Per Gessle – En vacker kväll in Hasslö, Sweden – 15th July 2017 – #6

As last night’s gig was yet another festival show, we expected a shorter setlist and the same songs as in Oskarshamn. Per and the band surprised us though, already at the very beginning of the concert, because instead of Min plats, they started the show with På promenad genom stan. Starting with a well-known song made the audience sing along right from the start and it gave a different vibe to the concert vs. when the opening song is Min plats.

The concert ended with Småstadsprat, however, as we mentioned it earlier, Sommartider would be better to be kept as the last song. It would be an even more relevant closing song at a festival.

Anyway, as Per says, he and the band think this was the best gig so far. PG being yesterday’s headliner artist attracted so many people to come to Hasslöfestivalen that they reached an attendance record. Cool!

Åsa (or better said “Awesome” as PG calls Fru Nordin on his YouTube channel lately, how sweet!)  filmed incredibly lot and the videos are already out on GessleHomeVids. She rulez! And Mr. G + the band too!

   

Per about the show:

Yeehaa! Som fisken i vattnet trivdes vi på Hasslöfestivalen. Fantastisk publik + en härlig sommarkväll + supertaggat band = en bra kombination! Bästa gigget hittills, tycker vi! Tack för all sång + blommor + presenter + specialgjorda öletiketter! /P.

Setlist

1. På promenad genom stan
2. Vilket håll du än går
3. Juni, juli, augusti
4. Det hjärta som brinner
5. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
6. It Must Have Been Love
7. Kung av sand
8. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
9. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
10. Spegelboll
11. Gå & fiska!
Band presentation
12. The Look (with När vi två blir en as intro)

Encore:
13. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
14. Tycker om när du tar på mej
15. Joyride
16. Sommartider

Encore 2:
17. Småstadsprat

All photos in the article are taken by Sandra Knospe. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandra!

Videos:

På promenad genom stan
Juni, juli, augusti: 1; 2;
Det hjärta som brinner
Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
Varmt igen
Sommartider

Articles, pictures:

Hasslöfestivalen FB
Blekinge Läns Tidning

 

Per Gessle – En vacker kväll in Töreboda, Sweden – 14th July 2017 – #5

The 5th gig on Per Gessle’s summer tour has definitely left the crowd and the gang breathless. Mazarin entering the Swedish vinyl charts at No. 1 must have had a good effect on Mr. G’s anyway great mood and the gang was ass-kicking as well.

Approximately 4500 people gathered in Töreboda at the square to see Mr. G and they gave their best. They were probably the most active and loudest crowd so far, singing along during the whole concert and clapping hard during almost each song.

One of the sponsors, Vera & John prepared some gadgets (caps, inflatable cheering gloves and huge balloons) for the event. Their brand colour is magenta and so the gadgets were available in that colour. The big magenta balloons were let fly over the crowd and during The Look even Per kicked in one of them when it was getting close to him. THAT moment you can see at appr. 1:45 in THIS video. Too cool!

The setlist was changed a bit. One important difference vs. Dalhalla is that Tittar på dej när du dansar got back. Woohoo! Keep it in! No LTYH was played and the band even left out Honung och guld. Småstadsprat they performed right after It Must Have Been Love and it fitted there perfectly.

The uptempo songs turned the whole area into a big party place and ending the show with Sommartider was one of the best decisions. Such a hit as the closing song of the event leaves everyone wanting for more and that’s the way it should be. So let’s hope Per keeps it this way and from now on, all concerts end with Sommartider.

The show in Töreboda is considered to be the best so far on this tour! Let’s see what happens next time!

Anders Roos was there again to take photos (1; 2) and Åsa was filming (1; 2; 3) during the show this time too.

Per’s words after the show:

Grymt gig igår i Töreboda. Fullt hus och fullt drag. Tack alla. Syns igen. /P.

 

Setlist

1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Vilket håll du än går
4. Juni, juli, augusti
5. Det hjärta som brinner
6. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
7. Tittar på dej när du dansar
8. It Must Have Been Love
9. Småstadsprat
10. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
11. Kung av sand
12. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
13. Spegelboll
14. Gå & fiska!
Band presentation
15. The Look (with När vi två blir en as intro)

Encore:
16. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
17. Tycker om när du tar på mej
18. Dressed for Success
19. Joyride

Encore 2:
20. Sommartider

All photos in the article are taken by Sandra Knospe. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandra!

Videos:

Min plats: 1; 2;
Juni, juli, augusti: 1; 2;
It Must Have Been Love: 1; 2;
Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång): 1; 2;
The Look: 1; 2;
Sommartider: 1; 2; 3; 4;
16.5 minutes of the show (several songs)

Articles, pictures:

Mariestads-Tidningen

 

Per Gessle – En vacker kväll in Rättvik, Sweden – 13th July 2017 – #4

After 4 days off, Per Gessle’s summer tour continued and the gang played in Rättvik. Last night’s venue, Dalhalla is an amphitheatre located in a former limestone quarry, and is used as a summer music venue. Seeing a concert live in such a beautiful setting must be amazing. Per played there before, in 2015 with Roxette.

The audience were mainly seated, but in the front there was a little space for standing people. Still the stage was too high. Åsa was there and filmed a lot. Per already shared 2 great videos from the gig (1; 2). Anders Roos was also there again and took some cool pictures (1; 2). Fingers crossed for a nice photo book after the tour!

After the first song, Min plats Per talked to the crowd and mentioned they played at this venue with Roxette in 2015. He also said he was writing songs for more than 40 years, which is unbelievable and on this tour he wants to play songs from all the branches of his tree.

   

Most songs, like e.g. På promenad genom stan or Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) were rather heavy clap and sing along songs in Dalhalla and Ljudet av ett annat hjärta was the one that made most people (from 5 to 90) stand up from their seats and party.

There was a little change in the setlist. After It Must Have Been Love the band played Listen To Your Heart. Per mentioned after the song that they rehearsed LTYH only during the soundcheck on concert day, so then they decided to play it. Unfortunately, the setlist didn’t get longer by this one hit, but it kicked Tittar på dej när du dansar off the set. We would be fine with having both of them, just saying.

During The Look, Christoffer came down to the catwalk in front of the stage and was entertaining the crowd with his crazy guitar playing.

Per about the Dalhalla show:

Härligt gig igår i obeskrivligt vackra Dalhalla. Tack alla för skönsången. Syns igen. Turne’bussen rullar vidare! /P.

Setlist

1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Vilket håll du än går
4. Juni, juli, augusti
5. Det hjärta som brinner
6. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
7. It Must Have Been Love
8. Listen To Your Heart
9. Honung och guld
10. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
11. Kung av sand
12. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
13. Spegelboll
14. Gå & fiska!
Band presentation
15. The Look (with När vi två blir en as intro)

Encore:
16. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
17. Tycker om när du tar på mej
18. Dressed for Success
19. Joyride

Encore 2:
20. Sommartider
21. Småstadsprat

All photos in the article are taken by Sandra Knospe. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandra!

Videos:

På promenad genom stan: 1; 2;
Juni, juli, augusti: 1; 2; 3;
Det hjärta som brinner
It Must Have Been Love: 1; 2;
Honung och guld
Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång): 1; 2; 3;
Kung av sand
Ljudet av ett annat hjärta: 1; 2;
Gå & fiska!: 1; 2;
The Look
Tycker om när du tar på mej: 1; 2; 3;
Joyride
Sommartider: 1; 2; 3; 4;
Småstadsprat: 1; 2;

Articles, pictures

Rockfoto
Dala Demokraten (for subscribers only)
dt.se (for subscribers only)

Per Gessle – En vacker kväll in Örebro, Sweden – 8th July 2017 – #3

Per Gessle’s concert in Örebro was planned to be held at Slottsparken, but at the end of April, the venue was changed to Gustavsviksbadet, because the castle park is now declared not to be suitable for concerts.

Zigzagging in the country from one concert town to another, we arrived to Örebro in the afternoon. Not much later than we had arrived to the venue, Per and the band started their soundcheck before 5 pm and it lasted for about 20 minutes. Some of us stood up on the fence and watched them on stage. HERE you can see a short part of it. The energy level is indeed different when you have a crowd in front of you, isn’t it? Haha.

It was raining almost all day and so we prepared our ponchos for the night, but fortunately, the sky got clearer and clearer. It rained until 4 pm, then started again at 6 and once again a bit later, but by the time Per & Co came up on stage, there was no rain at all and it stayed like that all night.

In the queue I met a young Swedish guy. We chatted a bit and were standing next to each other in the front row. He is 22 and got into PG’s music only 4 years ago. He knew Gyllene Tider before that and wasn’t really fond of them, but something kicked in at the age of 18. Cool! It’s never too late to become a Per Gessle fan, eller hur? I love it how the younger generation also finds Per’s music attractive.

Good Harvest and Strandels were there in Örebro and played their 25-25 minutes before Per and the band came up on stage. I haven’t written about the stage outfits so far (besides Per’s white clothes, of course!). I like it very much how everyone’s appearance fits each other’s set, but still everyone has their clothes tailored to their own personalities. You can see it on the pictures and in the videos. Do I have to mention that I just love PG’s black outfit with those red stars and stripes on? It’s too hot and it’s so much his style! Lookin’ cool!

Now both Per and the band were even more relaxed than in Oskarshamn. Mr. G was jumping around and doing his circles (mainly during Joyride) on stage all night very energetically. Even if now there are more slow songs in the setlist, during which Per is more of the swaying his hips guy, during the uptempo songs he still shows us his left leg stomping trademark. Adorable! His voice needed some ginger tea during the show, but we loved how he sounded. During the concert he was licking the picks quite often. We know that from the 2014 plec interview that he is doing it for the picks to stick more to the finger.

There were several funny and / or adorable moments during the whole show, as usual, but I have to mention especially one of those moments. After Första pris Per was talking to the crowd and a guy was shouting from the audience: ”Perra, vi älskar dig!” ( = Per, we love you!). How PG reacted to it, with an ”Aaaaaah!” leaving his mouth and how the crowd was cheering him was absolutely priceless!

The band was very energetic too. They communicate more and more with the crowd and we love that. Keep it up, guys and girls! They are all so talented and nice people and you must love how they enjoy performing. There is a very lovely scene during each show when Sommartider is being played. The band members all go to Andreas to stand in front of him, very close to each other, while Per is in the very front, making the crowd sing along. In Örebro BoJo gave the job to someone else to film the crowd during this song. The screens and the camera cooperated perfectly this time and we could see crowd pics on the background screens.

The second RoxBlog live video in history was Varmt igen in Örebro. Cool that so many of you wacthed it! And isn’t it a most beautiful presentation of the song by Per and his beautiful band? It absolutely is!

