Another year, another tour! The Per Gessle’s Roxette tour premiered last night in Prague, Czech Republic. Being it the first show, Mr. G & Co. did a longer soundcheck. They started at appr. 4 pm and it lasted for about 1.5 hours. We could hear the gang playing Spending My Time, Listen To Your Heart, The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye, Fading Like A Flower, Opportunity Nox and The Big L. and since the doors were closed, we sometimes could just hear noises we couldn’t recognize. Haha. It was a nice teaser for the gig anyway.
The gates opened a bit after 6 pm. The first thing we could check was the merchandise. I already shared some pictures on our Facebook page, so you could see there are T-shirts mostly, also ones that include the dates. The correct dates and places this time, woohoo! There is a gym bag which is new, Small Town Talk CD and the rest we know from past tours (RoXXXette power bank, PG’s tour photo book from last year, Roxette’s 30 Biggest Hits CD, The RoxBox CD, PG cards from the tour last year).
The security guys told us 900-1000 tickets were sold as far as they knew. It was a cozy place and it was very hot inside. There was a support act, Robin Mood and before and after him we could of course listen to Per’s mix tape, which didn’t change much vs. the last one. Great songs to get into the mood. When the setting up for PG & Co started, I could have a glimpse of the setlist while the technicians put it to each band member’s spot. Running through it I was happy with all the songs and even the length of the setlist, however, I missed 2 songs badly: Vulnerable and Name You Beautiful. I hope they pop up later on this tour.
The show started at appr. 21:00. The setlist was as follows:
1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. The Finest Prize
4. Crash! Boom! Bang!
5. Dressed For Success
6. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
7. Spending My Time
8. I’m Glad You Called
9. Small Town Talk
10. I Have A Party In My Head
11. It Must Have Been Love
12. Opportunity Nox
13. The Big L.
14. Fading Like A Flower
15. Silver Blue
16. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 17)
18. Queen Of Rain
19. Doesn’t Make Sense
21. Listen To Your Heart
22. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye
The Look: After seeing the opening song, I was quite surprised. It’s not the obvious choice of starting the shows with, but it’s definitely a great direction. Start with a huge uptempo hit and grab the audience already at the very beginning. It worked totally fine! I decided to go live on our Facebook page with the tour opening, but I couldn’t keep my camera steady after a while, I got too much into the mood, so stopped filming in the middle of the song. I realized it only after the live stuff started that Facebook changed some settings, so landscape doesn’t work for live videos. Sorry for that. Haha.
After the first song, Per talked a bit to the audience, mentioning it was the opening gig on their European tour and that he likes Prague, because it’s a beautiful city. He also recognized some familiar faces. He also mentioned he’s been writing songs for more than 40 years, which is crazy. He said most of the songs he wrote for Roxette and during the night they dig very deep into the Roxette box of songs, but he also sneaked in a couple of his solo songs.
Milk And Toast And Honey: One song Per mentioned during the interviews lately, that it’s among his choices, because he loves it and they never played it live before (which is not true, we all know, but well… time flies). It sounded great in this arrangement and it was nice to hear Per singing in it. He said after the song that it felt good.
The Finest Prize: Last year we could hear the Swedish version of this song live, Första pris and somehow it felt obvious they would include the English version on the setlist. Love it, no matter in which language, and it sounds fab live!
Crash! Boom! Bang!: After TFP Per talked to the audience again and told about their journey to Capri in 1993 to record CBB. He said there were very expensive pizzas and a very drunk producer, haha, he said he is just kidding, it was the drummer. Per started singing it, then Helena sang the other half of the song. Sounded beautiful! Only one person shouted ”Marie!” during the song, but that was the only one occasion during the whole show.
Dressed For Success: Speeding up a bit, Per asked to tighten our shoelaces. And we needed it! Great party song and the clapping coreography still works.
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio): To go on in party mood, PG’s left leg stomping at its best and swaying his hips during the whole song. This song is still great both on the radio and live! After playing it, Per asked the crowd if we were having a good time and we shouted yeees! He said he trusts us. Haha.
Spending My Time: Before they started performing it, Per said it’s a very special song for him, he wrote it on the same day as Joyride. It turned out to be one of the songs Helena was singing alone. Which was a bit strange, we expected it being divided half-half between Per and her. It’s also a very special song to fans, a real Marie-song, so probably this could have been the hardest part of the show for Marie hardcores, but the arrangement was so different vs. how Marie sings the song that it makes no sense to compare. It became a totally different song and Helena sang it beautifully. She got a huge applause from the audience and she was so happy about it. Once you would think the song was over, but they went on playing it after some seconds of pause. By the way, Helena is standing in the back with Malin-My and is singing into a mic on a stand, but when she sings in the front, she holds the mic in her hands.
I’m Glad You Called: This was probably the most hilarious part that we could eye-witness during the show. Everyone has to see it live! Per acting! Haha. Singing a duet with Helena, without the guitar in his hand, standing there (and walking away!) like a schoolboy. So lovely! For this song, Magnus, Clarence and Andreas went off stage and only Malin-My, Ola and Christoffer stayed there to play behind Per and Helena.
Small Town Talk: Per told the audience he went to Nashville to record his latest solo albums and now they would play the title track of the English album. Malin-My started with her wonderful violin-playing. So beautiful! Then PG went on with the first verse and I thought it would be Helena singing the rest, BUT: a huge surprise in this one! The part sung by Nick Lowe on the album is sung by Chris live. It was amazing! He has such a beautiful voice and together with Per this song sounded fabulous! We were all very happy that Christoffer got THIS moment during the concert (instead of playing a local song again 😉 ). The crowd loved it to the full and he got a huge applause, he got distracted, he said after the show when we congratulated him.
