Personal Per Gessle in Nashville style

This article contains the translation of the text that was sent out by TT Swedish news agency and was published in most Swedish newspapers yesterday and today. Metro’s article contained the most details and the most photos (fabulous pics by Jonas Ekströmer), so that’s why I chose to include that one here.

Per Gessle is back with new music in Swedish. The album “En vacker natt” is his most personal so far.

I wanted to do something where the lyrics and my voice were in focus, he says.

An announcement was made last year in spring that Roxette would say goodbye to big stages after the doctors advised Marie Fredriksson to stop touring. Suddenly, the pop group’s other half, Per Gessle, had much time left. He decided to record new music in Swedish, for the first time in ten years. Then it went fast.

It’s just the way I love to work. “Now we make a record on Tuesday, write five songs until then”, then I do it. But if you say “it’s going to be finished next spring”, then I’ll do something else until the last week, says Per Gessle.

Ended up in Nashville

“En vacker natt” and its sister album “En vacker dag”, coming in September, were recorded in Nashville. But there was really no deeper thought about it – apart from getting away from his partner in crime, Christoffer Lundquist’s diligently used studio, Aerosol Gray Machine in Skåne.

I saw a documentary about Nick Cave in which he was down in France in a damn cool studio, but I thought that place was a bit big. So we checked some smaller places in England, but then Nashville popped up and I thought, “that’s not that bad”. Even though I’m not a country nerd, there is automatically pretty much country stuff in my music.

The studio we booked in the Blackbird complex still seemed to be too big and offered too many facilities. Gessle and his gang switched to a smaller studio and in the evenings they walked home to a house they rented via Airbnb and shared their bathroom with a bunch of beetles.

“Too fussy”

Small and intimate, just like the music they recorded. Per Gessle sees “En vacker natt” as a cousin of his “Mazarin” album from 2003 – firmly spiced with fiddle and pedal steel.

I tried to make this record as a unit, and of course I had to pay a price for it – there is no radio bomb here. But I didn’t even want it, this will be something else. I’m conceited like everyone else and want everyone to think this is the best there is. But I also know that very many will find it too slow, too brittle or too fussy with the violin.

Per Gessle admits that his feelings before the album release are a little different from how it used to be.

It’s special everytime. But there has been many things happening now. There was an end with Roxette and there were a lot of family things happening around me while the whole Nashville project was a bit of a “happy accident”. It was such a boost, but it could as well have fallen flat.

Sentimental cover

With “family things” he means that he has suffered from several deaths in recent years. Last autumn Per Gessle’s sister, Gunilla passed away and when her son found a box of diapositives from the 1960s, he decided to dismiss the album cover photos already taken by Anton Corbijn.

“En vacker natt” has a picture of Gunilla and “En vacker dag” has a picture of mother Elisabeth, who passed away in 2013. These are Per Gessle’s first solo records where he is not visible on the cover.

Paradoxically, I think these are my most private and personal records. But after these pictures appeared, there was no reason to have me on the cover. These pictures set a feeling.

TT: Why do you think the music became personal and private?

I don’t know. As I said, I want to work fast and then just pour out what comes naturally. Sometimes it feels like the songs come by themselves. And many of these texts have just emerged, it’s nothing I’ve been looking for and thought out, it just fell down. Sometimes it feels like it has taken 58 years for them to arrive.

Photo captions:

Per Gessle releases two new albums this year. The first, “En vacker natt” will be released on April 28th. “It’s an acoustically affected album, recorded in Nashville”, he says.

After this year’s two albums and a tour, Per Gessle has no plans. “We’ll see, I have a partly new band and I feel it’s much fun to play with them, so maybe we have to do something more”, he says.

For Per Gessle, the order of songs and the album covers are still important. “Via the cover, you can reinforce what you want to present and it’s similarly important to present the songs in the right order so that you come right into the idea. It’s like an art exhibition or TV series or anything. If the pilot part is very good so you get curious”, he says.

The opening song on “En vacker natt” is “Min plats” – a song that sets the tone for the entire Nashville project. “There you get it all, the violin and pedal steel stuff, the ease, the summer feeling, the sentimentality and a little black in the middle of it all. If you like it, you want to go on”, says Per Gessle.

Facts: Per Gessle

Born 1959 in Halmstad. After his years in Gyllene Tider and Roxette, he is one of Sweden’s most successful artists and songwriters of all time.

Solo albums: “Per Gessle” (1983), “Scener” (1985), “The World According to Gessle” (1997), “Mazarin” (2003), “Son of a Plumber” (2005), “En händig man” (2007), “Party Crasher” (2008).

Roxette albums: “Pearls of Passion” (1986), “Look Sharp!” (1988), “Joyride” (1991), “Tourism” (1992), “Crash! Boom! Bang!” (1994), “Have a Nice Day” (1999), “Room Service” (2001), “Charm School” (2011), “Travelling” (2012), “Good Karma” (2016).