   

The setlist was the same as in Helsingborg (except for the LTYH intro to The Look), so Mahi Nana got back! Woohoo! The last song was again Småstadsprat. Still makes me think that Sommartider would be a better ending to the show and they should find another spot for Småstadsprat. Regarding the setlist, I mean the songs it includes, I like it like that (except for IMHBL, for obvious reasons already mentioned earlier), but it could still have at least 1 song that could be changed for each concert. Most of the hardcore fans agreed on the fact that the changing song could be Honung och guld. Per’s brilliant career has so many eras that are still not represented on this tour. Yet. We miss at least one song from his English solo, ’80s Swedish solo or SOAP. And if Roxette, then She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is a most wanted song or any other uptempo Rox hit. Can be something that had never been played live with Roxette. Maybe next time? Wishful thinking?

At the end of the show the crowd (4000 people) were cheering the fab 8 on stage. Per and the band were smiling continuously. They bowed to the crowd 3-4 times before they left the stage. Per even tried to throw picks from his mic stand to the audience, but after approximately 3 attempts he gave up, because he failed to throw them further than the edge of the stage. His facial expression after each attempt was too funny. Try just a little bit harder next time, Mr. G! Haha.

Oh, one more thing. When the crowd was leaving the venue, some fans got close to the stage and asked Micke N-S for the setlist. He threw some sheets of paper to them and what you could read on them made you laugh. It was written in English (why not in Swedish… LOL… 😉 ) and it reads: ”You don’t get a setlist, because your ticket does not say entertainment and a souvenir. It just says that you get to see the show. That should be enough. What are you going to do with a lousy piece of paper anyway?” Thanx for the laugh of the day, MNS!

Per after the gig:

Tack Örebro! Tack för en härlig kväll i Gustavsvik igår. Grymt att se så mycket folk och höra så sköna röster överallt! Och, håll i hatten, inget regn!!! “Honung och guld” var magisk och Christoffers “Queen Of Rain”-intro till “Varmt igen” är en pärla. Cheers. Syns igen! /P&Co

 

All photos in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

Setlist

1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Vilket håll du än går
4. Juni, juli, augusti
5. Det hjärta som brinner
6. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
7. Tittar på dej när du dansar
8. It Must Have Been Love
9. Honung och guld
10. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
11. Kung av sand
12. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
13. Spegelboll
14. Gå & fiska!
Band presentation
15. The Look (with Listen To Your Heart as intro)

Encore:
16. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
17. Tycker om när du tar på mej
18. Dressed for Success
19. Joyride

Encore 2:
20. Sommartider
21. Småstadsprat

Videos:

Min plats
På promenad genom stan: 1; 2;
Juni, juli, augusti: 1; 2;
It Must Have Been Love
Honung och guld
Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
Kung av sand
Ljudet av ett annat hjärta: 1; 2; 3;
Gå & fiska!
The Look: 1; 2;
Tycker om när du tar på mej
Sommartider: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

Articles, pictures:

Örebroguiden
Örebro Tribune
NA

 

Per Gessle – En vacker kväll in Oskarshamn, Sweden – 7th July 2017 – #2

The 2nd stop on Per Gessle’s solo tour was a festival in Oskarshamn. Latitud 57 is a 2-day-long festival and Per was announced to perform there on the first day, being the Friday headliner. Weeks before the event we saw pictures of cars (1; 2) promoting the festival and we all agreed that they looked very cool and we would love to drive one like that. Who wouldn’t want a PG face on their cars? Haha. One car we also saw upon our arrival to Oskarshamn.

When we arrived, the festival area wasn’t too crowded. All the people who were around just wanted to change their tickets to armbands, so they were queueing for that. The gates opened at 16:30 and even if PG was to perform on the main stage at 21:00, we occupied our spots in the front row already after we had been let in.

First there was a show for children (Duran & Mollan) on the main stage, starting at 17:30. The kids (3-10) enjoyed it a lot and their parents too. Some parents were more active doing the choreography than their kids. Haha. Then there was a little break and set up for the next main stage act and the organizers announced that the festival for Friday is sold out. This meant 9000 people attending the event. So, Peg Parnevik was next, starting at 19:00. Her fans are mostly teenagers and we let them enjoy their ”idol” (?) from the front row. Her performance was, let’s say, a bit too far from our musical taste. Strandels, one of Per’s support acts were performing at the small stage from 20:00. We didn’t go there, we stood in the main stage front row instead, but we could hear Strandels performing very well from there too.

The crew was setting up the stage and preparing the instruments for Mr. G and the band. I think I haven’t mentioned yet that the stage background seems to stay on wheels during the whole show, so it is probably much easier to carry it around Sweden, from one place to another. The crew is still so professional anyway, they are always very fast with setting up before the gigs and tearing down after the shows. This time Åsa wasn’t there, but BoJo was testing the big stage camera in Oskarshamn too, just like in Helsingborg. However, at the point he would have had to use it (during Sommartider), there was a little technical issue, so the picture didn’t appear on the screens. He waited for someone to sort it out, but in the end it didn’t work. Never mind. It was much fun anyway!

PG and the band appeared on stage at 21:00. I decided to shoot the first ever RoxetteBlog live video and broadcast it on our Facebook page, to let you all enjoy how the concert starts. Being it the first attempt, I almost missed the beginning of Min plats. Too many buttons to click on… Haha. Fortunately, it worked out fine in the end and I’m glad you liked it. Will do it again later too, promise. 😉

The opening song sounded beautiful, didn’t it? This time there was no sign of nervousness. Per and the band played as if they have been playing together since ever and they all communicated more with the audience than at the premiere gig. In the video you can hear that the crowd was really loud, already after Min plats they let their voice and hands be heard and it got only better.

We knew that a festival show would be shorter than a usual one and that was the case indeed. PG’s concert had to end after 90 minutes as there was another band starting to perform on the small stage at 22:30. This way the setlist got shorter vs. Helsingborg, but it was still longer than the Leif’s Lounge show.

One harmonica song was out of the set (Vilket håll du än går), but fortunately, the other stayed in (Kung av sand). Honung och guld was left out too.

I won’t go into hit by hit details, but of course I’d like to mention some fun things or facts that I could pay more attention to on the tour’s second show. One of them is that I actually love how Per and the gang stop playing Juni, juli, augusti after ”För vindarna är varma då / Juni, juli, augusti” and leave a break for the cheering crowd then go on playing the song from ”Du tror jag inte ser dig så”.

Oskarshamn’s crowd knew the lyrics to It Must Have Been Love very well and were not ashamed to sing along loudly. Still, the song left us with the same mixed feelings as in Helsingborg. You know why.

Ljudet av ett annat hjärta and Spegelboll were 2 highlight songs again. They work just perfectly. It would have been even better for me if the security guy didn’t decide to take his job so seriously during Ljudet av ett annat hjärta and step up on the fence in front of me to order someone in the middle to get off someone else’s neck or so. It took some time until I had a clear stage view in front of me again.

 

During Gå & fiska! there was some technical issue with Per’s guitar. No clue what it was. He just brought it to Micke N-S to fix it. MNS wanted to give him another guitar, but Per refused it and came back to the stage without a guitar. It was fun seeing him without any instruments, gesticulating heavily with his hands while singing. While Mr. G was moving around without the guitar, checking if MNS was ready with it yet, he bumped into either Helena or Malin (I can’t remember, I think it was rather Malin) and let her go first. It was too cute. MNS was fast fixing the guitar though and PG got it back in probably less than 2 minutes.

When I was writing down the setlist, I had to check it twice what the intro to The Look was, because I tried to memorize it was Ljudet av ett annat hjärta, but as that song was already played in the set, I got a bit uncertain. I don’t know why Chris chose that one to play as the intro too, but well. It sounded cool in Christoffer’s psychedelic performance too. Haha.

Now standing on the left side, I could see more of Ola and Andreas. They both can go real wild on stage and it’s great watching them how they enjoy playing their instruments. Ola and Chris were playing a lot next to each other and they both also went several times to Andreas to have some fun while playing. Magnus from the right joined them too every now and then.

Regarding Joyride, we brought balloons with us, but as the setlist changed and this time the song came after Tycker om när du tar på mej, we realized it quite late that Joyride was the next song and we were not ready with blowing the balloons up on time. Even BoJo saw us being late and he was laughing at us. Haha. Whatever. Another fun fact, before Per started playing Joyride, he picked the acoustic plecs off the mic stand one by one and threw them to the crowd. Well, he already knew he wouldn’t need more acoustic picks during the rest of the show. Unfortunately, the shorter setlist didn’t include Tittar på dej när du dansar. We missed it much! But what was even stranger is that Småstadsprat wasn’t performed either.

The last song in the first encore was Sommartider and the 2nd encore contained only Dressed for Success. I would have changed these 2 songs and played DFS before or after Joyride and perform Sommartider as the closing song, but we enjoyed it this way too. However, there was a little technical hiccup again. When the gang came back for the 2nd encore, Per’s mic didn’t work so we couldn’t really hear what he was saying and even his guitar had a low sound. The guys fixed it in no time though and all went on perfectly fine with DFS.

Andreas was rocking the drums so hard that one of his drumsticks flew out of his hands at the end (absolutely not on purpose) and it landed in front of us in the front row. One Russian guy could pick it up, so now he is a very happy owner of an Andreas Dahlbäck drumstick and keeps it in his collection as a very nice memory of that Oskarshamn night.

Per after the show:

W O W ! Fantastiskt gig på Latitud 57 festivalen i Oskarshamn. Utsålt = 9000 pers. Den här turne’n kommer att bli mycket speciell. Häng med! /P.

All photos in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

Setlist:

1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Juni, juli, augusti
4. Det hjärta som brinner
5. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
6. It Must Have Been Love
7. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
8. Kung av sand
9. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
10. Spegelboll
11. Gå & fiska!
Band presentation
12. The Look (with Ljudet av ett annat hjärta as intro)

Encore:
13. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
14. Tycker om när du tar på mej
15. Joyride
16. Sommartider

Encore 2:
17. Dressed for Success

Videos:

Roxette hits (short parts of all the Rox songs that were played)
Kung av sand
Ljudet av ett annat hjärta: 1; 2;
Sommartider: 1; 2;

Articles, pictures:

Barometern

 

Per Gessle – En vacker kväll in Helsingborg, Sweden – 6th July 2017 – #1

4 days ago Per Gessle’s most awaited solo tour started. The pre-premiere gig at Leif’s Lounge was a real good appetizer for what was about to come in July and August, so we couldn’t wait anymore to see and hear Mr. G and the band on a huge stage under the Swedish summer sky. The premiere gig was held at Sofiero Slott in Helsingborg. This place I remembered from 2013 when Gyllene Tider played there. Besides recalling images of 5 amazing golden guys on stage, I also remembered 2 other things: all the people were coming with picnic baskets and the sound was so weak back then that we could hear our voices better than Per’s and also the sound of the instruments was very low. So I was wondering how the show would be, if the sound could be better after 4 years and if the Swedes come to have a picnic again.

