Here we go again: 2018 solo tour setlist predictions

Only 4 months are left to – what is currently planned – the premiere night of Per Gessle’s solo tour in Prague, Czech Republic on the 7th of October. The upcoming tournée will take the man from Roxette across 12 countries & 21 European cities in just 40 days. For the second time ever Gessle takes himself and European fans on the English language adventure through music, lyrics and memories he has been part of for the last 30 years.

Last year over 1,000 of you, dear RoxetteBlog readers voted for your favourite songs of Gessle, Gyllene Tider and Roxette in the series of 10 polls just before the solo Swedish tour took off. We are still hoping some of your suggestions might help Mr G to prepare a setlist as the band will surely start rehearsing during late summer. So here comes a little summary of what we know, what we think we know and what we don’t know (and we might never know).

As Roxette sadly became the past, Per declares his plans to concentrate mostly on the vast Roxette catalogue during his European tour in the exclusive RoxetteBlog interviewIn the perfect world Marie would have been by my side to sing and perform but that won’t happen anymore. I have to live with that. You do too. The options I have are to perform the songs without her or not perform them at all. I chose the obvious one (…) Most of the songs will most certainly be Roxette-songs. I’ll probably sneak in a couple from the new solo album as well. Time will tell.

Do we have any hints of what Roxette gems can be performed during the tour? In the generic TV commercial produced for promotional purposes you can easily see and hear 3 Roxette songs from Halmstad’s 2017 concert as follow: The Look, Joyride, It must have been love. These hits are likely to get the same treatment as last year as it’s going to be the same band that goes on European roads with Per. It must have been love with Helena on the lead might be a hard to swallow for some, but well, we’re in 2018.  Dressed for success and Listen to your heart were also performed on a brief occassion during 2017 gigs, so these are another safe bets.  Looking also at some historical data, during the Party Crasher Tour the band performed 13 Roxette songs, beside 5 megahits mentioned previously, tracks such as Wish I Could Fly / She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore / 7Twenty7 / Opportunity Nox / Church Of Your Heart / Dangerous / Sleeping In My Car / Queen Of Rain. Country arrangements, anyone?

Would there be enough space on this year’s setlist to put songs less known which we haven’t heard in a while? I belive mosts fans support the idea of hearing compositions Per has created and sang himself originally on the official releases which haven’t heard live at all. One of the Swedish auction site Tradera user put a poster on sale that seems to be the official one for the Swedish leg of 2018 tour. What can come as a little surprise is the fact it includes tracks’ names that haven’t been performed by Gessle solo so far which are: Spending my time / How do you do / Fading like a flower / June Afternoon / Crash! Boom! Bang! / Vulnerable / Real sugar. Back in 2009 Vulnerable was said to be “impossible” to perform live. Have 9 years changed anything in that matter? Is it a random choice from the concert agency? Or maybe the poster is just fake? But hey, June Afternoon or Real Sugar are brilliant choices anyway.

On the top of that there is a Spotify Roxette playlist recently created by The Man himself which includes – beside obvious – incredible pearls (if you seriously consider theses songs could be performed live): “Paint”, “Jefferson”, “A Thing About You”, “Some other summer” or “Secrets that she keeps”. Unfortunately, we know such teasing on social media rarely leads to anything surprising in the end. In the last year’s poll you voted for She doesn’t live here anymore as the most desired Roxette songs that needs to be performed live. “a safe risk” with most popular Roxette songs? Time will tell, to quote our Guru.

Let’s not forget the fact the previous tour was also partially about solo material which actually received a very positive feedback from the audience back then. 11 songs performed during the Party Crasher Tour were a mix of Son of a plumber classics (Drowning In Wonderful Thoughts About Her / I Have A Party In My Head (I Hope It Never Ends) / Late, Later On / C’mon /  Are You On Old Hippie, Sir? / Hey Mr. Dj (Won’t You Play Another Love Song), highlights from The World According to Gessle (Stupid / Do You Wanna Be My Baby?) and very little off Party Crasher (The Party Pleaser / Doesn’t Make Sense). Yet another time we were said Silly Really doesn’t really translate well into a live song, so let it be. There was also a little surprise at the end – The Monkee’s (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone cover, also briefly performed by Roxette in 2010.