I Have A Party In My Head: LOL! Another hilarious moment! When the intro started to play, it sounded like Opus’s ”Live Is Life”, so Per sang: Na Na Nana Na. It was so cool! The crowd just laughed out loud. 🙂 Then came the flutes, the flutes! Of course, on this song. One could guess it during the rehearsals when Per posted a picture of Helena and Malin-My. Sounded great!
It Must Have Been Love: Per introduced the song as one he wrote during the soundcheck earlier yesterday. Haha. I would say it was in the very same arrangement as during Per’s tour last year and the crowd loved to sing-along.
Opportunity Nox: If you ask me, THE best part of the gig started here for 2 songs. We wished so much to hear OppNox live again and we got it! And it’s still rocking! Wonderful party song!
The Big L.: Party on! Malin-My came to the front next to Chris and rocked her violin.The whole song was superb, we were jumping so much!
Fading Like A Flower: Per said let’s stick to the ’90s a bit. The ’90s were great. He asked Magnus what he thinks and Magnus said he hardly remembers, he was very young. Per asked him about the girls, Magnus said they were great. Then Per joked and asked about the boys, haha, Magnus asked if there is something else Per wants to know. Then the song started. This was the only song that didn’t really work for me in this arrangement and it was another song sung only by Helena. She sang beautifully and all, but this song is living in its rocky version. Hard to beat.
Silver Blue: Per and Helena were singing it half-half. Sounded beautiful.
Band presentation: Per said he wants to introduce his amazing band whom he bribed to join him. Magnus said it wasn’t cheap. Haha. This time the introduction started with Christoffer, then came Ola, then Andreas (straight out of prison, haha). Then Per said that’s it. He was kidding and turned to the other side to introduce Clarence (the Mozart of Hammarby), then Magnus, then Malin-My (on violin and flutes and platform soles, haha) and ”last but not least, Helena Josefsson on lead guitar”. Haha. Per got used to introducing Chris as the last but not least, that he just added the lead guitar automatically. Helena’s reaction was she played air guitar. Haha. Per said it’s getting late for him. 🙂
How Do You Do!: One of those 3-chord songs again. The crowd went crazy and started clapping so hard. It was great to hear it live again!
Dangerous: How it was a medley during the Roxette tour, it was arranged the same way this time again, right after HDYD. After this song, the gang went off the stage. The crowd was shouting Gessle, Gessle and clapping and whistling too. It didn’t take much time until the band and Per came back on stage.
Queen Of Rain: The first song of the first encore, another song from the ’90s. Per said he wrote it for the Joyride album, but it didn’t make it, because they had too many ballads. They kept it for later and it became a single. The crowd was happy to hear it. Another song that was sung by Helena.
Doesn’t Make Sense: What a fab song this still is! It was wonderful to hear it live again! Chris went absolutely wild on this one, together with Andreas. The gang went off the stage again to come back for the 2nd encore 2 minutes later.
Joyride: Per came up on stage and he said they had a wonderful evening and hoped we did too. The first song of the 2nd encore was Joyride. There can’t be a show without it. And Per turning around and around and around with his guitar during this one is still a must. Haha.
Listen To Your Heart: It was in the same arrangement as last year, Helena singing it. She got a huge applause in the end.
The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye: Great closing song, awesome to hear it live! Nicely arranged version that gives the song another life. Loved it!
Regarding the stage set, on the background Per’s drawings were proyected and sometimes videos and also the Per Gessle’s Roxette tour background during the band presentation. So a bit of a mix, but I have to see another concert or even more 😉 to be able to pay more attention to the background as well.
The stage clothes are very nice and I like how they all fit each other. Now everyone is in the same style of clothes. I can’t identify with the platform boots of Malin-My and Helena though. Haha. And hey, there is no nail polish for Mr. G!
Åsa was there and filmed a lot, so the vids will surely pop up on Mr. G’s sites soon. One thing I can tell, the videos don’t give it all back. You can only judge how a concert is when you are there. I know many fans were skeptic about the whole thing and it’s mainly hard for Marie supporters to deal with this, but with all my love towards Marie, I have to say this concept worked. No one wanted to replace Marie, no one wanted to act or sing like Marie. The songs got another life, different arrangement, different style. And all sounded great. Even Per and the band were quite nervous in the beginning, you could see it, but with each song they got the confirmation that what they are doing is good and they enjoyed it to the full. So give it a chance and attend a show to be able to judge yourself. You can still get your tickets HERE.
Per about the premiere show:
THANX ALL YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO SHOWED UP AT THE PRAGUE SHOW. OPENING NITE = NERVOUS ARTIST + MUSICIANS. IS THE SHOW TOO LONG? TOO BORING? TOO MANY BALLADS? TOO MANY SINGALONGS?
YOU MADE US FEEL THAT WE HAVE A GREAT CONCEPT AND CONCERT IN THE CAN FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY OVER THE NEXT SIX WEEKS OR SO. THANK YOU FOR YOUR FEEDBACK AND FOR BEING THERE!
WE CERTAINLY HAD A BLAST . EXTRA SPECIAL THANX FROM ME TO MY OUTSTANDING BAND WHO MAKES MY MUSIC SOUND INTELLIGENT AND SPECIAL AND PROBABLY BETTER THAN IT ACTUALLY IS.
SEE Y’ALL IN LEIPZIG!
All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.
Dressed For Success