Gyllene Tider albums: “Gyllene Tider” (1980), “Moderna tider” (1981), “Puls” (1982), “The Heartland Café” (1984), “Finn 5 fel!” (2004), “Dags att tänka på refrängen” (2013).

Current: his new album, “En vacker natt” will be released on April 28th. The album contains duets with, among others, Lars Winnerbäck and Savanna Church. The sister album, “En vacker dag” is released in September and contains duets with Linnea Henriksson and John Holm. Goes on a big tour this summer.

Tour dates: 6/7 Helsingborg, 7/7 Oskarshamn, 8/7 Örebro, 13/7 Rättvik ,14/7 Töreboda, 15/7 Karlskrona, 21/7 Grebbestad, 22/7 Göteborg, 23/7 Fredrikstad, 27/7 Stockholm, 28/7 Östersund, 29/7 Piteå, 1/8 Borgholm, 2/8 Malmö, 3/8 Arvika, 11/8 Halmstad, 12/8 Linköping, 18/8 Uppsala, 19/8 Eskilstuna, 25/8 Vasa, 26/8 Borgå.

Per Gessle about…

… the album covers with his sister’s and mother’s pictures: “Anton Corbijn rang when I was in Nashville. He was in New Orleans and shooted Arcade Fire so he said ‘oh, are you there, can I get over and we’ll do a photo session? ‘. Of course, so I cancelled one day in the studio and then we did a photo session in Nashville milieu, it was perfect. His images were supposed to be on the covers, he shooted many of my other records. But then my sister died and her son found a box of diapositives from 1965-1966 or so. I was in some pictures and that was just before I got glasses. The quality of the pictures is so beautiful, those colors. So I told Anton that ‘sorry, there won’t be any covers this time’.”

… what he will play on the summer tour: “Yes, that’s a good question. I haven’t really decided yet. I have a partly new band with violin and pedal steel so there are endless possibilities to rearrange songs and maybe have some Roxette songs in this form. To arrange my solo songs in this way is not that hard, but it would be exciting to arrange for example “It Must Have Been Love” with a little violin. My ambition is to play songs from my whole song catalogue, if you say so. I’m getting old so there are quite a lot of songs.”

… making 2 short records instead of 1 long: “I had the options either to ‘kill my darlings’, remove four songs and let them become bonus tracks on Spotify, or make a double album – and that doesn’t really makes sense nowadays. Or, to do what I did, two albums with a little ‘space’ between them. If you like the first album, you will like the second. The only negative is that if I play something from the other album this summer, nobody has heard that music. But even conceptually, it’s damn exciting, because for example I can make two cool album covers. I really love that you can extend the idea of the music via the album cover and how it’s presented visually.”

Photo by Jonas Ekströmer / TT

 

En vacker kväll poll #6 – En händig man

We are more or less half-way with the polls. This week it’s “En händig man” – which turns 10 this year.

You can find the results of all polls so far on this special page.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 04-04-2017 09:31:39
end_date 11-04-2017 09:30:00
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #6 - En händig man (2007)
Total Answers 256
Total Votes 105

There are just two album polls left: Party Crasher and En vacker natt. The rest will be long polls for Gyllene Tider and Roxette material as well as demos and other songs not included in the rest.

In the meantime, one of the tour special guests, Good Harvest, released their debut album last week. Check this out to listen to or buy the album.

 

2 Per Gessle concerts in Finland are added

2 more dates are added to Per Gessle’s summer tour. Both dates are in Finland, at the end of August. This means the tour won’t end in Eskilstuna on 19th August and there will be a total of 21 concerts in the end. At least known at this point.

The 2 extra dates are Vasa 25th August (capacity of the stadium is 4000) and Borgå (Popkalaset festival) 26th August.

Tickets for Vasa go on sale on 9th February.

 

 

New exclusive photo book – RoXXXette On The Road

Roxette’s tour photo book we’ve been looking very much forward to is now already listed at Bokus and Adlibris. It will surely be available at other distributors as well, hopefully worldwide. So eXXXciting! Release date is 16th June.

RoXXXette On The RoadThe title is RoXXXette On The Road. According to Bokus and Adlibris, the book consists of 320 pages and it’s in English. It’s full of wonderful pics taken by master photographer Anders Roos on Roxette’s XXX tour and it also includes 41 reflections by our very own Per Gessle. The cover shows a photo of Marie and Per performing in front of a beautiful crowd on the steps at the Sydney Opera House in February 2015.

This is what Per said about the tour book project back then:

XXX ROXETTE WORLD TOUR BOOK info:

Yep, the plan is to have Anders Roos onboard in the studio, in green rooms, backstage, on stage, on trains, planes and in fast lanes just to document the real vibe around the Dynamic Duo and our fab entourage. Which we consider you to be part of!!!

Anders, as you might know, took the pix in the Gyllene Tider-book 2013. He’s a very nice guy, don’t be shy if you’ll spot him with his camera in the alleyways next to your seat! He might take your picture!

