the stage here was bigger, so the decoration and the lights, the bulbs had to be adapted to this bigger space. It looked magical. Designed by Åsa Gessle of course.
While waiting for the concert to start, we could listen to a new mix tape. When the sound of it turned off, the lights on the audience went down and the band came up on stage at 19:45. They got a very loud applause and cheering. Per greeted the crowd and told „if you know the lyrics, sing along, it’s fun. If you don’t know the lyrics, it’s even more fun.” Haha.
The set started just like in Tylösand, with Kung av sand, På promenad genom stan and Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång. After this came a little surprise with Magnus standing up, picking the double bass – which until then I thought was part of the decoration. Småstadsprat was played like this and it sounded fab! Actually, hearing the first 4 songs and anecdotes I started thinking there wouldn’t be too many changes vs. summer, but then Mr. G asked Magnus if it was hard to play the double bass. Magnus said it was very hard and they laughed. Then PG said they would play another Nashville song. He didn’t start with the correct chord though and said „I have to find the right chord first”. Haha. He managed and the next one was Min plats, which is a new song on the unplugged setlist. It also turned out that it’s Christoffer’s double bass, however, Per thought it was his. Chris joked that it costs 2000 SEK per gig.
Tycker om när du tar på mej was next in the set and Helena got a very loud applause from the audience for her performance.
Then came a Gyllene Tider segment, with Det hjärta som brinner as the seventh song on the setlist. After DHSB, Helena, Magnus and Chris left the stage and only Per and Clarence stayed. Here came the biggest surprise and the absolute highlight of the show. PG told he wrote a song on the tour bus in 1981 during the GT tour. Back then they didn’t have time to rehearse, so they did that on their soundchecks, like how you can see it in Parkliv!, directed by Lasse Hallström. The guys performed Ljudet av ett annat hjärta. It has left me – not only me – absolutely breathless. The crowd appreciated this extremely beautiful version of the song with loud applause and cheering. Mr. G stood up after that, went to Clarence and they high-fived each other. They got even more cheering and the crowd didn’t want to stop showing their happiness. Helena, Magnus and Chris came back on stage and they were clapping their hands too.
Per took the capo off his guitar and provided us with another big surprise: Varmt igen! What can I say… Another highlight of the evening!
Micke N-S brought Per his ukulele and we all knew it’s Tuffa tider’s time. PG told he remembers he bought his first ukulele right after he saw a film about George Harrison. He bought it with Sven Lindström in Stockholm.
Fortunately, Juni, juli, augusti – which for me was the biggest highlight during summer, to hear it in an acoustic arrangement – was kept on the list.
It Must Have Been Love came next with the story of how it was refused by the German market while it was a success in Sweden and later how it became the soundtrack of Pretty Woman. The performance got a very loud crowd reaction, we loved it!
If you think there were no more new songs on the setlist, you’re wrong! Getting back to the Mazarin era, Vilket håll du än går popped up last night! The band introduction came after this song. When Per got to Clarence, he was joking that Mr. Öfwerman doesn’t have a mic in front of him, which is actually quite nice. They laughed.
Just like during the summer sets, Här kommer alla känslorna and Min hälsning followed the band intro and after MH, the gang went off stage. The audience was incredibly loud, didn’t stop clapping their hands and making noise with their feet on the concert hall floor. And so Per & Co. came back on stage after a while.
How to start the first encore? Why not adding a new track here too? They did! Födelsedag was an interesting choice of song and it sounded quite cool in this arrangement.
The gang remembered Marie Fredriksson and Pelle Alsing and dedicated Listen To Your Heart to them. It was also a big favourite of the audience.
Do you think adding more songs that haven’t been played on the unplugged gigs yet was over? Ha! No!!! Per introduced the next one by telling there are lyrics which you can only write when you are very young. He said he was thinking about Flickorna på TV2 for example. He laughed and the audience laughed as well. He said it wouldn’t be too politically correct in 2021, but it was fun in 1979, coming from a 20-year-old guy. There are other songs like this in his song catalogue. He started playing När vi två blir en and the crowd was singing along and didn’t want to stop applauding the band after the song. Per said it’s hard to top.
När alla vännerna gått hem was the last song in the first encore. The whole crowd stood up when the band took a bow and went off stage and they still waited for the gang to come back with some more songs. Of course they came back! You just had the feeling that you don’t want this night to end.
Vid hennes sida opened the second encore and don’t be afraid, Sommartider was there too with amazing crowd reactions.
Someone shouted Dangerous before the last song, but Per & Co. closed the gig with Om du bara vill. The audience gave a standing ovation, Per and the band had a wide smile on their faces. We all had. Such a fantastic premiere gig it was!
There were missing hits vs. the last summer set, e.g. Pappa, Ömhet, Vandrar i ett sommarregn and Honung och guld, but it was so worth to include these 6(!!!) additional songs. Let’s see how the setlist changes from gig to gig during the next 14 concerts!
1. Kung av sand
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
5. Min plats
6. Tycker om när du tar på mej
7. Det hjärta som brinner
8. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
9. Varmt igen
10. Tuffa tider
11. Juni, juli, augusti
12. It Must Have Been Love
13. Vilket håll du än går
14. Här kommer alla känslorna
15. Min hälsning
17. Listen To Your Heart (dedicated to Marie Fredriksson & Pelle Alsing)
18. När vi två blir en
19. När alla vännerna gått hem
20. Vid hennes sida
22. Om du bara vill
Photos in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.
Per after the show:
Wow! Thx for an amazing nite in Linköping. Loved every second of it. I’m blessed having a crowd like this! Norrköping tomorrow. Can’t wait!
Wow! Tack så mycket för en helt makalös kväll i Linköping. Vilken fantastisk stämning, vi älskade varje sekund. Hoppas ni är inte hesa imorgon!!!! Syns i Norrköping om några timmar. Love, P.