2015 was once again a year full of releases, concerts, travelling, meetings, happy faces… everything a fan could wish for.
In January we got a sneak peek of the newly built and designed stage that would be premiered a few weeks later. February brought Roxette to New Zealand (finally!) and Australia. Back in February we heard that the new Roxette album would be out in autumn 2015. Well, we already know that the release of the album has been postponed a few times and it seems 2016 will be the year! When? Let’s hope we will get some news in a few weeks. In February, some more dates were announced for summer 2015 too.
In April we got to know who would make our waiting time before a concert shorter and fun: Eskobar! I was personally very happy that Eskobar were chosen as supporting act for Roxette’s European leg of the tour. I have liked this band since early 2000 and it was about time to see them live! It turned out to be a great decision. Roxette fans loved the 3 guys, we hear some have started a fanclub….
The tour in Europe kicked off on May 10th in Milan and took the band to 20 countries (including Faroe Islands!) with a total of 36 concerts between May and August (including a cancelled one in Mainz) plus 2 corporate concerts, one in September in Poland and one in November in Stockholm. The cover of Marie’s book was revealed and we published an interview with Pelle and Eskobar.
Also we found out that Roxette Diaries – a documentary of Roxette done by Jonas Åkerlund with old recordings from late 80ies and early 90ies – would be released soon. The premiere took place in Göteborg in August and later on, it was revealed that the documentary will be released on DVD in March 2016.
The (digital) new version of the super hit was released on 17th of July, right on time when Roxette was about to bring the tour to Sweden. The remake was recorded as part of Kappahl’s campaign and remixed by Addeboy vs Cliff. A video of the making of the song was also released. A 7″ vinyl was released later in August.
In August the tour ended in Drammen, Norway, with a very special concert with many fans from around the world. But we would not have time to get bored, since the dates for South Africa were announced. The PLECtionary was updated once again. As we mentioned before, Roxette Diaries movie was premiered on August 14th in Göteborg.
In September the promotion of Marie’s biography “Kärleken till livet” started. The co-author Helena von Zweigbergk, visited the Göteborg book fair to talk about the book and give some signing sessions. An interview with Marie and articles about Marie and the book could be found on the major Swedish newspapers/magazines around the time the book was released (October 10th). Roxette played in a corporate concert in Warsaw, which despite the difficulties to get a ticket, some fans managed to attend. Also “Some Other Summer” by Sebastien Drums was released. This song is actually composed by Per, and the single released by Sebastien Drums is even sung by Per (and a few backing vocals by Marie). According to Per, the “original version” of “Some Other Summer” will be included in Roxette’s upcoming album.
More 2016 tour dates were announced in November. To our surprise… for Europe! Everybody was expecting South/North America, and maybe a handfull of shows in Europe. But so far we already counted 11 concerts, and rumours have it that there are more to come! According to the information available so far, the first concert we know of will be on June 3rd in Switzerland. The last one on the list is on September 11th, in Moscow. Tickets for all the shows are already on sale, so hurry up! Roxette gave the last concert of the year at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, a corporate concert for Tele2 (telecommunications operator) customers and other invited guests.
Marie gave a signing session in Stockholm on December 5th. On the same day, an interview with her and Helena was broadcast on TV4 Nyhetsmorgon. Many fans travelled to Stockholm for the chance to say hi to Marie and get the book signed personally by her.
As I am finishing writing this article one thing (Aretha Franklin’s performance yesterday at Kennedy Center Honors, if you are interested) brought me to another (Aretha’s influence on Marie, which made me think of I Never Loved a Man) and I ended up listening to Roxette’s MTV Unplugged from 1993. Yes, recorded almost 23 years ago!
If one would ask me what would make the 30th anniversary of Roxette in 2016 very special my answer would be, loud and clear: an (or more) unplugged show.
Of course, looking very much forward to Roxette’s tour in Europe, something that came very much unexpected. And one can only feel thankful. That is the world I would choose for all what is happening. I am thankful it IS happening and I can experience it. With a small break in between in 2013, we have been able to see Roxette live almost every year since 2009.