Looking at various interviews Gessle hopes “Small Town Talk” album (English version of last year’s Swedish solo projects) will get a little bit of exposure during the concert. If so, then the title song (Nick Lowe as a special guest in London?), “The Finest Prize” (Första pris last year was great live) or “There’s a place” (Min plats) could be live options off that album. Let’s face it, anything above 3-4 new songs will be a shocker. I’m hoping Per Gessle’s Roxette tour name anyway gives Per  a little bit of space and freedom to include his favourite English solo songs from the last 21 years. They are worth to be sang, they cannot be forgotten.

Just a quick reminder how you voted for your favourites off English solo albums last year: 1997 The World According to Gessle: Son of a Plumber: 009 – Party Crasher: 

Summing up, my prediction would be a setlist of 24 songs as it always makes a perfect 90-100-minute concert in the Gessle’s world. 16 songs would come out of Roxette and 8 would be solo tracks. But the more, the better.

What songs would you like to hear this year? See you around in Europe!

What would you like to see among the upcoming Per Gessle merchandise?

During the past few years we all attended several tours. Roxette, Gyllene Tider, Marie Fredriksson, Per Gessle. One of the evergreen topics discussed among fans was the merchandise. There is a bunch of useful merch stuff, there are some gadgets which are good only to gather dust on a hardcore collector’s shelf and there are some which would never sell out of stock. Now, 5 months before the Per Gessle’s Roxette tour starts, we thought a poll could be an option to let your voice be heard and tell us what kind of merchandise you would happily buy during the tour. Please, vote for the ones you would definitely buy, because you find it cool, useful, a lovely thing to make you remember the tour anytime you use it or look at it. If you have any other idea to add to the list, please let us know in a comment on Facebook and we might add some more ideas to the list.

Of course, all items would ideally be printed with a PG pic or a tour logo. Regarding the T-shirts there are usually discussions about them including the tour dates or not, so there you will find two options.

Please, choose as many merch stuff as you wish, but don’t forget to choose ONLY those which you would definitely buy. This might be helpful for Mr. G’s team as well, to decide what to include. 😉

 

Exclusive interview with Per Gessle: ”Boogie shoes are allowed!”

We are all very excited about Per’s upcoming tour and also the new album. Both we at RoxBlog and fans are very curious about some details, so we put together a few questions and sent them to Mr. G after the news came out.

RXB: – Hi Per! The question was never IF, but WHEN you would hit the road again. We’ve been wondering if it’s high time for another Gyllene Tider celebration, but you first teased and now suprised us with a European tour called ”Per Gessle’s Roxette”. Would you mind telling us more about how the idea was born?

PG: – Hello! Yes, the idea came up during the rehearsals for the summer tour last year. The band sounded very special and it just occurred to me that it would be interesting to play Roxette songs with these amazing players and their instruments. I suddenly had violin, pedal steel, dobro and several  wonderful voices available. I hope my gut feeling was correct. I’ll know when we get together after the summer.

RXB: – In 2009 you were called ”the man from Roxette” in all materials, now it’s more direct, potentially better marketing-wise ”Per Gessle’s Roxette”. Some fans think it sounds quite controversial, like you would set up your own ”Roxette tribute band”. Have you hesitated choosing that name?

PG: – No, I think it’s a great name since it’s exactly what it is. This is my personal version of Roxette. I play Roxette-songs I’ve written, music that still is such a big slice of my life. In the perfect world Marie would have been by my side to sing and perform  but that won’t happen anymore. I have to live with that. You do too. The options I have are to perform the songs without her or not perform them at all. I chose the obvious one.

RXB: – In the press release it’s mentioned that this tour’s idea was ”blessed” by Marie. Have you been in discussion with her about your plans regarding this tour?

PG: – Of course.

RXB: – It’s no secret 2009 was a success music-wise with fans being positively suprised by the setlist, band and the whole atmosphere, but it was more challenging in financial terms. You even mentioned in one of the interviews that you were forced to finance the tour yourself. Has this experience influenced planning of this tour in any way?

