It’s over when it’s over. What can I do about it? Cherish this past tour forever. Unbelievable, but another tour has come to an end. Last night Per and his wonderful band performed in Gothenburg. The concert was held in Scandinavium, a big arena. This show had the most people in the audience during the tour. When I last time talked to BoJo some days ago he said they sold appr. 5000 tickets, but the number could be higher by the time we reached the date.
Inside the venue we could hear Roxette songs at the food & drinks area, then entering the arena we could see screens on both sides and of course, cameras as well. They were installed for the screens only, but who knows if the recording (if it was recorded) can be used for any possible future release. What surely will be used is the photos taken by Anders Roos who installed tons of cameras all around the stage again.
Nano started at 19:30 and thanked for the gigs where he could be the support act. He also thanked the job of the crew. The crew then was setting up for Per Gessle. One could see the technicians enjoyed preparing for the last gig, to make sure there is a perfect ending of the tour. They are the best!
Per & Co. entered the stage at 20:30 and rocked big time with the opener The Look. After TL, Per told the crowd it’s always, always fun to be in Göteborg. I have to agree with him. I only remember fab shows in this city. PG said it wasn’t so long ago when he played in Gothenburg. It was last year. He asked if we were there. He got a loud yes as a reply from the audience. Christoffer and Magnus also said into the mic they were there. Haha. Then Mr. G said it’s bizarre that he has been writing songs for more than 40 years. The most songs he wrote for Roxette, so he thought to dive deep into that catalogue and play a few favourites, but he also sneaked in some of his solo songs to be on the safe side. The crowd was cheering for him and he asked them to sing along.
MATAH sounded amazing in the arena and as I could get used to it during the tour, I heard the audience’s loud cheering for Helena. Well-deserved! Then Per talked about Capri 1993, that Roxette went there to record for 6 weeks. They had their families and friends there, as well as tons of journalists. They ate the world’s most expensive pizzas there and drank a lot of wine, but in the end it became a quite OK album. Per said he thought they would play one of the songs off that album and they performed CBB. After finishing the song, Helena and Per hifived each other, just like in Oslo the night before. The crowd was cheering for them. Per said, the title came from Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock. He said ”you didn’t know it, huh?”. He got a mix of ”no” and ”yes” from the audience, but the ”yes”-es sounded louder, so he said ”oh yes, you knew it”. Haha.
The photographers could stay in the pit for the first 3 songs, as usual. So by the time PG & Co speeded the tempo up again, they had to go. DFS kicked ass and then SGNO too. As much as I like the ballads on this tour, I just can’t get enough of the uptempo songs. The intro to SGNO was Ljudet av ett annat hjärta a la Chris. The audience was awesome at clapping along. This time when Christoffer’s hat fell off his head, Per picked it up and put it back on Christoffer’s head. It stayed on his head only until he jumped down from the little podium on which Andreas crashes his drum. The ending of the song was as amazing as always, with Chris and Andreas going wild. Per praised Andreas’s drumming after SGNO.
Mr. G said what a fantastic evening it is. The last time he had a fantastic evening, or better said a good day was in 1990. He said he woke up and found a note on his piano saying ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). It was left there by his then girlfriend, now wife, since he had to marry Åsa after such a cute note. After writing Joyride in the morning, it was still only 11 am, so PG had a little break and after lunch he wrote another song, SMT. Per was talking so much about Joyride that he even picked a white medium plectrum off his mic stand. The thing is that he plays the acoustic guitar (for SMT) with a thin red pick. We were wondering when he would change it. He was probably also distracted a bit by the fact that his power chord finger started bleeding again. Not as much as in Linköping, but it was visible. So one could get hold of some bloody picks this time again. 😉 While Chris and Malin-My were playing the intro in the front and Per was standing in the back, he might have realized he had the wrong pick in hand, but still hadn’t changed it. He was looking at his finger rather. Then Helena started singing and when Per came to the front, he was playing the guitar with the medium pick, then when he went towards the back of the stage, he threw the white medium pick away, towards his ginger tea-holding trolley and picked a thin red plectrum off his guitar, licked it to have it stuck to the finger (however, the blood would have done it, haha) and played on. Helena was singing beautifully, for which she got a huge applause from the audience again.
IGYC, the duet of Per and Helena was wonderful with Chris, Malin-My and Ola playing in the background. Per talked about his Nashville adventures and that they would play a song in English that the crowd surely knows in Swedish already. STT was beautiful and here and now I say it again that it MUST BE RELEASED on a live album!
With Swedish hillbilly IHAPIMH I went live on our Facebook page. PG said it’s the only song he wrote for flutes, so that’s why there are 2 flute girls on stage. He said they are outstanding. And he is so right!
Then came the intro talk to IMHBL. Per said he sent the band 96(!) songs to rehearse for the tour. Magnus said they learned to play 102! They overdelivered. Haha. Per said it’s fake info. He said he was thinking about skipping one song, because there are so many others, but then came Magnus and actually, he has only 3 favourite songs. One of them is ”Livet är en fest” from Nationalteatern, the other is ”Happy Nation” from Ace of Base and the third one is what they are going to play right now. Magnus said to the crowd ”thank me later!” Haha. The crowd loved IMHBL. It would have been a big mistake not to include it in the setlist.