What will happen in 2016? Here is a schedule of what we know so far:
June (?) – September (?): Tour in Europe is planned
Roxette turns 30!
Somewhen in 2016: a new album should be out soon. Per mentioned some days ago on FB that it’s almost done! (and Christoffer is very busy mixing!)
A big thanks once again to all of you reading us, sharing our articles (thanks Per!), joining our discussions on FB, for the hints, sharing your experiences in articles on our website.. thanks for your support! And from me big thanks to the RXB team, it wouldn’t be possible without you! We’ve had some issues this year with the servers (especially because the site doesn’t stop growing) so I’ve been kinda busy trying to solve that and some other tech-stuff in the background, so I feel so lucky to count on such a great team, thank you Patrícia, Kirsten, Tomasz and Sascha for the articles, brainstorming, ideas, laughs, meetings, experiences etc etc.
If you couldn’t order Marie Fredriksson’s biography, Kärleken till livet from Adlibris or Bokus signed and you couldn’t attend the signing session in Stockholm, here is your great chance to get hold of a signed copy of the book. The prize of this contest is signed both by Marie and Helena.
In order to participate, answer the following questions:
1. Who are the 2 authors of the biography? – Marie Fredriksson & Helena von Zweigbergk
2. In what formats can you buy the book? – (hardcover) book, audio book, e-book
3. At how many Roxette concerts did Marie Fredriksson perform in 2015? (XXX tour stops and corporate gigs included, but count only the ones she really performed at.) – 47
4. Is Marie a Facebook fan? – NO! 🙂
Send an e-mail with your name, home address (so we can send the book in case you win) and the answers to the questions to email@example.com until 23:59 CET, 20thDecember 2015. The lucky winner will be announced a few days later.
UPDATE on 21st December 2015:
The winner is: Ognian Dimitrov, Bulgaria. We informed the winner in e-mail and also posted about it on our Facebook page.
Contest terms and conditions:
– In order to participate, you have to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with name, address and answer to the 4 questions. We will consider all e-mails we receive until 23:59 CET on 20thDecember 2015.
– 1 winner will be picked randomly among those who have participated and sent the correct answers.
– You can only participate once, any attempt to participate twice will lead to your disqualification.
– Prize won’t be paid out in cash. Prize will be sent by registered mail only once.
– Winners will be announced on this website, on our Facebook page and will also be notified per e-mail. You’ll be required to answer the e-mail confirming your address.
– RoxetteBlog.com will not enter into any correspondence regarding the result of the contest and is not liable for any damages, loss or expenses that may result in connection to the prize.
– All submitted data will only be used for the purpose of the contest and in case you are one of the lucky winners, to send you the prize.
When the news about yesterday’s signing session came out, most of us were really surprised. No one thought there would be such an event, taking into consideration how Marie talks about it also in her book what difficulties she has with writing after her illness. Many were worried about her, thinking that a signing session would be too tiring for her and it probably was in a way, but you could see she really enjoyed it. She was smiling during the whole session and anyone talked to her while she was signing, no matter whether in Swedish or in English, she had some nice words to everyone.
The session was to start at 1 pm. Some hardcore fans started queueing quite early, even before 10 am to be the first ones in the line. By 12 there was already a very long queue. Helena von Zweigbergk arrived at 12:45 and Marie a bit before 13:00. Marie came with Micke and he helped her to get down the stairs that led to the little podium. She walked so fine down the stairs. We shouted woohoo when she arrived and she was happy to hear it and see so many people there.
On the podium there was a small table with flowers in a vase on it, 2 chairs and a Xmas tree next to the table. First Marie was sitting on the left to let Helena sign the books first, but after a little accident of a fan knocking over the vase they changed places. It was just a little water coming out of the vase and it wasn’t a real issue. Marie took it easy, just smiled and even helped to wipe it off.