Hardcore fans arrived from several countries during the day: besides Sweden, there were fans from Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and maybe from even more countries. So the front row seemed to become very international to cheer PG on his big night. The security team was very helpful and nice, they seemed to understand our insanity of waiting for our favourite artist during all day.

While we were waiting for the gates to open at 6 pm, we could hear the soundcheck that started at appr. 4 pm. The stage was too far away to see clearly what was happening, but the sound was great outside. Gave us high hopes for it to be awesome at night too. What PG and the band rehearsed were På promenad genom stan, Vilket håll du än går, Det hjärta som brinner, Segla på ett moln which lead into Första pris, then Mahi Nana, woohoo Tittar på dej när du dansar, It Must Have Been Love, Honung och guld, Varmt igen, Tycker om när du tar på mej, then we could hear some drum tacts from Soul Deep, then came Småstadsprat, Dressed for Success and Min plats. The whole soundcheck lasted for about an hour. Åsa was there at the venue too and she came to greet us some minutes after 4 pm, during the soundcheck. She was as nice she is always with the fans.

The gates opened at 6 pm and just as we thought, after we got to our places in the front, no Swedes were coming closer to us. They all landed their baskets on the grass, far away from the stage and started having their picnic. Haha. Still such a funny thing. But good for us.

As I already shared some pictures on our Facebook page, there is of course new merchandise. You can buy T-shirts (6 different ones), a crew-neck sweater, a sailor bag, a lithography, a corkscrew, a set of 3 wine glasses in a nice case and a pack of cards. Hm. It might be hard to find out what to include in the merchandise and then you have to decide on the design too. Well, next time it would be worth asking the fans about it. Just saying. To those who plan to buy any of the above mentioned, it might be useful info for you that the wine glasses have tussilagos printed on them. Not engraved, printed. So you might not be able to wash them in a dishwasher. At least we wouldn’t try to. 3 glasses. 3? Could be 2 or 6. Interesting anyway. Another funny thing is the corkscrew and its design. To print ”Per Gessle” with silver on a silver coloured (plastic) surface wasn’t the best of ideas. OK, everyone can decide on what he / she is into and would buy from the merchandise. What we all miss are mugs and keyrings and T-shirts with the tour dates on the back. And more PG pics on the merch stuff, instead of signs. The tussilagos are fine though. And how about merch guitar picks? Besides all what I listed above you can also buy the standard ”En vacker natt” vinyl and the CD, as well as the Mazarin LP at the merch stand.

After checking the merchandise, we got back to our places. While standing there waiting for the support acts, we saw photographer Anders Roos on stage. We talked to him shortly and it turned out he would be at several shows to take photos. So let’s hope there will be a nice photo book of this tour too.

Good Harvest was the first support act to perform. The 2 girls, Hanna Enlöf and Ylva Eriksson got on stage at 19:30 and played for about 25 minutes. They sound beautiful together and their guitar playing is also wonderful. Their songs and covers are really unique.

After Good Harvest, the stage was set for Strandels, Tova and Sixten Strandell (sister and brother) and a young guitarist and drummer. They performed both own songs and covers too, starting at 20:10, playing for about 25 minutes. They got the crowd into a bit more party mood.

Before, after and between the support acts PG’s mix tape was on. The good old crew, the technicians were busy with setting up the stage, having everything ready for THE show. Some minutes (maybe 3-4) after 21:00, the band and Per appeared on stage.

Here comes the setlist and then I go into details:

1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Vilket håll du än går
4. Juni, juli, augusti
5. Det hjärta som brinner
6. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
7. Tittar på dej när du dansar
8. It Must Have Been Love
9. Honung och guld
10. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
11. Kung av sand
12. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
13. Spegelboll
14. Gå & fiska!
Band presentation
15. The Look (with När vi två blir en as intro)

Encore:
16. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
17. Tycker om när du tar på mej
18. Dressed for Success
19. Joyride

Encore 2:
20. Sommartider
21. Småstadsprat

As Min plats was the opener at Leif’s Lounge, we expected it to be the first song on tour too. You could sense Per was so nervous (during the first 3 songs maybe), his facial expressions showed it and his moves too. He messed up the first verse in Min plats and he had to check the screen in front of him several times to make sure he sings the correct lyrics. It was probably not visible to all in the crowd and mostly hardcore fans realized it only anyway. Mr. G was so cute in this situation. I think the crowd’s reaction during and after the songs encouraged him to think all was going fine and he let his nerves ease. Really after 3 songs there was no sign of being nervous at all.

Before the next song, Per said ”I thought to play songs from my whole, ridiculously long career. I’ve been writing songs since more than 40 years now…, which is a little odd, because I’m only 33.” Then they went on with the 2nd song. You can’t go wrong with På promenad genom stan. The crowd loved it and was singing along loudly. Sha la la… he-he-hej!

Vilket håll du än går was a nice addition to the setlist, it wasn’t played at Leif’s Lounge. Why I liked it so much is because I love when Per plays the harmonica. When the crew was setting up the stage, we could already see there were harmonicas attached to Per’s mic stand. I couldn’t wait for him using them. The song sounded cool live, with Malin on the violin and all.

Before Juni, juli, augusti, Per talked a bit to the crowd and said he hoped they had nothing against a little Gyllene Tider. Oh, we had nothing against it, of course. Party time! Just like with the next song, Det hjärta som brinner. On this one, Ola came to the front with his guitar and was rocking it hard. Also had a funny interaction with Mr. G.

Then it was time to calm down a bit. Helena and Malin started singing Segla på ett moln while Per was changing his guitars next to Micke N-S. Before Per got back to the stage he was singing along (without a mic). This intro lead into Första pris. Malin’s viloin playing here was heavenly too and Helena’s singing as well.

After Första pris Per talked to the audience again and talked about Nashville, that they recorded the song there and it was an amazing experience for them. He said he gives a holiday idea, go to Nashville. He mentioned they also recorded the next song there. And yeeeeaaah, Tittar på dej när du dansar came as next on the setlist. We really wanted to hear this song live and it didn’t disappoint. Sounds fab live too! Mahi Nana! The boogie didn’t catch the standard crowd’s feet, but we hope they will be more into it during the rest of the tour. Maybe a physical release of this single would help. 😉 Haha. The song got a big applause anyway. By the way, Malin plays both the violin and the mandolin on this one. So talented and sweet!

After the song Per talked to the crowd again. He said back in the days one learned English via pop music, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Small Faces, Pink Floyd, oh well, Pink Floyd not really. He said he thought to play one of the first songs he wrote for Roxette. And it was It Must Have Been Love. Oh well… I think we (I mean the hardcore fans in the front) were not really prepared to hear this song. It is so much Marie and we are so not over the fact that Roxette is not touring anymore (and maybe not even recording anymore) that it hurt very much hearing this actual Roxette song live – without Marie. So even if we sang along and the rest of the crowd enjoyed it, we had mixed feelings and we could easily live without this song in the setlist. Really. At the same time, it’s a big song in Per’s career, a US No. 1 and a huge hit all over the world, we know it. And seeing and hearing the standard crowd’s reaction, it will surely stay in the set. But still. It hurts.

After IMHBL came another song that was new on the setlist vs. what was played at Leif’s Lounge. It’s from Gyllene Tider’s third album, Puls and Per asked the audience if they remembered that album. The crowd’s reaction showed they remembered. He said he thought he would play a song they had never played live before, so asked the crowd to keep their fingers crossed. Honung och guld was the song.

After sipping a little from his ginger tea, Mr. G and the band went on with Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång. The same way it was played at Leif’s, however, there these two songs were the last on the setlist. The crowd loved it very much and we enjoyed a loud sing along. Doobie doobie dum doh!

Then came another harmonica song, woohoo! Kung av sand! What a lovely song it still is!

After KAS it was time to party hard again. The crowd went crazy when they realized which song was next. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta! Helena and Malin go wild on this one, jumping like hell. This song is a real highlight and how Spegelboll comes after LAEAH is awesome! You can’t stop dancing, jumping, clapping, singing along and shouting. Not even during the next song, because it’s Gå & fiska! and you just hope the party never ends. The stage is now much bigger than it was at Leif’s and so all the musicians can go from one side to another, Magnus and the girls from right to left, Chris and Ola from left to right and Per can also run around easily. However, every now and then they still bump into each other. 6 people moving around can be tricky sometimes. Haha. But it’s so cool!

After Gå & fiska! Per introduced the band and he started it with telling that he found them on a dating site. First he introduced Helena (vocals), one his favourite singers, then Malin (violin and mandolin), who was born in Umeå, but grown up in Hong Kong, then Clarence (keyboards), an old acquaintance of Per’s wife, then Magnus (vocals, bass, dance and a little blue machine), Stockholm’s, Malmö’s, Sweden’s biggest sex machine. Per asked Magnus how he felt. Magnus said he was fine, it was a very special day. Besides having their premiere gig, it was 60 years ago when John met Paul. Magnus told the crowd if they know who John and Paul are, they get Dumle (Swedish sweet). Then Per introduced Ola (guitar and pedal steel), Andreas (drums) and ”last but least”, Professor Christoffer von Lundquist (guitar). All in the band got huge applause and shout outs from the crowd.

Then Chris played När vi två blir en as intro to The Look in his crazy style. The party mood was guaranteed again and it was yet another highlight in the set. All the guys on stage going psychedelic and the crowd singing along the nananananas. Then the band left the stage and the crowd was clapping and shouting to get them back.

The first encore was different to that in Leif’s Lounge. First all band members came back on stage and Chris started playing Queen of Rain (which I must admit I haven’t recognized until Per mentioned it, I was probably distracted by so many other things on stage, haha) and it lead into Varmt igen for which Per appeared on stage in WHITE clothes. Oh my God! How long I had to wait for this moment! You might find it stupid and I don’t really know what we, most of the fans (OK, probably most of the Gessle Girls) like so much about Per in white, but that’s a fact: we adore him in white clothes. Well, clothes don’t make the man, we love him anyway, you know that. 😉 Varmt igen sounded incredibly wonderful, it was a pure delight to hear this song live. Both Per and Helena sing beautifully.

And they go on sounding wonderful on Tycker om när du tar på mej which came next in the setlist. Per’s moves and facial expressions during this song are priceless. This song definitely means much to him. And when he goes next to Chris and they play the guitars together is so lovely too.

After 2 slow songs it was time to p-a-r-t-y and bring a little Roxette sound. Dressed for Success was next and the audience was singing along heavily to this one too. Also to Joyride which came after DFS. Everyone was a real Joyrider on and off stage. Per and Chris played their guitars back to back each other at some point. It was much fun! And time flies when you’re having fun, they all went off stage again.