This is what the description of the book says, found on Bokus and Adlibris [translated from Swedish by PP]:

New exclusive photo book

”RoXXXette On The Road”

In the spring of 1986 a small hobby band was formed by two friends who had talked long enough about doing something together alongside their ordinary careers in Sweden.

30 years later, we follow the same band’s anniversary tour in the book “RoXXXette On The Road”, where Roxette’s songwriter engine Per Gessle adds his own reflections, flashbacks and anecdotes while photographer Anders Roos’s snapshots capture a global and apparently indestructible Swedish music phenomenon on tour.

The result is a unique opportunity to follow the group in the front row during their 30th anniversary celebration along with tens of thousands of fans night after night, both in Europe and on the other side of the globe.

The contrast to how it once started could hardly be greater. When Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle recorded their debut single “Neverending Love” under the name Roxette, they had certainly set their sights on trying to reach out internationally, but in practice, they knew that the chances were slim.

Roxette started at a time when Swedish pop music rarely managed to get outside Scandinavia, with Abba as the biggest exception to the rule. At best, they might reach out to the Scandinavian countries and Germany, but hardly to trendsetting pop countries as England and the United States.

Music without borders

But Roxette became at least as big exception to the rule. With their global breakthrough in 1989, with their unprecedented success, the group registered themselves both in Swedish and international music history, while also paving the way for what in the ‘90s was called “the Swedish music miracle”.

But despite all the talented artists and songwriters who have come from Sweden since then, no one has managed to repeat Roxette’s success, especially considering that the band both on stage and records have managed to touch several generations all over the world with their music. It is simply because Roxette’s greatest songs – and here we are talking about more than 30 hits – know no borders.

Or as Per Gessle writes in the book:

“Roxette has always been a live band. I feel quite safe and psyched in the studio, but Marie is definitely born to be on stage. During our first recordings, I was always surprised when she agreed to do a second or third recording of the song. She preferred to put in all at once, as if she was on stage. Her vocals to “Dressed For Success” were basically recorded directly during one utterly brilliant recording. Like “Soul Deep”. And “Cry.” The list goes on and on.”

Join the trip

With nearly 300 images on as many pages “RoXXXette on the road” takes the reader on a tour to Australia, where Roxette among other places performed with the mighty Sydney Opera House as their background.

We get backstage passes that take us all the way from inside the airplane, into the dressing rooms during the preparations before the concerts and to the very front of the edge of the stage where the musicians are pumping out songs like “The Look”, “Listen To Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love” and “Joyride” in front of an ecstatic crowd.

Good Karma

Furthermore, we get unique insights from the recordings of Roxette’s tenth studio album, “Good Karma” in the isolated studio, “Aerosol Grey Machine” in Österlen, Skåne.

In short, “RoXXXette on the road” is the backstage pass you always wanted to have, either you belong to the global gang of dedicated “roxers” who follow the group around the world or just curious about how daily life might look for a band that 30 years ago decided to see how far they could get. Part of the answer is here.

 

Thank you!

roxette_in_drammen_02Roxette just announced that the upcoming summer tour has been cancelled.

Roxetteblog wants to send Marie Fredriksson a huge THANK YOU for all the great shows and many great tour memories.

If you feel up to joining us: We created a page where you can leave your messages for Marie.

The first ones will be delivered to Marie next week.

/ Roxette Blog Team (Kirsten, Patrícia, Sascha, Tomasz and Judith)

Roxette XXX Tour – Cape Town, South Africa (Grand Arena Grand West) – February 8 – #66

After yesterday’s sold out success in Cape Town, Roxette did another show in the city tonight. The difference in the set up was that now there was no standing area with golden circle possibility, but there were seats at the place where yesterday everyone was jumping and dancing without any disturbing chairs around. We hoped the crowd wouldn’t be distracted by the seats and do their best at the second Cape Town gig as well. Well, let’s say the energy ratio wasn’t equal on and off the stage. How can you sit still during How Do You Do!? Seats and security team are to blame again. With Joyride everyone was allowed to stand up and go closer to the stage and then the party was on, but the clapping and sing-alongs at least were loud and constant during the whole concert.

roxette_in_cape_town_2nd_night_pic_by_Marie_Sidorova
Pic by Marie Sidorova

In Cape Town one could see what a difference seats can make. One night party, one night relax. Not on stage though. The Rox gang was full of energy even if there was no day off after last night’s show. Marie was in top form, shining all night, rocking the audience with all the power in her voice. Per did his adorable circles, fab guitar fights with Chris and his trademark left leg stomping.

Mr. G after the show:

XXX GIG #68 CAPE TOWN DAY TWO. Oh yeah! Wonderful evening and a crowd that got going like nothing else after How Do You Do! Thanx everyone for making this South African tour a splendid memory for all of us. We love to perform here and hope to come back. You know that! Cheers! /P.
PS. Vids tomorrow.