It was awesome to see her in such a great mood. She was happy to see everyone, but when she saw the real familiar faces to her, she was smiling even brighter. Fans came from all around the world. Besides Sweden of course, there were fans from Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Spain, Norway, Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, the UK and 2 people came even from Australia. Wow! Some couldn’t reach Stockholm yesterday because of storms. Ferries and trains didn’t come or didn’t arrive in time to the Swedish capital, so some who wanted to, unfortunately couldn’t attend the session. Some fans brought only 1 book, others brought 7-8 to have them signed for those fans who couldn’t attend the session.
Marie got tons of presents and flowers. Mainly white and red roses. She loved it! She couldn’t grab all the flowers of course, but Marie Dimberg was there to help her and she took all the flowers and gifts. Helena also got some flowers and she was glad about it, too.
Those who still didn’t have Marie’s biography, Kärleken till livet could buy it at NK. A shop assistant was bringing the books around, along the queue. The security team of NK was very nice and their system worked well and smoothly. They let fans go to the podium 1 by 1 to the signing stage and it was Ms. Dimberg who told them when they could let someone inside the cordoned off area. Sometimes even Marie told the security guy: “Nästa!” (“Next!”)
As it was stated on the event’s Facebook page by the organizers, we could take pictures of Marie, but not with Marie. Everyone understood it and was behaving well. Many were taking photos, so actually, even if one of course couldn’t sit or stand next to Marie, they could have pictures with her while she was signing their books, smiling at them, etc.
Those who wanted to have their names written in the book besides Marie’s autograph and Helena’s signature, got it written by Helena. Marie was so cute when grabbing the books to sign. If the book wasn’t open at the page where she wanted to sign it, she insisted on turning the pages. Haha.
Micke wasn’t there waiting until the end of the session, but Marie’s daughter, Josefin stayed there to wait for Marie. After the session ended at 2 pm, after everyone got their books signed, we applauded Marie and when she got off the stairs of the podium and she showed she was happy she could make it coming down the stairs we shouted woohoo and applauded her again. Watch THIS short set of videos. She’s just awesome! She really is.
You know Marie is no fan of Facebook at all. She made it clear several times, mentioned it in her book and also in the TV4 interview one could watch in the morning. So if a post comes from her – of course it’s not she writing the post itself, but D&D Management typing her words – it’s much appreciated. She wanted to express her happiness, so she thanked everyone for coming. A picture of approximately one third of the flowers was posted both on her Facebook page and on Roxette’s page with these words:
“Tack alla som kom till dagens signering – från när och fjärran! Och tusen tack för alla vackra blommor och presenter – mycket glad!” / “Thanks to everybody who came to the book signing today – from near and far. And a thousand thanks for all the beautiful flowers and gifts – very happy!” Marie Fredriksson
It was a wonderful one hour with Marie and we were all so happy about seeing her enjoying it too. Her smiles are priceless!
People with books purchased elsewhere will have to wait until the end of the session and Marie will possibly have time to accommodate these signings as well. However, there is no guarantee for this. Photos can be taken of Marie but not with Marie.
We are all very happy that Marie has agreed to do this session and we’ll want to make this as smooth and pleasant as possible for everybody.
Please respect the rules and be patient while queueing. Good luck, everyone! Enjoy meeting Marie & give much love to her!
If you don’t have the chance to travel to Stockholm and you couldn’t order a signed copy from Adlibris, Bokus is offering 100 copies of Marie’s biography, Kärleken till livet signed. They deliver abroad as well.
Marie Fredriksson released her biography “Kärleken till livet” in October. And good news! You will have the chance to get your copy of the book signed by her and co-author Helena von Zweigbergk in person.
The signing session will be on December 5th at 13:00 at NK in Stockholm.
Don’t forget to check Marie’s Facebook page from time to time!
The team that visited Marie and Micke told them that there has been a huge interest from around the world for the items. Marie was extremely happy to hear that andshe asked to thank us all for the support.
Remember you can bid on the items online already now or during the live auction on November 8th. It is surely a good cause to donate money to.