The crowd was loud and wanted them back again. Of course, they came back after some minutes. First Andreas sat behind the drums and aaaaaah, he started playing Sommartider. One must love how he is drumming. A real pleasure to watch and hear him playing. Fun guy! Hej hej! The crowd went crazy for Sommartider and it became a heavy sing along again. Only this time we realized why BoJo was checking the camera (as a cameraman) before the show, because he came to the front and started filming the crowd. The pictures went on to the screens on the stage. It looked cool. And BoJo seems to be not only the nicest bodyguard and tour manager on Earth, but also a talented cameraman. Haha.

I would say Sommartider would be a PERfect ending to the concerts, but for some reason the ending song became Småstadsprat. Before they could start playing it, the crowd started shouting oj-oj-oj-oj-oj and clapping and it lasted long. Per appreciated it, thanked and sent kisses and he also applauded the audience. If it were not the blue lights on stage we might have had seen him blushing. He was so sweet! Småstadsprat sounded beautiful at the premiere show too and with it the show ended. Per thanked for the audience, told them they were absolutely wonderful, thanked them for coming and wished a wonderful summer.

We couldn’t believe the concert ended, it had just begun! And we would have been ready to relive it again (and again and again) right then. It was really en vacker kväll. More than that! A most fantastic night! Great start of the tour both for the band and for the audience (8385 people).

Åsa filmed a lot during the whole show and 3 videos Per already shared on his YouTube channel (1; 2; 3). We hope there is more to be uploaded.

Per about the show:

Yeehaa! Tack alla ni nästan 8 1/2 tusen som kom till Sofiero ikväll. Vilken resa ni gav oss. Premiärnerver till trots…. en fantastisk afton.

End of the concert, goodbye! From left to right: Christoffer Lundquist, Andreas Dahlbäck, Ola Gustafsson, Per Gessle, Helena Josefsson, Malin-My Wall, Magnus Börjeson, Clarence Öfwerman

   
Micke N-S tuning the violin                                             BoJo, the cameraman

All photos in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

Videos:

Det hjärta som brinner
Tittar på dej när du dansar
It Must Have Been Love: 1; 2;
Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång)
Ljudet av ett annat hjärta: 1; 2;
Gå & fiska!: 1; 2; 3;
The Look: 1; 2;
Varmt igen
Tycker om när du tar på mej: 1; 2;
Småstadsprat: 1; 2;

Articles, pictures:

Aftonbladet
Sydsvenskan
Expressen (funny, we saw Anders Nunstedt sitting there at Sofiero and writing his review right after the show /and probably during the show he was working on it too/)
Rockfoto
hd.se (for subscribers only): 1; 2;
Dagens Nyheter

 

Expectations vs reality – Gessle on tour A.D. 2017

So now we know. Nearly a month ago we were predicting what could be performed live by Mr Gessle, we summed up our Roxette Blog’s 10-part poll quest for the ultimate setlist and now we are more informed than ever before. Per and his en-vcker-kväll-band performed 4 concerts already – one intimate (in-your-living-room style) and three that gathered around 8-9,000 people each. What is worth highlighting and cannot be considered as a joke anymore, there has been several situations when the rain stopped, when Per went on stage. Ingen sommar utan Gessle after all and good weather can be considered as something guaranteed during this tour or you get your money back. Please reach Live Nation for more info.

The next stop on the 22-date tour is Dalhalla, the 13th of July, so it’s the right time to use this break as a moment for some thoughts regarding the concert itself. I won’t comment much on the technical or visual sides as I haven’t been able to attend any of these gigs yet, so I will only concentrate on the current setlist.

So what really has been played on the 23-song concert so far?

Read more

Per Gessle’s pre-premiere gig at Leif’s or a night to remember

A night to remember! Exactly. Per Gessle fortunately kept the tradition of doing a pre-tour show at Leif’s Lounge. When in the beginning of May I asked him in our interview about it, the only thing he could tell was that there ”could be” a gig like that. In the whole interview context it sounded more like a ”yeah, sure”, but still, the date was unknown. Then at the beginning of June there was a corporate gig at Hotel Tylösand and we kept our fingers crossed that there is still something else at the holy place for us, fans. And tadaaa, on 16th June THE gig was announced to be held on 27th June. Since the place is not too big, all who wanted to attend had to decide very fast and buy the tickets. There were 50 tickets released twice after the show got sold out and in the end 700 lucky and very happy people could get to experience this fabulous event last night.

We wouldn’t be hardcore enough if we didn’t start queueing already in the morning. For a gig that starts at 21:00 and the entrance opens at 19:00… Tough life. Haha. So a handful of fans gathered at the entrance of Leif’s Lounge and spent some time together while we could listen to Roxette, Gessle solo and Gyllene Tider music via the speakers in front of Leif’s. There were hours to kill and the marketing manager of Hotel Tylösand, Andrea Hanné realized quite early that there were fans waiting outside. So she came to us, brought us coffee and asked if we were OK with doing some social media content for Hotel Tylösand. Sure. That’s how we became a boomerang video on Hotel Tylösand’s Facebook page and Instagram account. Later Andrea got back to us and brought Leif postcards and VIP Leif tattoos for us as a present. Very nice of her. We appreciate Hotel Tylösand’s whole staff so much. They are always so nice to us fans.

While waiting we could see the stage being built during the day, BoJo arriving, the crew arriving, then the band. Åsa was also busy around the hotel. After 3 pm we could hear the sound of a Ferrari and ooops, Per came and brought Marie Dimberg. Mr. G waved at us and some seconds later got a little depression treatment from 2-3 people coming out of the hotel. I mean they asked him for a selfie in front of his Ferrari. He looked happy. Then he left and came back only after 5 pm for the rehearsal. From that we couldn’t hear much, but those who walked around could hear that they rehearsed Spegelboll. Spegelboll!!! So cool! We hoped it was to be played at the concert too.

We could see Per leaving again after the rehearsal and we were ready to be let in. By 19:00, not more than 30 people were there in the queue. Some minutes after 19:00 the door opened and we could get in one by one in a line. The space was enough for appr. 15 people in the front row, so those who were waiting there during all day could stand at extremely fine spots. The stage was tiny, the instruments and mics and plecs all set to their places. The crowd was getting bigger and bigger and by appr. 20:30 the place got full. VIP guests had their places at the Chef’s table, the rest were either sitting on the side or standing as close to the stage as they could. The technicians, the good old team came to prepare everything at appr. 20:40. The fun part was with the setlist. Jakob Johnzén and Micke N-S were taping the setlist in front of all band member’s places and we could take photos of those. The stage was so low. When we checked them, we realized that Per got a different setlist. The first song on it was Här kommer alla känslorna and his included It Must Have Been Love, the others’ didn’t. That made us curious, but some minutes later Micke N-S came and cut out and taped Min plats as the first song, what was already on everyone else’s setlist and he cut out Här kommer alla känslorna and taped it to the end. Then we saw MNS counting the songs and he realized that there were 15 songs on Per’s list instead of 14. Then he checked which song was extra and he taped IMHBL not to be visible for Per on the list. It was really funny. Another thing we realized that Micke placed a photo of a guy on the gear holding boxes. Face towards the stage. We were wondering who he might have been and today it turned out he was a technician who died not too long ago. So in the picture and in soul he was there with the guys and girls last night.

We expected a 10 minute delay in the start and the crowd was impatient, clapping and shouting for the band to come up on stage, but we had to wait until 21:22 to see them coming. Per Gessle and the band: Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist, Helena Josefsson, Magnus Börjeson, Ola Gustafsson, Malin My-Wall and Andreas Dahlbäck. 4 good old, beloved members and 3 new, soon to be beloved musicians. They came from the Spa area. The crowd went crazy and couldn’t wait for them to start playing. PG & Co seemed to be on a high, they were all smiles. First I paste the setlist here, then I go into details.

Setlist:

1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Juni, juli, augusti
4. Det hjärta som brinner
5. Första pris
6. Småstadsprat
7. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
8. Spegelboll
9. Gå & fiska!

Band presentation
10. The Look

Encore:
11. Dressed for Success
12. Joyride
13. Sommartider

Encore 2:
14. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång

So the first song was the opening song from Per’s latest album, En vacker natt. Min plats sounded absolutely awesome in that cozy place, on that tiny little, intimate stage, played for those 700 people in the crowd. After the first song Mr. G talked a few words, greeted the international friends in the front row (fans were there from Germany, Poland, Hungary, Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, Finland, Sweden of course) and mentioned its the debut gig of this great band of 8.

Then they played  På promenad genom stan which also sounded phenomenal, including the crowd’s shalalala sing along. And here I have a personal touch, literally… After the song Per came to me and with a huge smile on his face he shocked me and put the acoustic plectrum he played into my hands. It was an out of the world experience for me, that’s for sure. What a fab thing to happen in a fan’s life. Much appreciated!

After my pulse got high, the band kept it up with Juni, juli, augusti. The crowd was happy to hear a Gyllene Tider song and of course, on a summer tour you can’t leave this one out. And then came another GT song, Det hjärta som brinner. The stage was so tiny for those 8 beautiful people that they (mostly Per, Chris, Ola and Magnus, sometimes Helena and Malin too) bumped into each other while moving on the stage, crossing each other’s ways.

After a short GT section it was time to bring back En vacker natt and the band played Första pris. Wow! What a crowd reaction to that one. I wouldn’t have expected that, but the crowd knew the lyrics and Helena got a heavy applause for this song and after it ended the crowd shouted ”Helena, Helena!”. She was so happy. But actually, after each song she looked very happy to hear the crowd reaction. Such a lovely lady!

Before another En vacker natt song, Småstadsprat, Per talked a bit again and said rumour has it he wrote a lot of songs about Halmstad. The part Lars Winnerbäck sings on the album version was sung by Helena. It sounded fab too. Here I have to mention Malin’s wonderful violin playing and Ola’s fantastic pedal steel guitar playing. They are so talented musicians. And they can play these instruments so softly on the ballads, while they are rocking out on the uptempo songs. Great to have them in the gang!

After this song, Per asked how about a bit more Gyllene Tider and they went on with Ljudet av ett annat hjärta. The crowd was clapping like hell! Here I also highlight Andreas. He is just another fab musician. Playing the drums like nothing can stop him! Not only on this song. Great to have him in the gang too!

The next song… oh yeah!!! Spegelboll! It got on the setlist, so awesome! When the crowd realized what song it was, they went wild. Heavy sing along here too! Woohoo!

Some more  Gyllene Tider? Why not! Gå & fiska! was next and the crowd stayed wild. After the song Per thanked and said to the crowd they were really fantastic. Just like the band up on stage! And here came the band presentation. First Per introduced the one and only Helena, then Malin, Ola, Andreas, Clarence, Magnus (the Swedish sex machine) and ”last, but absolutely least”, Chris. A video of this presentation is coming soon on RoxBlog. 😉 Besides the 3 new faces it was so great to see all the good old musicians, still enjoying playing and giving their 120%.