With this the South African tour leg came to an end. 5 great concerts of which 2 were sold out. Not bad, huh? Next stop is Stars of Sounds festival in Murten, Switzerland on 3rd June. Or maybe not. Who knows how many dates will still be added to the 2016 European leg. Our May is completely empty, you know…

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17;

Videos
Instavids:
The Big L.
How Do You Do! teaser
How Do You Do!: 1; 2;
The Look
The bow and waving goodbye

Setlist

roxette_in_cape_town_2nd_night_pic_by_Johan_Breytenbach
Pic by Johan Breytenbach

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Roxette XXX Tour – Cape Town, South Africa (Grand Arena Grand West) – February 7 – #65

Cape Town. The city that was lucky enough one world tour earlier to welcome the band with 3 sold out shows in 2011 and a year later yet another gig was organized there. The first Cape Town show during the XXX tour got sold out already in October 2015, so an extra date had to be added as the last concert of the South African tour leg.

The venue had a standing area with a cozy golden circle, so after seeing what effect no seats had in Port Elizabeth, we expected at least the standing part of the crowd to party. And they did, already during the opening song! Then other uptempo songs made those who had tickets for the seated area stand up too and join the joyride. The sound of the arena wasn’t the best, it was too low at some parts of the venue. The crowd was loud and the sing-alongs turned out to be fantastic. People loved to hear the greatest Rox hits.

Marie’s performance was full of passion, Per’s energy was undescribable, the band was rocking, so all in all, Roxette put on yet another ass-kicking show.

Per after the Cape Town party:

XXX GIG #67 CAPE TOWN. Voila! Very nice indeed. Super crowd and a still going strong band having a field day at the Grand Arena in CT. Thanx everyone for showing up and making this yet another sold out + unbelievable Sunday evening for this humble band. Gig #2 in CT tomorrow. Cheers, P.

Roxette stays in the city for a Monday gig (8th February). The show will happen at the same venue.

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19;
Big Concerts (Desmond Louw’s photos): 1; 2; 3; 4;
Channel24 – Nardus Engelbrecht photos

Videos
Instavids:
Sleeping In My Car
Spending My Time
How Do You Do!: 1; 2;
It Must Have Been Love
Listen To Your Heart

Setlist

roxette_in_CapeTown_0207
Pic by marizavdw

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Roxette XXX Tour – Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium) – February 5 – #64

Port Elizabeth fans had to wait 21 years to see Roxette live again. It was an open air gig and the weather was predicted to be very windy, but it’s usual in PE, so even the stadium admins posted before the show ”come rain or shine the concert will go on”. There was nothing to worry about.

People brought their blankets and while waiting for the show to start they were sitting on the grass in the sun eating and drinking. By the time Watershed hit the stage it was already dark and it got colder.

Being cold, it was surprising that Marie didn’t have the heaters set up in front of her. She was wearing a warmer jacket, so hopefully, she wasn’t freezing that much. At least you wouldn’t tell by her performance, which was nothing else but brilliant again. Per’s wind blown hair was rocking just as much as he himself was. The band was on a high as well.

The crowd was far much better than at the last 2 shows. Blame it on the fact that there were no seats at all! Woohoo! People of course knew all the lyrics and were singing along during the whole concert. They were clapping hard and also swaying their hips and jumping frequently. Such a crowd gives even more energy to the band and they appreciate it.

Per’s long comment after the superb show:

XXX GIG #66 PORT ELIZABETH. Wow! Outdoors! A standing crowd, no chairs in sight! And soooooo many people (10.000? I don’t know…)! We haven’t played P.E. for 21 years and get a reception like this! What can we say? WOW!
Super enthusiastic crowd and a band in fine form made this something very special to remember! Thanx everyone for showing up and making us feel like the biggest band in the world! Once again! Love! /P.

Next stop is Cape Town on Sunday (7th February). The show is so sold out that another date had to be added for the day after at the same venue.

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11;
Mark Andrews photos

Videos

It Must Have Been Love crowd sing-along

Instavids:
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride: 1; 2;
Listen To Your Heart

Setlist

roxette_in_port_elizabeth
Pic by Tiina Pitkänen

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Roxette XXX Tour – Durban, South Africa (ICC Arena) – February 2 – #63

Yep, #63. You might be wondering why our numbers differ from what Mr. G gives the shows. It’s not that we have problems with Maths. It’s that we give numbers only to real XXX concerts, while Per also counts corporate gigs. There were 2 of them last year, so that’s why Johannesburg was #64 and Durban #65 for him. In the Tele2 corporate gig article we wrote more in details about it, so check it out, if you want to understand our point of view. We stick to our numbering system, so sorry for any inconvenience it may cause.

Now about the show in Durban, regardless the number it got. The arena wasn’t completely full, but it was quite packed with people representing all generations. It was again a seated event with some better looking chairs than those in Johannesburg. Unfortunately, the system was almost the same in Durban. The audience got stuck to their seats being hesitant about standing up. No, standing up at a Roxette gig is not dumb. Not at all! At least the magic uptempo hits got many people on their feet. Also, it can never go wrong with the clapping choreography in Dressed For Success. The crowd was in for fun this time as well and from Joyride on they didn’t sit down, but people were even more reserved than in Joburg. Hey guys and girls, after Joyride there are only 2 songs left… Next time start the party already at the first chord in Sleeping In My Car!