Marie’s biography, Kärleken till livet reached even better positions on the charts during last week vs. a week ago. The story told by Marie herself, the promo the book gets via reviews and Helena von Zweigbergk’s media appearances, as well as her enthusiastic talking about the book at book shops and at the book fair in Gothenburg make many people buy the biography both in Sweden and in the rest of the world.
No. 5 among all books! (No. 7 last week.)
Here you could order a limited number of signed copies if you live in Sweden or ordered the book to a Swedish address where you could pick it up. The book is nicely signed by Marie and Helena.
Kärleken till livet, Marie’s biography was published on 7th October. At least this is the date most sites promoted and this is the date till which we could see the countdown on Marie’s Facebook page. However, the publishing company, Piratförlaget still has 14th October on their website. It seems that most shops and webshops already got the book and shipped them to those who ordered it even from abroad. If you ordered it, but haven’t found it in your mailbox yet, keep calm, it will surely reach you one of these days.
The book entered several charts and it’s not even a week ago since it’s out. The positions show high interest in Ms. Fredriksson’s biography. Not only in Sweden, but also around the world. Look at Ginza! Imagine the sales figures if the book is translated into English and other languages! 😉
No. 7 among all books!
Here you could order a limited number of signed copies if you live in Sweden or ordered the book to a Swedish address where you could pick it up. The book is nicely signed by Marie and Helena.
As we posted about it yesterday, journalist Tara Moshizi talked about Marie’s book in SVT’s morning program yesterday. Today it was Helena von Zweigbergk’s turn. She was invited to the same morning show on SVT, Gomorron Sverige and the reporter did a nice interview with her about the book. HERE you can watch it, but unfortunately, only if you live in Sweden. The important part starts at 1:23:13 and lasts until 1:35:09. 12 minutes about Marie on one of Sweden’s biggest TV channels sounds good, right?
At the beginning of the part about Ms. Fredriksson, the program leaders show the book itself, then there are some footage from Marie’s early live performances, Roxette’s Joyride video and Marie’s Skavlan TV show (2013) live performance.
Then the reporter starts talking to Helena. She tells about the title ”Kärleken till livet” that it was Marie’s idea. She was thinking about it for quite a long time, then one day when she was on tour with Roxette in Australia, she just came up with it and was very happy about it. To both Marie and Helena it felt like being the perfect title for the biography.
Helena also talks about how she was first hesitating about writing the book, but when she talked to Marie she realized how much Marie wants to tell the story about her life, without faffing around. While they were working together on the book, they became friends. They had a hard time writing the book, but also much fun.
The program leader asks about how popular Marie is internationally and Helena tells Roxette is incredibly huge and Marie gets so much love from the fans and she is really a loved artist.
Helena talks then mostly about what’s in the book and how they were writing it together. A little about how Marie grew up, her family, how Marie met Per and their work together, how Marie and Micke met and how happy Marie was about it, etc.
She says Marie is a strong and weak person at the same time, but when she is sitting on stage, she is sitting there like a queen and all the fans are just cheering her on.
It was a very nice interview and hearing more and more how Helena is talking about Marie and the book itself, it definitely seems that she was the best person to choose to cooperate on this long-awaited biography.
Here are some stills from the morning show. The older pics are probably taken from the book.
Thanx for the hint regarding the interview, Anja Hoppe!
Paula and Christina travelled once again to Gothenburg (don’t miss their report about the Roxette Diaries premiere about a month ago!) to visit the book fair in Gothenburg where Marie Fredriksson and Helena von Zweigbergk book was presented. Helena also participated in a couple of talks about the book and answered questions about the process of writing the book. A review of the book is on its way!
Arriving at around 10:30 to a massive long line at the main entrance. It was amazing the amount of people wanting to get in! It seems this fair gets bigger and bigger for every year… Luckily by asking around we were told about a side entrance and we could basically go straight in – thumbs up!
Once inside we went on the hunt for both the Pirat Förlaget stand as well as the VI-magazine stand, since the new issue of the magazine features an interview with Marie and Helena, who are also on the cover of the magazine.