After being introduced, Chris started playing the intro to The Look. The crowd went wild for that too, hearing the first Roxette hit during the night. Heavy sing along again and HERE in this video you can see how PG surprised Sandra, who was filming the crowd’s nanananana. Such a cool guy!

After The Look, the band left the stage. They didn’t tell a word, they were just waving to the crowd bye-bye. The crowd started clapping heavily and it lasted for a few minutes until the band came back for an encore.

They started the section with Dressed for Success and it hit the crowd again. Sing along and the well-known clapping choreography worked totally fine. Not only during this song, but Per got so close to us we sometimes thought he would bump into us with his guitar. What a nice way it would be to end up in hospital. ”What happened?” ”Per Gessle hit me with his guitar…” Haha. It was incredibly great to see him playing so close to us. The distance between us changed from 1-2 meters to 5 centimeters!

After DFS came Joyride. Oh, Joyride! Balloons!!! Thank God Basia Konarzewska didn’t forget about bringing some, so the front row could start blowing them up. But blowing the balloons up after Dressed for Success…, really??? When it’s hard to breathe even. LOL. Whatever. We succeeded and for the right moment all balloons were ready to be released. There weren’t many, but it fit the tiny place and the crowd was happy to play with them and PG and the band were happy to see the balloons too.

One more uptempo in the encore section, this time GT. We couldn’t have left without hearing Sommartider. Hej hej! We had a blast during this song too and the band enjoyed playing it very much. All of them. We couldn’t believe they leave the stage again. Per thanked and pointed at the front row to thank separately. We love it!

The crowd didn’t want to leave Leif’s Lounge and shouted ”en gång till” all the time and we were clapping hard for 2-3 minutes. Then the gang came back on stage again for the second encore. Mr. G had a used tissue in his hands, probably he wiped the sweat off his face backstage (having no towel there) and he couldn’t do anything else with the tissue, but handing it over to MNS while getting the guitar from him. Haha. Poor guy. I mean MNS. Well, next time you just throw it away, Mr. G. Talking about a tissue, BoJo brought a mug of ginger tea up on stage before the concert started and gave it to Micke N-S. He put it on his counter and PG sipped it every now and then.

OK, back to encore No. 2, Per started playing Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) very slowly, then the band started again faster and it became yet another fab sing along happening. I wouldn’t have thought this song could be a great last song, but hey… first of all, we love mid- or uptempo songs as last songs, and as you know the lyrics, ”Att allting har ett slut / Att allt det vackra är kort” ( =That everything has an end / That all that beautiful is short). So true! Sadly. BUT, it didn’t really end like this, as the song suddenly became Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång. It was an even greater ending. Doobie doobie dum doh and the concert was over.

The crowd was wild, clapping hard, shouting woohoo. The band took a bow, took another bow, Per pointed at the front row again to thank for the cheering. All were happy, satisfied and we all had a blast for 70 minutes.

There were so many other tiny little details which I probably didn’t write about, but it’s impossible to collect them all. The world needs more of such concerts! It was such a fantastic night! Killer Mr. G, the Duracell bunny who never gets old, gives 150% on stage and leaves you breathless, a beautiful band giving all their energy creating wonderful music, a loud, all-the-time cheering crowd, fantastic mood both on and off stage, a great (just too short) setlist. What else could you ask for? Oh well, maybe Tittar på dej när du dansar? We need some Mahi Nana on tour, Per! 😉 We are sure the setlist gets longer and there are more gems to be included. We can live with a 2-3-4-hour long concert too, can’t we?

Next stop: the tour premiere in Helsingborg on 6th July. Can’t wait!!!

 

Setlist evolution (from left to right: Helena’s setlist, Magnus’ setlist, Per’s 1st setlist, Per’s 2nd setlist, Per’s 3rd /final/ setlist):

     

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Judith’s review:

Not many details to add after Patrícia’s review but still wanted to write down my thoughts and impressions after the gig.

What can I say?? This was an amazing tour warming up evening! If you don’t have tickets for the shows yet… go get them!
I expected maybe a bit more relaxed country and all I remember is jumping and clapping and dancing. Of course, the ‘real’ thing will be different but that was a great sneak preview.
I had a lot of favourite moments and actually loved all songs and arrangements. Some things to mention:
– nice På promenad! It felt great to hear so many people sing along this song. Nice arrangements on this one, it sounded a bit faster and pop-ier.
– the drums!! I have a thing for drums, specially live. And Andreas sounded fab! Very different to what we are used to. He gives a nice touch to songs we are used to hear with other beats. Later a fan told me that he has seen him play with Ulf Lundell and that he saw him break drum sticks at many shows. I did not see any broken one so I look forward to some awesome crazy drums during the tour!
– Första pris!!
– the band had so much fun. We had so much fun. It was great to see Helena again and get to know the new guys and girl. Ola as extra guitar when he is not on pedal makes it all rockier. I have seen him with Eva Dahlgren in 99 and 2013 and you may remember he was on Tack för musiken where Marie performed so I was looking forward to seeing him with Per. I thought he would be mostly on pedal steel but he did grab the guitar many times and ooohhh he is an amazing guitar player and he and Chris together wooow!! Malin and the violin sound incredible (Gå & fiska! Nice touch there.)
– when The Look started I felt weird and I could not help the tears, went on with Dressed. Missed Marie so much! Of course, I know it is a Gessle tour, it was more the feeling and thought of knowing that we probably won’t hear those songs again with Marie. But at the same time it felt good to listen to them again, Helena did a great job taking over some of Marie’s parts. Pure fun!! And we got to surprise them with the balloons (thanks Basia!).
I am sure I will remember more things but the best feeling to take away from yesterday: fun!!

Ps: Per asked on FB how much we can take because they have lots of songs to play. Oooh I can assure you we could do more than 4 hours!! Just try us out 😉

Videos:

Joyride
Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
Första pris

Per about the show:

Thanx everyone for an unforgettable evening at Leif’s Lounge. Superb crowd, fab band, lots of laughs, a few tiny mistakes to make you smile. All in all the best night you can dream up when it’s a debut gig with a new band!

This weekend we start working properly on the production (lights, set design etc) and promise to be ready, willing and able next Thursday at Sofiero. Hope to see you there!

Looks like we have too many songs in the setlist. How much can you take? Good to know….. /P.

 

RoXXXette On The Road – the great collection of the Roxers Edition UPDATE

More than a year has passed since the fabulous tour photo book, RoXXXette On The Road was published. As you all know, it has 2 versions. A normal edition and a Roxers limited edition. The limited edition is in a beautiful box and it exists in 300 numbered copies only. It contains 16 pages more than the normal edition and it includes a numbered print-out with the signature of Anders Roos, most talented photographer and publisher of the book. The numbered print-outs exist in 12 different versions, each of them numbered from 1 to 25. On top of all this, each and every single limited edition RoXXXette On The Road is signed by Per Gessle. Some books contain Per’s signature only or the year 2016 written as well, but there are even copies in which you can find a Leif drawing by Mr. G or some most important words (e.g. Badabam!, Nice! or Cheers!) written by the man himself. This makes every single copy even more unique.

We started collecting photos of these limited edition books (see HERE) and the collection is now updated by 17 more photos. In case yours is not in the set yet, please send us an e-mail following the guidelines stated in the collection intro and we include your copy as well.

So far we have 80 books collected, 27% of the total limited edition books. Way to go to have them all, but we have the first (No. 1) and the last (No. 300), so we just need to fill in the gap in between. Haha. So, we’re looking forward to seeing the missing photos! Help us to complete the collection one day. 😉

Book No. 271; pic by Jana Pešková

 

Predicting unpredictable – what fans would like to hear during En vacker kväll?

Since beginning of the year you, dear Roxette Blog readers, have been voting for your favourite Gessle, Gyllene Tider and Roxette songs. In the late autumn it turned out this would be the first time ever when Per mixes all his three music careers during one concert. Now we all obviously cannot wait untill the first Gessle solo tour in 8 years starts in the majestic city of Helsingborg. Only 19 days till the gig #1, just 10 if you’re attending the pre-premiere concert at Hotel Tylosand.

What we always did before the new tour starts was choosing the best, most-desired songs from the vast music catalogues. Remember the Silver blue-case where we were lucky enough to get a song so many people voted for performed live by Roxette? We absolutely loved that moment and we still feel humbled by your support and the impact we did together. We are hoping some of your suggestions might help Mr G to prepare a setlist of his (and ours) dreams – the band has started rehearsing, so “our prayers are in good hands tonight”.

There have been 10 polls since mid-January, 70 days of voting dedicated to 8 solo albums as we’re convinced they should play pivotal part in the setlist, whereas two latter votings were done around Gyllene Tider and Roxette live catalogues from 2000s. Nearly 1,000 unique users took part in this, so thanks much for your time and dedication, we really appreciate that!

When it comes to the concert setlist, no one should be expecting big suprises, should we? Gessle / Roxette / Gyllene Tider’s latest concerts were always more about pleasing big crowds (is it bad after all?), not fullfiling fans’ desires to hear forgotten pearls. There wasn’t many Gessle’s solo tours in the past, but just by analysing Mazarin 2003 and En händing man 2007 we can make initial assumption where 2017 takes us.

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En vacker kväll poll #10 – Roxette

What’s good always must come to an end. Per Gessle and his majesty band have already started rehearsing to the summer tour, so this poll comes right in time to see which Roxette classics you would love to hear in Mr Gessle’s interpretation. You had already one occassion for during the man from Roxette Party Crasher Tour, but now for the first time he will perform both Swedish and English songs from his whole  career. Dreaming of Per’s “Watercolours in the rain” version? Just vote.

PS. I know Vaulnerable wasn’t performed live, it’s not on that list, but that one would be of a suprise to please a lot of fans!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 12-12-2014 22:45:38
end_date 05-07-2017 23:59:59
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #10 – Roxette
Total Answers 745
Total Votes 206

Roxette in ”Filmen om Badrock”

As we already wrote about it in March, a film about Badrock (“Filmen om Badrock”), where Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle performed as Roxette for the first time, premiered in Swedish cinemas on 7th March. From a March TV4 interview with Björn Skifs (who is behind the whole Badrock idea) it turned out that it would be worth watching by Roxers, because besides Badrock concert material from the ’80s in Borgholm and backstage moments where we can see Marie, Per, Roxette, we even get to see Marie looking back at those times and hear her talking about her experiences.

Now the film had its TV broadcast premiere on 3rd June on TV4 (can be watched in Sweden only). Better said, a TV cut of it, because the original movie is 1 hour 55 minutes long, the TV cut is 66 minutes only. So a lot is left out and this way there might be even more Marie and Per and Roxette in it. Let’s hope the movie is out on DVD in the near future and we get to see the whole thing.