The show had its effect on the audience anyway. They loved the great sound, the fab lighting and what Roxette is about live: 100% live music + 120% energy (on stage). The whole band was rocking, Marie inspired the crowd with her voice, strength and presence and Per was bouncing around much, hitting the right strings, playing the correct chords. People lost their voices by the end of the concert and The Look was definitely a highlight. It’s still the best closing song, I would say.

Mr. Griesel’s thoughts after the show:

DURBAN UPDATE: Oh yea, a great evening with loads of ppl in a very hot and sweaty Durban. Lovely crowd and a very focused band made this night one to remember. We had a blast. Thanx everyone for showing up and singing along. Vids by Åsa coming up tomorrow. /P.

Next stop is Port Elizabeth on Friday (5th February). Let’s see what happens at a show-with-no-seats-around in South Africa! C’mon people, time to start partying! It’s only 3 gigs left in your country.

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;
Big Concerts photos: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;
Julian Carelsen Photography
Underground Press review
Jed Kenny Photography

Videos
Instavids:
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Setlist

roxette_in_durban_pics_by_Big_Concerts
Pics (1, 2) by BIG Concerts

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Roxette XXX Tour – Johannesburg, South Africa (Ticketpro Dome) – January 31 – #62

5 months passed since the last XXX gig happened in Drammen and now Roxette found themselves in South Africa. The band is there to perform 5 shows. How great it is to start the real XXX anniversary year with a sold out gig in Johannesburg!

It wasn’t the first time Roxette played in the city. First they appeared there during the Crash! Boom! Bang! World Tour in 1995 and played for 60000 people. Fortunately, that concert was filmed and the Crash! Boom! Live! video was born. However, we would still love to have it as a DVD release. The 2nd time the band performed in Joburg was in 2012. Now 4 years later Roxette was back at Ticketpro Dome to entertain 13000 people.

Some hours before showtime Mr. G posted a pic on Instagram from backstage to show us all the boxes of their gear. He then posted on Roxette’s Facebook page about his virtues:

JOHANNESBURG UPDATE: Great long soundcheck. Loads of mistakes from yours truly. Will I ever learn the chords to Dangerous??? Time will tell. See you soon, folks! /P.

Dea and Mister Magnus also shared pics on Instagram (Dea, Magnus) of what they saw during soundcheck from the stage. And after the show Dea posted a nice collage of the preparations on her Facebook page.

roxette_in_johannesburg_pic_by_Johan_Breytenbach
Pic by Johan Breytenbach

Families, couples, friends gathered at the venue, different generations attended the concert to fulfill their childhood dream or check something off their bucket list. First the crowd saw Watershed on stage, they were the support act. The audience enjoyed their performance, which is good, because they will open for Roxette at the next 4 shows as well. Roxette hit the stage a bit after 21:15 local time.

The arena was fully packed as it was a sold out show. There were two big screens on the sides to make sure no one in the very back misses what happens on stage. Funny how the seats were tied to each other. We thought it was useless, since no one would have wanted to use them. Oh well… Security guys were the least cooperative and they didn’t let people stand up. They were asking people (not too politely) to sit down all the time. Big Concerts should work on it at the remaining seated shows and tell them to let anyone stand up. When it’s boogie time, it’s boogie time, you know. It was this time only from Joyride on when everyone was on their feet.

Marie, Per and the band were in top form like there was no tour break. They were full of energy and charmed their loud crowd. Besides Joburgers and South Africans from other cities, there were Roxers from Germany, Australia, Poland, Russia, Finland, the UK, etc. as well. Always good to have an international crowd!

The setlist didn’t change vs. 2015, so this means all evergreens were performed and also Crush On You was kept.

Blinds seem to be efficient to bring along only in Europe, since they were not present in Joburg. There were curtains in the background instead and the lights were projected on them.

Per’s words after the show:

JOBURG TONIGHT: Yes yes yes, what a crowd. Great evening, band was really tight even though we haven’t played together for a couple of months. Thanx for stopping by and singing along. Always a pleasure to be here, Joburg!!!! Vids coming up. /P.

Next stop is Durban on Tuesday (2nd February).