Once at the VI stand we talked to the staff and told them we had many requests to buy the magazine, telling them their issue would go out into the entire world. We ended up buying 20 copies for different friends. They were very happy with this as they said it was the biggest sell of the day! Also they were very surprised to hear just how big and popular Roxette still is out there in the big big world. It is peculiar this thing with so many Swedish people STILL not knowing how big and famous Roxette is, how they still tour around and fill arenas and sell out concerts.
At the VI stand there was also a huge poster showing the cover of the magazine hanging as the background of their tiny stage. It was so nice to see!
After buying these many magazines at VI, we crossed the aisle and entered the rather big and fancy stand belonging to Pirat Förlaget, the publishing company releasing Marie’s book. The stand and area were big and had many authors presenting their latest books. There were many shelves with books everywhere and there were more Marie posters and photos to welcome us. The one that blew our minds out the most was the amazing entire body picture with Marie on the door to the authors’ “backstage area” (that Judith posted yesterday on Facebook!). We immediately felt right at home!
Helena Von Zweigbergk would first be doing a seminar talk at 12:30, to which you had to have the special seminar ticket in order to enter (very expensive one so we didn’t have that…), but we knew she would be doing 15min talks at Pirat Förlaget’s stage at 13:50 and 16:20.
We had a stroll around the fair before returning to this stage by 13, in order to get a good spot. (There were continuous talks only separated by 2min breaks throughout the entire day with several famous Swedish authors such as Jan Guillou, so you can imagine the crowd!). It was a nice and interesting experience to be able to hear so many different authors talking about their books and inspirations and ways of writing!
When Helena finally came on stage she was interviewed by journalist and TV-presenter Fredrik Belfrage (he worked for Swedish television and radio for several years and had a well known TV-show in Sweden called “Go’morron Sverige”… And even presented the “Melodifestivalen” a couple of times). During this first talk Helena explained the whole reason for the book and how it came about. The second talk was very similar to the first, but there are some slight differences and details she added or omitted. Stina filmed all of the second talk and you can find it on YouTube and a summary in English on Facebook.
The first talked started with the journalist asking Helena how the whole idea of the book started. Helena said that Marie Dimberg (Marie’s manager) called her and asked her if she could consider writing Marie’s biography and she described how she in the first place was very doubtful about it since she had met Marie before and thought it had been so tough to get contact with her. She even mentioned that she interviewed Marie many years ago and how she felt through the whole interview, how Marie did not like to be interviewed and talk. But she went to her place one day and then and there she met a completely different Marie, very open and with such a will to make this happen. She said it was a whole long process as Marie has difficulties reading, Helena listened to her, made notes, wrote and then she would read it to Marie and together they took out parts and changed words, or added new things Marie remembered.
Helena also mentioned that Marie only got the book the day before and also that she called Marie in the morning and asked her what she would like her to say to the audience who was going to listen to her talks. Marie had answered to please tell them “I am ok, I feel fine and tell them what a great time and how much fun we had while making the book together.” Helena said that Marie is quite tired of always being related to her illness and all the negative part of her life. So she really wanted Helena to tell people she’s so happy. Actually, at the end of this first talk, Helena took out her smartphone and told the audience that as Marie couldn’t be there herself she wanted to film us all saying HI to her, and that she was going to send it right away to her [Helena posted the video on Facebook too].
This journalist Fredrik also talked about Marie in a very nice way and was very good at keeping a smooth flow during the whole interview which for many moments actually felt more like a conversation between him and Helena, almost forgetting audience was there. He said he would never forget the time when they held Olof Palme’s funeral on TV. He was there and he really wanted Marie to perform “Mot okända hav” and how he called her in the very last minute thinking she wouldn’t make it but she did and it was for him an unforgettable and touching moment. He also mentioned he was happy to read in the book that Marie herself remembered that day! And Helena added that Olof Palme had meant a lot to Marie and her family, being a role model to look up to.