The TV cut contains footage from the past 30 years (Badrock history: 1986-1992; 2016), on-stage moments, backstage moments, rehearsals, how the concerts were recorded from the air, the royal family’s visits at the shows, as well as interviews with several artists, Marie among them. Interviews are with Björn Skifs, Anne-Lie Rydé, Marie Fredriksson, Pernilla Skifs, Anders Berglund, Nina Söderquist, Tommy Nilson, Leif Larsson, Lena Philipsson, Lisa Nilsson, Sharon Dyall, Marie Bergman, Peter Milefors, Mats Ronander.

Marie says Badrock was huge and there were a lot of good artists and the weather was incredibly warm. She says she is happy she could work together with Anders Berglund, it was easy to work with him.

Per in a short 1987 Öland Radio interview says Badrock is fun and playing tennis with Peter Milefors is cool. Mr. G says he and Marie created a group called Roxette and they would first perform at Badrock. Then there is a Marie interview cut again and she says, ”Like Lovers Do” at the beginning was a big song for Roxette and she was incredibly nervous to perform it. Everything was so new, but it was an awesome experience.

Sharon Dyall says when she was singing together with Marie and Sanne Salomonsen, it was real girl power. Marie says they had a powerful song (”Girls”) and she always thought that Sanne sang so damn good  and she was wondering how the hell she could join in, but in the end it turned out to be really good and they had so much fun. Those times were really amazing.

It’s great to see Borgholm then and today, so beautiful. It will be a pleasure to see Per playing there this summer, but also sad to think about the fact that Roxette AND all the fans missed the chance to have a concert and see Roxette playing there in 2015. Would have been an out of the world experience both for the band and Roxers for sure. And of course, we still don’t give up hoping for the complete 1989 Roxette gig in Borgholm to be released one day.

Some stills from the TV cut of ”Filmen om Badrock”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanx for your technical support, Gabriela Demichelli!

En vacker RoxBlog interview with Per Gessle

After Per Gessle’s new album, ”En vacker natt” was released, several questions popped up in my mind. I was reading and watching all the interviews with him, but many questions had no answers in any of them. So it was obvious there is a need for a RoxetteBlog interview and so I put all the Qs together and sent them in hope for answers.

We all know that Mr. G is faster than a shot from a gun, but while he is in the middle of a signing session tour, doing a lot of promo stuff and other interviews, you would think it would take much more time than just 2-3 days to have the answers. Not in his case! Yesterday I had the chance to meet him in Malmö and his answers were sent back to me before the signing session started. I was already prepared to ask him not be ”angry” with me because of those many Qs, but this way it was far much better. I could thank him in person! I told him I didn’t expect him to send the answers back so fast. He said it’s incredible that there are many interviews with him, but there are still this many Qs that weren’t asked by others. I told him I thought he might have felt tortured because of this. He said no, no. It’s a long interview, but he had a long flight and at least he had something to do while flying, so all fine. You must love him!

When you will read on, you might get the feeling that the long flight was coming to an end fast towards the last questions, related to the tour. On the other hand, all ”could be”-s sound rather ”yes” or ”partly yes” in my ears. Or… let’s see what happens! 😉

I’d like to thank D&D Management for their cooperation and of course, thanx a million to Mr. G for the answers. Very much appreciated!

So, now to the interview. Besides all the detailed info about the new album and the recording sessions, you will find out what Per thinks about Roxette’s future and you’ll have some hints regarding the upcoming tour as well. You’ll even read about a y.u.m.m.y. surprise release for the first time here! What can I say? Mahi Nana! Enjoy!

Patrícia Peres: – Hej Per! First of all, thank you very much in advance for taking your time to answer all nerdish Qs coming here! In each interview and in your posts it shines through that the ”En vacker…” project is a love project for you. How does it feel that you get so much positive feedback on the first album?

Per Gessle: – Hello Patricia, hope you’re doing fine. As always I’m very flattered that people are connecting in a positive way to my songs. You can never take that for granted. As you know, it’s been ten years since I did a Swedish solo album and so many things have changed. Not only in the ”real world” but also in the music industry. It can be really hard for artists my age to cut through the enormous amount of music and information that surrounds us. It’s pretty competitive out there. But I’ve been lucky this time. Hopefully the album will grow organically, more and more people will hear it and eventually it will be a part of their lives just like Mazarin became in 2003. That would be lovely.  And I’m really proud of the records.

PP: – There were no leaks, everything seemed to be in order regarding the release and there is much promo around the album. It’s a perfectly organized release. Do you think so too?

PG: – Yes, it’s all been handled beautifully by Her Majesty Queen Marie Dimberg together with her sausage dog Harry + Josef Hermansson and Lotta Eriksson at Space Station 12 together with media mastermind Liza Berthelsen together with Sanken, Sebastian and Johanna at BMG together with Bosse-the-radioguru together with the distribution folks at Sony. So many people are involved in this release and they’re all bringing positive energy to the project. I’m a lucky guy.

PP: – The albums are released on Space Station 12 in cooperation with Sony / BMG. What is the role of SS12 and what is that of Sony / BMG?

PG: – SS12 is the home office, BMG is handling marketing and Sony is responsible for physical products, like CDs and LPs.

PP: – The first album’s title is ”En vacker natt”, then there is the summer tour, ”En vacker kväll” and in September comes the second album, ”En vacker dag”. Is it intentional that the timeline is in reverse order (instead of dag -> kväll -> natt)?

PG: – Yes, when we were mixing the records I decided that was the only way to go. Backwards. I have this song ”En vacker dag” which opens the second album and since I wanted it on album nr 2 that dictated the titles of the two records.

PP: – Does the first album contain more ”night” songs and the second more ”day” songs? Or how did you decide which songs to put on which album?

PG: – Well, there are no big differences between the albums. They basically got the same vibe. They’re all from the same sessions. Same coffee machine. As always I’ve tried to make running orders that make each album as strong and vibrant as possible and also ”easy” to get into and listen to. The tempos and keys have to be right etc.

PP: – We know you see songs in colors. Can you tell what color the album has in your mind? Does the ”color coding” in the booklet mean the color of the songs?

PG: – No, the colour coding in the booklets was done by Pär Wickholm. He did an excellent job. He’s really talented. For me the album contains lots of nuances from the 60’s and 70’s, beautiful shades, not too bright. Just like the pictures on the albums. Or like old polaroids. It’s getting pretty sentimental here and there.

PP: – The album is quite melancholic. Could you tell us which song in music history you think is the most melancholic?

PG: – Oh, there are so many songs that mesmerize you and make you slow down a bit. ”Duncan” by Paul Simon. ”Let the wind carry me” by Joni Mitchell. ”Bird on a wire” by Leonard Cohen. ”Sweetheart like you” by Bob Dylan. ”Pancho and Lefty” by Townes van Zandt. Songs that change your life forever. Powerful stuff.

PP: – You listen to the songs uncountable times during the recording, mixing etc. phases. How does it work after everything is done and the album is ready to be released and you have to say a final OK? Do you listen to the album from A to Z? In what circumstances? How did it happen with ”En vacker natt”?

PG: – For these particular records I had the running orders pretty much in place before we began to mix so we decided to start mixing song nr 1 (Min plats) and go from there. But with every mix the big picture altered a bit and in the end you have made quite a lot of changes. Sometimes songs get a different vibe in the mix. You remember it to have a certain attitude or feel but maybe it doesn’t when you’re done with it! Maybe it feels short. Or too long. It’s all about the emotion. Since I still think in terms of ”albums” it’s important for me to find the perfect spot for every track so they ”help” and assist each other. For instance, I didn’t want ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” too early on the first album since I want to give the listener four or five songs before the first classic ”pop song” occurs.

PP: – When we interviewed you after Roxette’s ”Good Karma” release, you said you think 40 minutes is a perfect length for an album. Now we got a 32-minute-long record. What’s the case with this length?

PG: – Well, there were two options. To release one album that was 64-65 minutes long or to split everything in two parts. Personally, I think an hours worth of music at once is much too much so the choice was pretty obvious.

PP: – The opening song, ”Min plats” sets the tone of the album and you say without ”Allt gick så fort” this project wouldn’t have come alive at all. Then it’s surprising a bit that the first single is not one of these 2 songs you seem to find the most important on the album, but a third one. How has ”Småstadsprat” become a single?

PG: – I told my partners-in-crime I’m not really that interested in releasing singles at all. However if they (SS12+BMG) prefer any of the songs as a ”teaser” for the album I’m open to anything. The duet with LW made sense since it was a very media-friendly choice for Sweden and Norway. Everyone got curious. And it’s a good song, I love it. But then again, I love them all!! This is not a project built on hit singles, this needs more attention than that.

PP: – The single was released digitally only and there were some promo singles issued. Why no physical release? It’s not too collector-friendly.

PG: – I know. However, there will most likely be a physical release of ”Småstadsprat” in a couple of weeks. We should have done that to begin with. Our mistake. You live and learn.

PP: – Anyway, collectors are crazy to pay an unbelievable amount of money for this promo single on Tradera. It’s sold for much more than your Peter Pop and the Helicopters single. How about that?

PG: – People are crazy. But you have to love the kings and queens of Nerdom.

PP: – You mentioned in interviews that there is no radio bomb on the album. But Swedish radio seems to play ”Småstadsprat” heavily. How does it feel?

PG: – Well, I’m very happy about this of course. I didn’t expect that at all. Maybe it’s because it stands out. Nothing on commercial radio sounds like ”Småstadsprat”.

PP: – Will there be a 2nd single off the album? If yes, can we get to know which song it is?

PG: – Yes, there will be another one and it will most likely be ”Tittar på dej när du dansar”. It’s got a great summer vibe to it, don’t you think?

PP (& Kiwein): – After listening to the album so many times, it feels that it could easily be used as a soundtrack to a movie. Are there any soundtrack plans in sight?

PG: – No, but I would love that. I would start working on it within the hour! Let’s tune the guitar!

PP: – Which song do you think has the best title on ”En vacker natt”? Which one do you think makes one curious about the album?

PG: – Titles are very important to me. It’s the first impression you get from a song. I like all of them. They make me interested and curious. ”Några glas rosé” was a title I had played around with for a while. I love that one.

PP: – Now in the digital era, in the times of streaming, it’s known that more than one third of the listeners skip a song after 30 seconds on Spotify. From this point of view, which song would you suggest to start listening to, so that the listener gets to know what the album is about and maybe decides not to skip?

PG: – You’re right and it’s totally stupid and silly and mindblowing when you think about it. I don’t want to play that game. This is not music for that type of restless audience. The whole idea with these two albums is that you have to give them time and get into the vibe and let yourself be seduced by this particular musical universe. I think you should start with ”Min plats” where you get eight seconds of waves and seagulls as a bonus!

PP: – When you start singing on ”Enkel resa”, one immediately has the feeling that he/she could sing along, because the lyrics sound familiar. Then we realize it’s a bit of ”Blåa jeans (och röda läppar)”. Haha. I love your recycling habit and the way you do that! How did these lyrics came into sight for this project?