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16;
Twitter: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8;
Big Concerts photos: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;
Gallo Images
rexfeatures.com
Getty Images
El Broide’s review
DK Expressions
ourfriends.co

Videos

Instavids:
Dressed For Success
Joyride
Dangerous
The Look

Setlist

roxette_in_johannesburg_pic_by_Sandra_Knospe
Pic by Sandra Knospe

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
The Heart Shaped Sea
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Scatterlings of Africa – Johnny Clegg)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

More tour dates for 2016 announced

roxette_in_drammen_04
Photo: Patrícia Peres

Here’s a list of the summer schedule so far:

30.06 Zimny Stadium O, Bratislava, Slovakia
02.07 Burg Clam, Klam, Austria
15.07 Sparkassen Park, Mönchengladbach, Germany
21.07 Zitadelle, Berlin, Germany
23.07 Schlossplatz, Emmendingen, Germany
09.09 Ice Hall Arena, St Petersburg, Russia
11.09 Crockus Hall, Moscow, Russia

They were pouring on us like rain today – more tour dates for the neverending RoXXXette tour. In the middle of the night German newspaper “Rheinische Post” announced on their website that Roxette would be back in Germany in 2016 – with four concerts in total and one of them in the county of Nordrhein-Westfalen. The show is in SparkassenPark in Mönchengladbach on 15th July.

Some hours went by and we got one more date – surprise: Roxette will also be back in Russia for another show: On 11th September they are on stage in Moscow, Crocus Hall! We waited for the official press release all morning, but nothing happened, until Per kind of confirmed the former dates by sharing the news and telling us that there was more to come SOON.

More hours went by and more dates came – two more shows suddenly popped up on the LiveNation website: 21th July, Berlin, Zitadelle and 23th July, Emmendingen, Schlosspark.  All German shows are open air. The tickets for Emmendingen seem to be on sale from TOMORROW already – that’s what the LiveNation site says.

At the same time the second Russian date appeared: 9th September, St. Petersburg.

20 minutes after we shared the news on our Facebook page the press release from “Team Rox” finally found its way to Facebook and mailboxes. Surprise – they actually only confirmed the dates we had found during the morning hours. The press release clearly states that “more dates are to come”.

And here we are, still waiting for the dates for South America (shows which are supposed to be during April) and hopefully some dates for North America and/or Canada. And in case the “Rheinische Post” was correct there is still missing one date for Germany.

Exciting times!

Update: Added date in Austria.

 

Roxette in Bratislava, Slovakia 2016

As Slovakian news sites informed about it on Friday, Roxette will perform in Bratislava on their XXX tour in 2016. Save the date, 30th June! Everyone was expecting the South American dates to be announced at last (rumor has it the band is there in April) and then bang, a European date for June leaked out. We love such surprises though! The concert will be organized at Zimný štadión Ondreja Nepelu, a stadium primarily used for ice hockey and has the capacity of 10 200 for concerts.

We expected Roxette to play in Europe only at festivals next year, so it’s a fantastic surprise for all European Roxers. It’s not yet known whether it’s only one show on the continent for 2016 or there are more dates to be announced soon. We hope for some more of course!

Eventim also confirmed the news. Tickets for the Bratislava gig go on sale at 10 am CET on 18th November.

Roxette_in_Bratislava

Facebook event of the show can be found HERE.

Roxette XXX Tour – Vasa, Finland (Wasa Open Air) – August 15 – #60

Roxette’s 60th gig on this tour happened in Vasa, Finland last night. This time there were 2 ”support acts” to warm up the crowd. No, unfortunately, Eskobar wasn’t one of them. The first was Frida Andersson at 18:00, then came Alphaville at 20:00. Yes, Alphaville. Do you remember the ’80s? It wasn’t only the decade of Milli Vanilli, Modern Talking and Roxette with shoulder pads and great hairdos, but it was also the brightest era for the band that constantly asked if you really wanted to live forever, forever young.

roxette_in_vasa_01
Pic by Mari Pudas

If they succeeded with the warming up? Well, it took a bit of time for the crowd to clap along, but after Roxette came up on stage at 22:00 and kicked off the show with Sleeping In My Car, the audience did feel the heat.

The concert was expected to be sold out, but there were still some Golden Circle spots and standing tickets left. All in all, the planned number of visitors was 11,000 and in the end more than 10,000 people came to see Roxette and party to their evergreens. Nothing to complain about.

It was an open air show and it was windy and cold, so many had to wear jackets. Of course, Marie was among the freezing ones and she was wearing a jacket, a scarf and gloves, plus she had the already well-known heaters turned on. Nevertheless, she had much fun on stage, smiling during the whole show and was singing perfectly. Per was on a high. While showing how fit he is, as usual, he hit the right strings on the guitar and his singing did the magic, too. The band showed their best as well. Dea joined Marie with a neverending smile and brilliant vocals, Chris and Magnus joined Per in going wild and Pelle and Clarence were rocking in the back.

The crowd appreciated Roxette came to visit them and realized they still rock. People were loud with their sing-alongs and were clapping hard. Those who were standing in the back could watch the 2 side screens, so they were charmed well enough, too. The crowd left the venue in high spirits. No other option after hearing an ass-kicking version of The Look.

On a side note, it was so windy in Vasa that at the end of the concert, while waving goodbye Per just showed his six-pack. This pic is by Evgeny Perekopskiy, but similar photos (even official ones) appeared here and there of this unique moment. Yeah, 10 minutes at the gym every other week still pays off. In a way. 😉

Per after the show:

VASA, FINLAND UPDATE: A great summer evening, nice temperature, beautiful sky light you’ll find up in the north, splendido people everywhere, a band eager to please. What can go wrong? Nothing! We had a blast. Thanx Vasa for taking care of us. Love to come back and play for you guys & dolls!!!! Anytime. Cheers, P.