A nice and funny moment was when Fredrik asked Helena – after having mentioned some of the consequences Marie’s illness – what Marie does to remember the texts and lyrics of the songs now that they are touring so much. Helena talked about how Per and Marie had joked about that themselves when Per was making comments to Marie such as: “hey, you forgot the lyrics before too so what’s the big deal?”… Or “… Worst case you just point out the microphone to the audience so they sing along!” … And then she explained how Marie sits down with her son Oscar and together sing and go through the lyrics so she keeps them in her memory! It was funny and tender to hear this!
Helena also talked about Per and Marie’s different personalities and even music taste… Per being pop and very order freak and Marie being more rock and soul and more “messy” … And how those differences make them complete each other so well and how this has contributed in the creation of the Roxette sound we all know and love so much.
Also she told us that after the last surgery Marie had, she went through her worst period. She was blind on one eye, couldn’t read or write, got easily lost, had problems with her balance and barely remembered anything and that she was also suffering from aphasia (some form of inability to talk and produce words) for a long period of time. Marie felt locked inside her own world as in a bubble. But then suddenly one day, out of the blue, the tones of Dangerous came to her mind and she started humming the melody. And that is why Roxette has become such a very important part of Marie’s recovery as she little by little started remembering again.
After both talks Helena signed the book for those interested and we each had ours signed of course, followed by a VERY nice chat, where Helena thanked us for being there. We asked her if it was ok we filmed the second talk for all the fans to be able to listen and watch. And she said of course!
After the second talk we waited for her just to say thank you and goodbye and we asked her to greet Marie many times and tell her thank you from all of us.
We were so happy and overwhelmed with this whole experience. It was so so so nice to be there and listen to Helena. Get the book, see all the books and posters.
After the second talk we sat down somewhere upstairs away from the massive amount of visitors, to have a moment to go through the many, some new to us, photos in the book and we were caught on camera by one of the official book fair photographers having NO idea he had taken photos of us. He came up to us afterwards asking for permission to use them and he showed us a series of photos showing all of our reactions: pointing, smiling, laughing, being amazed, surprised, completely sucked into the world of the pages like only books can do.
Well, Roxette fan Ken did. Some hours ago he asked what happened with the song Marie was about to contribute to the soundtrack of Emil Jonsvik’s movie “Krigarnas Ö” (The name of the game). A short research showed that the movie isn’t out yet. Director Emil Jonsvik informs us that the release date featured on imdb.com is wrong.
Unfortunately – the soundtrack isn’t out yet either. Asked about it, Emil, who directed the “Sista Sommarens Vals” video, told us that they will release the soundtrack and the movie later this year. Until now there is no actual release date.
It should be good news anyway – according to him there will be a new Marie Fredriksson song out at the end of this year and it will be featured in the movie as well.
Do you remember this very special moment when Marie Fredriksson, being back then in Sydney, made a satellitte connection with Robert Broberg to sing “Everything disappears”? Yesterday we learnt Robert Broberg passed away in the age of 75 after long battle with Parkinson. Marie commented on this to TT press agency:
A great artist and a lovely man who will be missed. I have great memories from our collaborations and I am glad I got this opportunity to work with him.
A week has gone since my last Roxette show (ever?) in Vienna. I tend to think it was my last Roxette show ever, but I am always open for a pleasant surprise, of course. Why I do think that this is it? The final countdown, the last tour ever? Yes, just because of Marie’s condition. I know very well that she is a warrior, the greatest warrior I know. Maybe, but maybe, just maybe, all of this is too much to fight for. I don’t know. I posted a very long text about her and my perception of her condition in another article (there’s an English translation at the bottom of the text). I don’t want to go in too much detail here now. It’s only part of my thoughts and I already have put them in words, so I try to move on from it. But yes, it felt a bit like a farewell to a long long dream for me.