PG: – I re-wrote that lyric from 1982 so it fit MP’s chords that eventually became ”Enkel resa”. I’ve always liked some parts of the words and the quotation-style but not until now have they made sense to me. Something was missing and I finally grabbed it. Probably thanks to MP’s weird chord progression.

PP: – One could sense it and in your ”song by song comments” you confirmed that ”Första pris” and ”Far Too Close” were originally written for Roxette. When did you write them, for which Roxette album?

PG: – Both were written for ”Good Karma” but we never worked on them for several reasons. The ”original” version of ”Första pris” is called ”The Finest Prize”.

PP: – How much did you change the lyrics of ”Första pris” when you decided to do it in Swedish? Have you recorded an English demo to it?

PG: – I tried to capture the same lyrical idea about a woman and a man living in their own universe. Content and strangely unaffected by life’s rewards. Yes, there are several English demos recorded.  Tits & Ass have been on fire with this one!

PP: – Talking about Roxette, we are happy that you mention in interviews that Marie is fine. Good to have some news about her every now and then. In interviews you say that the touring period with Roxette is 100% over, which we have known since April 2016, but you also mention here and there that you don’t think you will record together again. Why do you think it won’t happen in the future?

PG: – I don’t think it will happen because of Marie’s situation. She can’t really be involved in the process of making Roxette records anymore and without her taking a major part it’s no point for me to make those recordings. Roxette is the two of us working together, not me, Chris & Clarence making records with Marie just singing on them.

PP: – Back to the album and the songs, you said it took only 20 minutes to record Savannah Church on ”Far Too Close”, because she was singing so well. Which song took the most time to record and why?

PG: – Everything went really fast. The only song that was a little tricky was ”Några glas rosé” since it doesn’t have any obvious chorus and five verses. There’s always a chance you’ll find it tiresome and long when you have a song structure like that. But we managed to work it out, making a key change for the violin solo and edit the ending section of the song. The original recording was much longer.

PP: – Mahi Nana is the new Sha la la! ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” is probably the most liked ”En vacker natt” song by those who have always been a Per Up-(or at least Mid-)tempo Gessle fan. Sha la la and Na Na Na Na Na are well-known singing phrases, but Mahi Nana is a bit like Inganakee leo yo. One starts wondering, how does such an expression come to your mind?

PG: – On the T&A-demo I’m actually singing ”na na na na…” but in the studio I suggested that Helena-The-Wizard should sing something else so I came up with ”Mahi Nana”. It sounded weird and catchy at the same time. I googled it and I found someone somewhere with that name but I thought that was kind of nice. Glad you like it!

PP: – Which ”En vacker natt” song had the strangest or funniest working title?

PG: – I don’t do working-titles that often. But ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” was called ”Kärlek låter så här” and „Mahi Nana” for a couple of hours…

PP: – You often say you’ve been lucky enough to work together with people who you get on well with and can learn from, even musically. What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned during the Nashville project?

PG: – I was reminded of how much fun it is to play ”real” instruments together. I’ve spent so many years programming in the studio so this was a blessing just to sit down and play together. That’s where I come from and it was really refreshing to experience again.

PP: – What was the biggest compliment you got from the musicians in Nashville?

PG: – Oh, I was really flattered that they liked the songs so much. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I thought they all would come in and ”do their job” like any sessionplayer. But they told me they found my music special and beautiful and that they never played on anything like it before. That made me smile and grab another donut!

PP: – You had the chance to use Roy Orbison’s guitars on the album. It must have felt amazing. What do you think, which song Roy Orbison would like the most on ”En vacker natt”?

PG: – Oh, he could have done a wonderful version of ”Far Too Close”.

PP: – Your mom, sister and brother have passed away during the past 3 years. Does this Nashville project make it easier for you to process the loss?

PG: – Hard to say. Life goes on, doesn’t it? But, of course, you change a bit as a person when your family disappears. I’m sure I’ve changed too. I don’t know in what way but I’m sure it has happened. That’s what life does to you.

PP (& Tomasz): – ”En vacker natt” is dedicated to your sister, ”En vacker dag” to your mother. Knowing your brother introduced you to the music world, it’s a bit surprising he is not mentioned next to your sister maybe. Or are these albums more like ”dedication to women”?

PG: – No, the second album is dedicated to both my mother and my brother.

PP: – In one of the interviews you mentioned that your mother sang a lot. Did she have a nice voice? Did it ever happen that you sang together?

PG: – She had a nice voice but she always sang silly songs. Just like parents do. And no, we never really sang together.

PP: – Which is the song Åsa likes the most on the album?

PG: – Oh, I don’t know. She seems to like all of them, she plays it all the time on her iPhone and in her car.

PP: – Now you are in the middle of a signing session tour, which came a bit as a surprise to us, as you already signed 3600 CDs for those who pre-ordered the album. It’s now harder to buy an unsigned ”En vacker natt” CD than a signed one. Haha. Why did you decide to go on a 1-month-long tour with 14 stops?

PG: – I think it’s quite nice to meet all those people that are interested in what I do. And also, I think it’s a good idea to support the physical format a bit. Here in Sweden Spotify and the streaming services have got 94% of the market so someone like me should wave the flag for the LP and the CD a bit since it’s my preferred choice of presenting music. And yes, I think we’ve shipped around 20.000 physical records and I’ve signed just over 4000 of them. Phew! Could be worse. Could be that nobody was interested!

PP: – When it turned out, many fans decided on meeting you on this little tour. People come to Sweden from several countries to get their signed copies directly from you. How does it feel?

PG: – Lovely. You’ve all spoiled me!

PP: – And after all the signings, how is your hand doing? Can you still play the guitar without any problems?

PG: – Of course, the in-stores are like going to the gym for the hand!

PP: – Will there be a signing session tour in autumn too, when the second album, ”En vacker dag” is out?

PG: – I don’t know. Time will tell. It all depends on how the summer tour feels and the common reaction to the second one.

PP: – Oh and not to forget about the vinyl! Bengans informed the ”En vacker natt” vinyl had been delayed. It almost didn’t make it to the shops until the signing session started. Not the limited edition though. It’s still not on stock. What’s the problem with the vinyl production this time?

PG: – I don’t know. I think nobody expected this kind of interest in my LP. A first batch of vinyl has arrived now but the red vinyl is still a couple of weeks down the road.  It’s a shame but the good thing is that it looks (and feels) FAB!!!

PP: – The tour is getting closer and closer! I have to mention that we are grateful that the complete tour schedule was shared at once (except for the 2 concerts in Finland that were added later, in February). It makes a fan’s life a lot easier, because this way we can start planning early and add as many shows to our to-attend list as we can. So thank you very much for that!

Will you keep the tradition of having a pre-tour show at Leif’s? If yes, is there an exact date set yet?

PG: – Could be….

PP: – Our polls show it won’t be easy for you to put a setlist together. And mixing your 3 careers makes it even tougher. When do you start rehearsing? Will you have a separate session with the new band members?

PG: – We start rehearsing in June. I’m gonna decide what to play in a couple of days. It’s tricky. But lots of fun.

PP: – How Ola Gustafsson, Malin My-Wall and Andreas Dahlbäck came into sight? Did you know them before or someone suggested them to you?

PG: – No, I didn’t know them but had heard of them. I was looking for certain players and these three were my first choices. They’re amazing all of them.

PP: – You mentioned in an interview and well… we also know that you’re a fan of short concerts. You would keep the show around 100 minutes. Can we expect a varying setlist from night to night?

PG: – Could be….

PP: – Can we expect any surprise guests on tour? Besides a maybe obvious Lars Winnerbäck.

PG: – Could be…

PP: – Your support acts will be the amazing Good Harvest and Strandels. Why exactly them? Will both acts play before all your shows or will there be concerts where only one of them will play?

PG: – Both of them are great. I think they will be there every night. Hope so.

PP: – Is Micke N-S working hard on your new guitar picks yet?

PG: – Could be…

PP: – Gyllene Tider is rumored to go on tour next year. We hope it will happen. A 40th anniversary is worth celebrating! So this summer there won’t be many GT songs on tour or …?

PG: – Hmmm….

PP: – Talking about a 40th anniversary, will you see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on their 40th anniversary tour?

PG: – No plans yet.

PP: – Thank you very much for your time and see you on tour! Awesome that you keep us busy all year in 2017!

PG: – My pleasure. And don’t forget that a Mazarin vinyl-LP will be out just in time for the tour. I couldn’t resist…

 

Per Gessle interview in Aftonbladet Söndag

In yesterday’s issue of Aftonbladet Söndag magazine there is a Per Gessle interview on 6 pages, including some killer shots of Mr. G. The interview is done by Monika Israelsson, the photos are taken by Maria Östlin.

Nashville, autumn 2016

This time Per Gessle ended up in Nashville, Tennessee, in T-shirt weather in October. Per tells Monika that if he needed a harmonica in an odd key, he would have just walked five minutes to find one in Nashville. Mr. G brought his closest gang with him and a bunch of demos. Per says he thought they should record acoustic sketches only and then bring in local musicians and see what they bring. He asked the owner of the studio if they could take a pedal steel guy and Dan Dugmore got there, an old hero. He was so good. The result is two albums, first out ”En vacker natt”. Strings and steel guitar provide a classic country sound, yet the white sand dunes and an empty beach appear (referring to Halmstad). On the album cover there is a girl in a headscarf, singing at the sea in winter.

Stockholm, April 2017

The photos were taken in Ölandsgatan in Södermalm, Stockholm. At one moment, when a car was getting closer, the stylist shouted at Per and the photographer to beware, but they weren’t stressed. It turned out the car didn’t want to hit them, just stop by and ask Per how Marie is. Per walks to the car, leans down and says she’s just fine. They chat a bit, then the car is leaving. Per looks happy and is joking there was no selfie asked. Though it happened yesterday. And the day before yesterday. Since Per was at Skavlan a few weeks ago and said that he “gets depressed if no one wants to take a selfie”, there are even more requests.

They walk back to the record company’s office and there Per says his existence basically depends on what people think about the things he does. The new albums are not mainstream radio compatible. Per says to Monika that when you are used to meeting the public, you will be disappointed if you don’t get the cheering. At a concert he then thinks: “Why don’t people scream like they do usually?”. But if they scream extra much, you feel “calm down, you all”. Haha. He says one is analyzing things to death.

Per keeps his private life safe and people don’t know much about him. This is how he wants it. He says he won’t ever be on Parneviks (Swedish show that features golfer Jesper Parnevik and his family as they welcome celebrity guests to stay at their mansion in Florida for a few days) or on Så mycket bättre (Swedish reality TV show in which each artist attempts to do their own version of another artist’s well-known songs, with each person getting an episode featuring all of their songs being performed by the other musicians). He doesn’t know what he could win with it. He is very pleased that ”Tycker om när du tar på mig” means something for people, but he or his life doesn’t need to mean anything to anyone. He doesn’t feel the need to show his home or his cars or where he buys bananas. Åsa and Gabriel are the same when it comes to such things.