PG: – No, I’m a musician, songwriter and an artist. My mission is to play, write and perform. Sometimes you make records that sell well and get lots of airplay and streams and you make money. Sometimes your music doesn’t work commercially.  Same with tours. You win some, you lose some. That’s the name of the game. That’s how the music biz works.

RXB: – What can a fan expect? Would that be 100% of Roxette (we still hope for your live take on ”Vulnerable” and ”A Thing About You”) or will it be more balanced setlist with songs also from your long English solo career including ”The World According to Gessle”, ”Party Crasher”, ”Son of a Plumber” and ”Small Town Talk”?

PG: – I don’t know at this point but most of the songs will most certainly be Roxette-songs. I’ll probably sneak in a couple from the new solo album as well. Time will tell.

RXB: – How would the concerts in 2018 differ from the tour in 2009 – except of you being 25-year-old this time (18 back then)?

PG: – Hahaha, I don’t know yet. Different players, different point of views.

RXB: – How final is the current tour plan? Are there any further dates in additional countries in the can?

PG: – Could be more gigs poppin’ up.

RXB: – Do you consider taking this tour outside Europe – to South America or Australia maybe?

PG: – Maybe. I’d love to play South America, Asia, Oz, South Africa, New Z, Canada and the US as well. Time will tell.

RXB: – What was your role in deciding where to play or was it all in the hands of touring agencies?

PG: – The tour is put together by Live Nation. They’re doing a great job. We all strive for the same thing; to play where it’s possible.

RXB: – Many concerts are seated. Was that your clear intention with this tour? Does it mean we get more ballads this time?

PG: – No, it’s because my audience is getting older and many of them prefer seats. If you want I’m sure you can stand up. Boogie shoes are allowed!

RXB: – In 2009 you said the ”Party Crasher Tour” was the best gift for yourself on your 50th birthday. Is the 2018 tour another self-made present for your next birthday?

PG: – No, I don’t think in those terms. Quotes like that just pop out of my mouth when I talk to the media.

RXB: – Do you consider ”Per Gessle’s Roxette” being a one-off project or something you could do in the coming years more often?

PG: – I will continue to play my Roxette-songs as long as  I can. It’s who I am and where I want to be.

RXB: – In autumn you are not only touring Europe, you also release your first English solo album in 10 years called ”Small Town Talk”. First you planned to have an English song on each of the 2 ”En vacker…” albums. Was it during the recordings when it came to your mind to rather release a ”complete” English version some time later?

PG: – I got really positive reactions from BMG Europe re the Swedish albums so I decided to go for an English version as well. The hardest part was to translate the lyrics since they’re quite personal and almost impossible for me to re-write. I got help from Sharon Vaughn out of Nashville to make new interpretations on a few of the tracks. She’s amazing and has been a big help.

RXB: – The first thing we realized when the tracklist for ”En vacker dag” was available was that the English duet was missing. Will that missing song with Jessica Sweetman see the light of day on ”Small Town Talk”?

PG: – Time will tell.

RXB: – We know already that you do a duet with Nick Lowe on the forthcoming album. Helena Josefsson is of course in the picture as well. You posted a selfie with Linnea Henriksson the other day. Does it mean there will be an English version of ”Känns som första gången”?

PG: – Time will tell.

RXB: – Which songs from the 2 Swedish albums will land on the English one?

PG: – Time will tell.

RXB: – It’s your sister on the cover of ”En vacker natt” and your mother on the sleeve of ”En vacker dag”. Will you have the same family vibe for ”Small Town Talk”?

PG: – No. STT will have little old me on the cover.

RXB: – Oh, and before we forget – any plans to release the 2017 ”En vacker kväll” tour on DVD / Blu-ray in the nearest future?

PG: – Yep, there will be an amazing DVD from the Halmstad-gig very soon. It looks and sounds great.

RXB: – And what about releasing past Roxette gigs we mentioned here several times?

PG: – Yes, there will be old Rox live shows out this year as well. No rest for the wicked.

RXB: – Thank you very much for your time and see you on tour!

PG: – Cheers.