So, my last show was in Vienna, Wednesday, July 8th, 2015. Unfortunately, the tour stress had totally exhausted me which forced me to leave my place in the third row during “Spending my time” already and got me to a spot on the side of the stage. Suddenly I couldn’t handle all the people around me anymore, it was too loud, too crowded, just too much. I had wished for a better ending to this whole touring experience as I have never done it this extensively (10 shows in 14 days). It wasn’t meant to be and so I stood at the very far end of the stage, held a mug with water in one hand and my jacket in the other and watched Marie trying to deliver her notes.
I joined the tour with the start of the German leg of the European part of the tour. Roxette had been on tour already six weeks. The first European show in Milan I had attended, yes, but after that, as said, six weeks break. So, I came to see the concert in Cologne and joined all the travelling until Vienna.
What’s left to say? It was a very intense, very confusing, very life-changing experience. Apart from the concerts I realized that I am actually really too old to queue the whole day in front of the venue in 36°C, even though we could mostly sit in the shadow. My body doesn’t want to be in the heat for several hours, then get tense when it’s close to inlet and then run for a minute and then relax, just to tense again when it realizes that air is practically not existing inside the venue. At least my body doesn’t want that several times a week and that’s probably what it showed me in Vienna.
I realized that I am also too old to stand in front of hotels and airports and waiting for the right moment to ask for a photo. This moment never comes. Every fan is so dependent on the mood of her star, so was I. Fortunately, with Roxette, I adore a band who always took their time and mostly never have a bad mood or when they don’t show it their fans, at least there was only one occasion I witnessed it.
I also realized that I might be too old to adore people who don’t even know me. I started to ask myself what I actually expect when I meet them? I wrote in my other post that it’s the feeling of breathing the same air for some moments. This might be it. I don’t know. I know it’s different when it comes to Marie. Since her illness all I ever wanted was to show her my support in every situation possible. There were many times when she gave back so much, thanked for our support or even begged for more. Moments I can hardly forget or ignore. It stopped this year. For me and for her. She doesn’t notice or doesn’t want to notice her fans anymore and it’s finally time to step back for me. Concerts: Yes. Anything else: No.
So, yes, I’d do it all over again, travel miles and miles and never stop, I would, but my reasons have drastically changed. Still, there is this “have to support Marie” thing, it’s very strong, it can’t be abandoned easily. Then there is the other reason that got stronger and stronger during my journey: Meet other Roxers, laugh together, wait together, sing together, enjoy time together. I am so happy that I met so many nice people, maybe this was the most important thing for me during this trip. I finally remembered why they all are so special, even those who I thought wouldn’t speak a word with me anymore. I really really loved that. In the end we’re on this ship together and when it’s time to wave the white flag, whenever that is, we have to do it together somehow anyway.
I am trying to point out some of my personal highlights of the ten shows I saw now:
The best Roxette show I ever saw was the one in Berlin. This was another topic I wrote something about it, unfortunately it’s in German only so far, sorry for that. This was a magical night, moments that can’t and won’t be forgotten. The audience maybe wasn’t the loudest, but the most empathic. It took over when Marie forgot the lyrics and from that moment on everything could happen and it did. I am happy I was there. I could feel the love floating around from the stage to the audience and back. It was the one perfect night.
The best local song Christoffer played was probably “An der Nordseeküste” in Hamburg. It worked surprisingly well regarding the fact that this isn’t a German song in origin. The audience sang even louder than the people in Cologne who got their very own anthem “Viva Colonia”. For Non-Germans: “Viva Colonia” is T-H-E song in Cologne and even in parts of Germany. So I really wondered why it didn’t work THAT good this time. The funniest moment was most certainly Christoffer’s attempt to play Helene Fischer’s “Atemlos” which was probably the most played German song in 2014 and 2015 (just guessing).
I loved that Per shared our “bring us some water or ice” photo from Stuttgart. We had so much fun that day and it made us smile despite the heat. Unfortunately, we never got the ice or the water (just kidding, of course). Being a Roxer for 24 years you very well realize how special it is to communicate with your star in such a direct way. You post a photo, you know for sure that he sees it and when he shares or likes you are in heaven for some hours. Yes, that’s how it works. Praise the internet!