Next stop is Elvefestivalen in Drammen, Norway on 22nd August. Can you believe that only 1 gig is left for 2015? Impossible! BUT the tour goes on and on and on next year! South African tour stops are out and surely, not much time left until we get to know even more dates.

 

Articles and photos

Beauty pics by Teppo Kangas Photography on Wasa Open Air Facebook page (you can play with the panorama pic on Virtual Finland)
Iltalehti.fi
Vasabladet (another article is available if you subscribe)
Pohjalainen: 1; 2;
svenska.yle.fi
Niclas Glasberg Photography

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25;

Videos

Stars
Crush On You
Fading Like A Flower
Joyride

 

Setlist

roxette_in_vasa_02
Pic by Evgeny Perekopskiy

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Säkkijärven polkka)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Thanx for the help with the setlist, Evgeny Perekopskiy!

German promoter Marek Lieberberg joins Live Nation

4Not really Roxette news, but a little bit related in the end: Live Nation Entertainment is partnering with German concert promoter Marek Lieberberg to form Live Nation Concerts Germany, promoting concerts and festivals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – beginning January 1, 2016.

This is indeed news because it means that Marek Lieberberg leaves his own company “Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur” – the one agency responsible for the huge festivals “Rock am Ring” and “Rock im Park” in Germany and also responsible for the Roxette shows in Germany and the Party Crasher tour back in 2009. The Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur belongs to German ticketing company CTS Eventim.

The ticketing for Live Nation Concerts Germany will be in the hands of Ticketmaster Germany. Ticketmaster Germany will serve as the lead ticketing company for the new venture, which probably means that the tickets get a bit more expensive in Germany than they already are, but that is just my humble opinion.

According to their own statement, Live Nation offers more than 23.000 shows for 60 million fans in over 40 countries. The “Lieberberg deal” is supposed to add another 700 shows and two million fans.

Roxette XXX Tour – Rättvik, Sweden (Dalhalla) – July 27 – #58

I started writing this while sipping a cup of coffee looking at the lake Siljan with a big silly smile on my face and thinking life is beautiful. And that I wouldn’t change a thing. For various reasons (including a 12-hour journey by car/plane back home, work and exhaustment) it took some days to finish this article, but better late than never, they say.

11754260_1601330503459377_7345004972875497328_n
Picture by Anne

Dalhalla, organisation, logistics
Roxette played at Dalhalla, an amphitheatre in an old quarry nearby Rättvik, which opened as a summer stage 20 years ago. To make it more mystique, they say that a meteor fell in this area about 360 million years ago and I suppose that the name is an allusion to Valhalla, the home of the Norse gods. In any case, the place looks awesome, probably one of the most unique and interesting places to play or attend a show, not only because of the sound but the surroundings and nature. It all makes the experience special.

Usually, there is a big separation between stage and the first rows of the audience, with water flowing in between, but for Roxette this was covered with a platform and seats were place on it, meaning the audience was much closer than usual. We guessed it was Roxette who wanted to have the audience closer, as they like to communicate with the fans. And that was a good thing. More about the audience below.

Organisation and logistics were also a bit… special. When we checked in at the hotel in Leksand (Rättvik was fully booked) they asked us if we were going to Dalhalla (was it that obvious?) and advised us to leave with loooooots of time ahead for two reasons: there was Classic Cars exhibition in Rättvik it would take us at least 1 hour to cross the city and Dalhalla is in the middle of nowhere, with a narrow road driving up a hill and the long queues to get to the parking / event can take up to 1 hour too. So we followed the advice and left earlier than planned.

Rättvik was indeed a chaos, but at least we enjoyed the (mostly) nicely kept old cars cruising up and down of Rättvik (we were told that this meeting is mostly just about that, showing off your car in the main street of the city). It felt almost like entering Grease movie. We left Rättvik behind us to get into the next chaos, in this case mostly because of the lousy organisation at Dalhalla. We arrived shortly before 6pm, the time they were supposed to open the doors. What we didn’t know is that the parking wouldn’t open until 6pm either. So cars just gathered in a more or less unorganised way in front of the gate, with no information or signs about that, nobody to guide and make sure cars stand in a row… I guess it says a lot when a fan ended up organising the car queue together with one of the workers because the others claimed “they only start to work at 6” (!). Parking was well organised, at least for the first/second row, afterwards cars more or less parked where they wanted.

20150727_205310_
Picture by Connie H.

Eskobar’s last show as Roxette’s guest (?)
Unfortunately, it started to rain right before Eskobar, so this and the traffic jam to get to the venue were the cause many people were not in their places / seats when Eskobar started to play. The about 10 “hardcores” who were there agreed to make the best out of it anyway, and try to make a great last Eskobar show.