Regarding himself being a small town guy, Per tells Monika that there is a difference in growing up in a big city and a small town, and there was even greater difference in the ‘60s and ‘70s. That small town mentality has colored him so much that it lies in his personality. He grew up in Furet district of Halmstad with his mother who was a teacher in porcelain painting and his father who was a plumber. He was a trailing child and a loner. He was more into lonely stuff, like painting and drawing. He always felt more like an outsider. His brother introduced him to rock music: The Beatles, The Kinks, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, who became a direct channel to another world, much more exciting than Furet.

Per tells Aftonbladet Söndag that he went to a tough high school. There were a lot of drugs, a gang that broke the seats in the bus. Being good at school was the worst thing one could do. His dad drove him to school because he didn’t want to take the bus.

He started to play in a band with Mats MP Persson. Per asks Gabriel if he knows what one misses when he doesn’t play in a band. There you have your friends and you can play together the same song and that sounds damn good. That thing is sensational. It brought him a kind of gratitude. He and MP started as a punk band that sounded terrible and developed into Gyllene Tider. Per was purposeful and he covered Halmstad with leaflets and sent cassette tapes to record companies. They succeeded when EMI offered a contract and they recorded their first album in 1979.

The early Swedish texts are like a highway into a teenager’s head and body. Over the years, the songs have become more thoughtful, but still they take off in everyday happenings, often including sadness. A fishing trip, a rainy morning on the beach, an old love on the bus. Per says he usually tries to keep a fairly high minimum level of texts. Sometimes a song is so contagious that the text doesn’t play an equal role in the context. But when the music is more naked and crisp, the lyrics become important.

Monika asks Per if he can really put himself in the lives of ordinary people, with his luxury cars and private jet. Per says he doesn’t write about townhouse life or a night on the subway. He thinks that just because you tell a story, it doesn’t mean it’s true. If that means something to someone, he has succeeded. Then whether  he has experienced it or not, it’s quite uninteresting.

To the question why he doesn’t write sorely or about politics Per replies he doesn’t think he has had any political substance to come up with. Besides that, he doesn’t think it would be interesting enough. He is more towards the dreamy stuff. He thinks all people are political in some way when in a society. Mr. G thinks it’s unacceptable not to vote, it’s a democratic right so it’s better to vote for anything in that case. But he doesn’t really know how to use it.

Monika asks Per about his musical self-esteem. Per sayst it started at minus 100, he thought he sang damn badly. He started singing in Gyllene Tider because no one else would. Now he has learned that this damn voice is an asset. Everything that stands out is good.

Per thinks of himself as a kind of director. He always choose to work with people who are much better than himself. That can help him to pursue any kind of vision he has. He knows something will be fine, but he doesn’t know how to get there. He has always thought Marie Fredriksson is the best in the studio when Per is there. Mr. G means he thinks he makes Marie take one more step.

Per met his wife, Åsa in the mid ‘80s. The early years were significant in their relationship. Gyllene Tider’s English album and Per’s second solo album flopped. When looking at Roxette and his actual life, it’s easy to think that it has always been so. But it has not. He was a ”has-been” when he was 24 and it was damn hard for him. He lived on Åsa’s salary from Vingresor and had no real master plan. When Roxette had its break-through, it was evident that Åsa, with her professional background took care of the gang’s trips. This way Per and Åsa didn’t spend much time apart, despite long tours around the world. She often documented with a cam. The films became raw material for the Jonas Åkerlund documentary, Roxette Diaries (2015).

Per’s voice is shining when he talks about the ‘90s, the years when Roxette had several songs on the Billboard charts in the US for 4 years in a row. Per remembers playing Joyride for 200 radio directors in the US. It wasn’t even released, but they came to them to congratulate on their next “number one”. If you’re lucky, you have this success once in your life. Back then Roxette was exactly what America wanted. Nevertheless, they were never completely in the heat. The US record company wanted them to move to the United States and they would replace musicians in the band. But Per and Marie said no. Per says it’s one of the things he is most proud of, that they kept their gang. They created the Roxette sound together.

When Per is listening to old songs today he can be knocked out. Marie’s voice is amazing, Per says he can feel “damn how good she sings”. He smiles and says back then he didn’t sense it, it was more like “sing better!”.

Monika and Per talk about the times when Marie got ill and that Mr. G among others thought it was the end of Roxette. He started to work with Gyllene Tider and did solo projects. Then in 2009 Marie and Micke came to Amsterdam and Per asked Marie to come up on stage to sing Listen To Your Heart. He thought people would die for it. Marie didn’t want to, but Per knew she wanted, so it took like 15 minutes to convince her and she said OK, let’s try it.

Per is grateful for the Roxette tours and albums during the past years, saying he felt something of a “brotherhood responsibility”. Today they talk regularly.

There is a deep melancholy in the music on Per’s new album. In recent years, Per has first lost his mother and then his brother and sister, who both passed away in cancer. Mr. G says when people die around you, you grow older sooner. There is a thoughtfulness and one is thinking more about everything. He says he has to stop himself so that he doesn’t only write about what has been, but about what is and the future too. When his sister died, her son found a box of old diapositives from 1966. It is Gunilla who stands by the ice and sings. Per has selected some of the pictures for the albums. It felt like they fit the record.

Per’s replies to special questions:

5x the last time I…

… cooked: ”Scrambled eggs. I’m miserable in the kitchen.”

… bought something extremely expensive: ”A dulcimer, a string instrument. Pretty expensive but very fine.”

… loughed out loud: ”Quite a lot of times last week, when I was watching Dag, the TV series.”

… felt ashamed: ”I’ve stopped doing that. No, in fact, I feel ashamed just now about this answer of mine.”

… took a selfie with someone: ” Yesterday in a car shop. Then you just have to be in for it!”

3x the coolest cars in the world:

  1. Ferrari Dino: ”Cars don’t have to be practical. And they don’t have to drive at 350 km/h, because you never drive that fast anyway. However, it’s important that they are beautiful.”
  2. Mini Cooper: ”Classic, the one Austin Powers drives.”
  3. Rolly-Royce Corniche: ”So incredibly beautiful car. This is the one of these 3 I don’t own.”

3x people about Per:

Marie Dimberg, manager: ”Per, like most other artists, is hard-working, creative, target-oriented and focused. What distinguishes him is his amazing songwriting that gave him three careers: Gyllene Tider, solo and Roxette. I don’t think there is a big difference between the private and public Per. He is immensely positive and thinks fast both inside and outside the job. And he is just as bad at keeping the time in both cases…”

Marie Fredriksson, artist: ”Per is extremely creative, focused, positive and cheering in the studio. This is how he is as a person. We’ve had so much fun together through all the years. We had a lovely dinner together just the other day. There were many memories that came up and it’s obviously nice with such a long friendship that it continues even outside the stage and the studio.”

Mats MP Persson, band member in Gyllene Tider: ”My first impression of Per was that he was a real artist, translating Leonard Cohen’s and David Bowie’s lyrics into Swedish, and he had a tape recorder with microphones that could be used to play and record. He also had great visions. I thought it was really exciting and once we started doing covers with Per’s translated lyrics, for example, Doctor Feelgood. We did everything on our own and called us Graperock, if I remember right…”

3x this is how I wrote the song:

(Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän (Gyllene Tider, 1980): ”One summer I was weighing mushrooms. There were over three hundred girls and two guys. When we had nothing to weigh, we sat in our Ford Transit, where I wrote the text and then we made a song of it in the evening. Just because I could. In a way it was like solving crosswords.”

Allt gick så fort (En vacker natt, 2017): ”This song wrote itself. I was in France on a beach, a woman was picked from the water. I don’t know what happened to her afterwards. It became a catalyst for the fact that life goes fast.”

Neverending Love (Pearls of passion, 1986): ”I wrote a song for Pernilla Wahlgren, Svarta glas. Then I accidentally heard that her brother Niclas had recorded it and that was not the idea. I made an English text instead and recorded it with Marie.”

There are captions next to the photos in the article including Per’s thoughts on Roxette was the second pop group ever to play in Beijing. The concert in 1995 was met by both criticism and praise. When they played It Must Have Been Love, there was a banner in the audience saying ‘one world one unity’. One felt they became their longing for a Western life. The whole band went out and cried afterwards.

Another caption says that despite his worldwide success, Per Gessle remains a small town guy. He has never left Halmstad. By many, he is still perceived to be private – and that’s exactly how he wants it.

In a third caption it’s written that Gyllene Tider’s first hit wasn’t obvious. Per says they were told that the first single must have a certain pace to make it disco comaptible. But just then Frank Zappa happened to have a hit with Bobby Brown and that was very slow. So some discos in Stockholm started playing Flickorna på TV2, which had the same pace. Slowly but surely people began to recognize it. An organic hit, that’s the best kind.

The article closes with Monika’s thoughts that among the memories flowing from Per, names, places, anecdotes, she can’t find the right moment to ask why Per makes new records and gets out on exhausting tours when he has millions on his bank account. But eventually it becomes irrelevant. It is clear that Per Gessle lives and breathes music.

Great interview! Thanks for that, Aftonbladet Söndag!

Per was asked to draw a portrait of himself. Of course he made a Leif drawing. Haha.

 

Update on 3rd May: Aftonbladet shared the article online for subscribers.

Roxette at Badrock – cinema premiere

As we could already read it in press releases, a film about Badrock (“Filmen om Badrock”), where Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle performed as Roxette for the first time, will premiere in Swedish cinemas on 7th March. So far we didn’t know what exactly the film would contain, but this morning TV4 had an interview with Björn Skifs (he is behind the whole Badrock idea) and they showed some parts. AND… AND… AND… besides Badrock concert material from the ’80s in Borgholm and backstage moments where we can see Marie, Per, Roxette, we get to see Marie looking back at those times and hear her talking about her experiences. How absolutely fantastic is that!

In the TV4 cut you can hear Per on Öland Radio in 1987 saying he and Marie created a group called Roxette and they would first perform at Badrock. Then you see Marie talking, as natural as only she can be, in her stylish black leather jacket. She says, ”Like Lovers Do” at the beginning was a big song for Roxette and she was incredibly nervous to perform it. Everything was so new, but it was an awesome experience.

HERE you can watch a video where you can see Marie with your own eyes. Watch it mainly from 3:07. 😉

Let’s see if the film is out later on DVD as well or if it will be broadcast on TV. And if it contains much more than what we could see in this short video. Would be cool!

Still is from the TV4, Nyhetsmorgon video showing parts of “Filmen om Badrock”

 

Thank you, Carola Lindberg for watching the TV this morning and that you let us know about it!