I also won’t forget the very messed up inlets in many many German cities, almost all of them. Gates that get less and less, although people are already queuing, scanners not working, security staff who don’t know how to mark a ticket, entrances that get closed completely ten minutes before the doors open, security staff telling you you are not allowed to sit down, because it’s too dangerous, others not telling you where you have to run – it was a mess, really. After three shows we joked about founding a consulting agency for security companies. They know so little, they do want to know so little – it can make you really angry. Worst are those who keep the guitar picks for themselves, by the way.
But let’s get back to the positive things. One of them: The amazing setlist Per Gessle put up. What a trick to end the show with “The Look”. What a great idea to bring “How do you do” back as standalone song again. People always have loved “How do you do” so much and it worked so very well at every single show I have been to. This was most often THE party crasher and people were not to stop from that point on. Yes, the audience expects the hits, the great number ones and the singles – it’s true and I can live with it, but after my last show I joked that I really don’t want to hear “Joyride” again so soon and that I am actually happy that I could keep myself busy with the balloons rather than singing. It’s a pity, of course, that I never applauded the band during the band presentation because I was so busy with getting the balloons ready. I still love the balloon thing very much.
We also had a talk about the stuff the fans do during the show and another fan had a very new thought: That we fans are part of the show as well. We do the balloon thing, we clap in moments non-fans don’t know (you know which songs I mean, Dangerous (attracted to go-go deeper tonight), The Look (head drum)), we try to sing “How do you do” on our own after the first riff and get the rest of the audience to join (it never worked until today, of course). Yes, there might be something to it. I had so much fun with all of this!
The general audiences really surprised me, though. I cannot count the times I heard people singing “The Look” while leaving the venue. One sang the verse, others joined in with the “Na na na na nas”. They were full of love for the band and didn’t hesitate to show. This felt much different during the last tour in 2011 and even more different during the Room Service tour 2001. Which brings me to my next point: This band loves to play, loves to be on stage, to play live, to improvise a bit, to make music together. You can see it every second they are on stage, even on their tired days. And this transports so much that people can’t help but join in. It might be compassion, farewell or memories bringing them to the shows, but they leave with different feelings: admiration for the band, the love for music and the will to definitely buy a new Roxette album. This band is so rocky. I heard that on the radio one morning: Roxette came as a pop-rock band to the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, but left as a rock-pop band. What a compliment for a band that earned so many bad reviews for their bubblegum music back in the 90’s!
So, what’s left after my last show in Vienna?
There’s a lot of good memories, some bad memories, decisions I made, a heart that’s still full of love for these people who accompany me for 24 years, a wish for another tour at least in North America so that I finally have a reason to go to New York (and I already have made appointments there with fellow Roxers, I didn’t forget that, Basia, Mareike and Mariana), and a deep deep longing which stands over it all that certain conditions get better again, the deep hope that something or someone can stop what we unfortunately witnessed this year and really don’t want to see and to see happen at all. The one topic we never talk about much. And then there’s the will to go on tour like this forever and that time just stands still, please.
It seems that a seminar related to our beloved artists is a must at the Göteborg Book Fair lately. It’s the third year in a row when a Roxette / Per Gessle / Marie Fredriksson book is out and there is a seminar about them. In 2013 it was Sven Lindström’s fabulous Roxette – Den osannolika resan tur och retur, last year besides a cool pop quiz (1; 2; videos) it was Per’s most awesome books, Songs, Sketches & Reflections and Texter, klotter & funderingar and this year it’s Marie’s long-awaited biography, Kärleken till livet.
It would be wonderful to meet Marie at the book fair, but it seems that it will be only Helena von Zweigbergk, the author of the book who will appear there and talk about the book. The seminar is on Saturday, 26th September. It starts at 12:30 and lasts for 20 minutes. See the seminar program at THIS link on page 51. Helena will surely share much information at the book fair.
The book’s actual publishing date is 14th October according to the publishing company Piratförlaget, but it’s still 7th October appearing at Ginza, Bengans etc.