Since it was Daniel’s birthday, we also decided we would sing Happy Birthday after the first song. And it worked out very well!

Rox on!
After seeing the lack of enthusiasm of the audience, we hoped that people would cheer up and at least show some interest during Roxette. We decided to stand up no matter what, hoping nobody would complain, and it worked out just fine. Before the show, Atli from Sweden Show Security approached us and asked us just one thing, we could stand up if we wanted to but we should remain in our places and not go/run to the front. There was like 2-meter distance between the first row of seats and the aisle and we behaved (imagine that usually there are like 10 m or more separation between the stage and the audience!). Unfortunately, we were not allowed to the front during the last two shows, like it had been in Zurich or partly in London, would have been great to have another close-up The Look but well, security is security.

The audience wasn’t as bad as we thought, though. People next and behind us were standing up now and then, and even if it required hard work from Marie and Per and the rest to make people sing, it was loud enough.

Marie was in a great mood, as one could see and hear her laughing many times. For example, during Magnus-Per “Have A Nice Day” story, Magnus didn’t refer to “Baladas en Español” but a very unique limited edition of a rare  album, or when she made funny faces with Magnus or Dea. Or when she asked Per “är du med, Per?” She also enjoyed Chris solos a lot and did a lot of her “yeahs” here and there. At times it sounded like she had a cold, but on “Spending My Time” or “CBB” or “Listen To Your Heart” she left us all mouth-open.

20150727_224217_
Picture by Connie H.

Per also joked about “Tourism”. When he mentioned “The Heart Shaped Sea” story, and that it was from Tourism, a few people cheered, and he jokingly say those are probably the only ones who bought it. The (few) hard-core fans also got lots of special attention from Marie and Per and the band. What can I say? Isn’t it just a great feeling when your favourite band knows you and makes contact with you?

Pelle was amazing on drums, improvising a couple of times. We’d love to hear more of that! Time for a long drum-solo? And Chris and Magnus just decided to run in the aisle from one side of the stage to another, which Åsa caputured on camera, as one can see here. Chris played Härjarevisan, a typical drinking song in Sweden, maybe as a hidden tip for the Swedes, to drink more and have more fun?

It was indeed a special and different concert. And we all had lots of fun, and the guys and girls on stage too. I already mentioned this before, but the concerts in Stockholm and Rättvik just confirmed it, seeing the band so tight, there is no way one can stop the band now. Let’s hope that what Per mentioned in his post is more dates! It’s just 3 shows to go in August (not counting corporate show in September) and we all are looking forward to the next schedule-trip-planning (not our accounts though).

I also have to say, I realised in the last two shows that the setlist is just awesome. First Sleeping and Big L to get people in the mood, then a few slower songs where Marie just shines with her voice, then Crush and She’s got nothing on which are pure craziness and fun. Then it gets calmer again with Heart Shaped and Watercolours (it works much better with both songs), and then slowly going crazy and powerful again starting with Fading almost non-stop until The Look, despite the fact that It Must Have Been Love and Listen To Your Heart and a break are in between, the arrangements of the songs rock big time, so it feels like a guitar-party non-stop.

Post-show

Per wrote a very long comment, specially mentioning Eskobar:

DALHALLA UPDATE: Yes, thank you! One of the most spectacular places we’ve ever played. Stunning! Beautiful!

And thanx for making this sold out show very special. Rain in the air but we all jumped between the raindrops. Great vibes were certainly floating around at this unbelievable venue.

Thanx also to Eskobar who did their last show with us. They’re not only a great band but really wonderful people. Pls check them out in the future, they’re def worth it!!! And hey, they make really outstandng music!!

So, now we’re taking a live break for ten days or so. The studio is waiting and I have some birthday parties to attend…. No rest for the wicked!

Thanx all of you hardcore Roxers for showing up at so many gigs, see y’all very soon again. You’re the one who make a difference!!

Also…. got exciting news re next year. More details to follow….
Stay tuned.
Cheers, P.

What a nice comment, especially about Eskobar and about the fans!

Talking about Eskobar, fans loved to have them as support act and have started a page on Facebook to ask to have Eskobar as special guest for the (possible) tour 2016. It would be great, wouldn’t it? And judging by Per’s comment, there seems to be something going on next year, so let’s cross our fingers.

Daniel also posted the day after that Marie had sung happy birthday for him backstage, lovely! Per also posted this picture two days later with the following comment:

rox_eskobar
Picture by Anders Roos

THANX ESKOBAR for supporting us on the European Tour. A delight. Pic by Anders Roos. Cheers, P.

Articles, videos, pictures

This is a very nice summary of the show.
Dalhalla mix
Listen To Your Heart
(not complete)
It Must Have Been Love (not complete)
Joyride (not complete)
Sleeping In My Car
The Look craziness recorded by Åsa

Review on DT
Review on Dala-Demokraten

Setlist

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
The Heart Shaped Sea
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Gärdebylåten Härjarevisan)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look