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 agai 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 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.
1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Juni, juli, augusti
4. Det hjärta som brinner
5. Första pris
7. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
9. Gå & fiska!
10. The Look
11. Dressed for Success
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 crowds 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 what about a bit ore 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 starting 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 on the 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.
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 😉
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.