OppNox and TBL, the always ass-kicking section in the set! It was a blast last night too! The crowd was clapping along loud and they were shouting too. Then Per asked the audience if they remember the ’90s. He got a loud yes as a reply. He also asked Magnus. Magnus said he was born in 1991, so he rather remembers 1997, 1998 and 1999, then the ’90s was over, so he can’t remember more. Haha. They then played FLAF from the Joyride album. It’s fantastic how much this song has changed in Helena’s performance since the very first show of the tour. She’s such a talented artist and singer! To make any song her own. Hats off!
DMS is always a highlight at each show. What Christoffer is doing during this song is amazing. Every time! He is second to none! This is usually one of the songs when a possible DVD comes to my mind. MUST BE RELEASED! 😉
Per started the band presentation with saying he has a wonderful band with him and it’s now their second tour together. The crowd gave each band member a huge applause. After PG finished his part, Magnus and Chris said into the mic, but who is that in the middle who is always introducing only 7 people out of 8 on stage. Chris said: ”Song, guitar, … technical features … and especially many many very very good songs, Per Håkan Gessle!” At the technical features part Per was showing with his hands ”so-so” and the crowd was laughing. Haha.
Then Mr. G said ”let’s see if you recognize this one!” and he started the teaser to HDYD. How I love this! The crowd was not too loud in singing along, but most of us in the front were singing quite loud, so Per let us sing for quite long on the last gig. He was satisfied, we were satisfied. And then we could party to his version. Haha. The party went on during Dangerous. And oh no, is it really coming to an end? Now only the 2 encores left. Impossible how fast time flies!
The crowd was loud, clapping and shouting, so Per and the band came back on stage, PG thanked the crowd and said what a fantastic evening it is. They performed QOR, one of Per’s favourite Roxette songs and of course Helena was cheered after the song. Then it was time for a little Joyride. How Chris and Per were teasing each other in the intro part was again much fun! During the song both Chris and Ola got on their knees and were playing their guitars like that. It was so cool! Helena sat on the edge of the stage in front of us and animated the crowd from there. She’s so good at that (too)! She had a tambourine in her hands and rocked using it. At the end of the song she put it on her head, like a crown. Looked so great! Haha. Then off they went.
PG & THE Band came back for the 2nd encore. Per thanked once again and he put his hand on his heart to emphasize how he wanted to absorb all the love they got from the crowd. Then he said: ”A Friday night in Göteborg! That would be a good song title actually.” Haha. They played LTYH after this and it sounded wonderful. The crowd’s sing-along was the loudest at this song. Great! Before they played the very last song, Per said it’s a special night, because this is the last concert on the European tour. He thanked the band and also the crew for their fantastic job, he thanked Live Nation that made the tour possible and also thanked the people that came to the shows and he mentioned those separately who came to several shows. Then he switched to English and said: ”Thank you very much, you know who you are! Thank you!” And he showed thumbs up and looked at those fans in the front row. He is so amazing! Ojojoj! The bittersweet goodbye was getting closer. TSHTSG, the closing song that probably became everyone’s favourite earworm during the tour in this new arrangement. Another MUST BE RELEASED (on CD and DVD) song! Just saying! 😉 Since I somehow wanted to thank Per and the band for the whole tour right there at the last concert, being fortunate enough to have seen 15 shows out of 20, I prepared signs in English and in Swedish saying: ”Thanx for a wonderful tour!” & ”Tack för en underbar turné!”, both having 2 red hearts added in the bottom. I was there at the gig with 2 of my friends (Sandra, who saw 16 shows on this tour and Tomasz, also from RoxBlog) and we decided to hold up these signs when the greatest earworm part starts in TSHTSG, namely the ”tütütütürütü” part, sung by Helena and Malin-My. So we held up the signs then and kept them up in the air until the end of the song. I loved seeing the smiles on their faces. They showed thumbs up and thanked, even Per thanked. Before the bows, Jakob (Christoffer’s technician) came up on stage and brought a big bunch of red roses and gave it to Per. Per thanked it and put it on the stage while they were taking the bows. Jakob stayed there with the gang and he also took a bow. Happy band, happy crowd, perfect night! The band was waving to the crowd and went off stage, Per threw some more plecs from his mic stand and then picked up the flowers and waved goobye. Off he went. The crew was fast dismantling the stage. While they were doing their job, we held up our thank you signs for them too. They laughed.
After the concert we were lucky to meet the band and Per and BoJo, so we could thank them for the tour in person too. They also loved the whole journey. When I told Per how I loved the whole thing, he said ”Yeah, it was good!” I said ”Good? It was perfect!” Haha. I love how after more than 40 years of successful songwriting and performing he still can’t really handle compliments. That humble smile on his face was a PERfect ending for me of this tour. THANK YOU ALL!
Now fingers crossed for a fat tour photo book full of beautiful pictures, a live CD and a DVD! AND an announcment of any PG-related tour in the not too far future! GT40, anyone? 😉
1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
17. Queen Of Rain
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye
EUROPE BYE BYE. Yep, this tour ended tonight in style with a most magnificent concert at Scandinavium in Gothenburg. If you were there I’m pretty certain you had a good time. We certainly did!!!!
I have to pinch my arm all the time convincing myself this awesome band actually is playing my songs. My Gosh, they’re so good, I’m not worthy! I’ll cherish this tour forever!!
Thanx also to the adorable crew who’ve been with me working on so many different projects over the years. You’re the best! Couldn’t have made it without you!
And…last but not least… thanks to all of you who supported PER GESSLE’S ROXETTE + this tour from Day One + came onboard to give your love + support (+ voices) to make it happen. Big bold promise: new adventures ahead!!!! No rest for the wicked! Keep it up! Lots of love from P.
All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.