Without a day off after the magnificent Hamburg show, Per & Co. performed in Brussels on Friday. They all flew to the Belgian capital and since the connection between Hamburg and Brussels is not the greatest, some of us fans also travelled by the same plane. I must say it was a bit bizarre, listening to the Small Town Talk album on Spotify while sharing the flight with THE artist and his musicians. We all behaved, so we didn’t jump on either Per or anyone else from the band. Not on BoJo either. Haha. We all landed safe and sound and headed to our accommodations.
The doors were to open at 7 pm at the venue, but it was a standing show, so we got there a bit earlier to queue. When we entered we realized that the front row was right in front of the stage, without any fence. The stage was so low you could touch Per’s monitor. I liked it a lot that the balconies were hidden by huge black curtains with lights on them. This way the whole area looked like being covered with stars. Nice view from the stage it must have been. One not too important, but I think interesting detail is that it was the first time I saw much more guys in the crowd than girls. Why in Belgium, no clue.
This time there was no support act. The gig was to start at 20:30 and end at 22:30. The gang started playing at appr. 20:40. The setlist? Stayed the very same as it was in Hamburg the day before.
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
The Look turned out to be a great starter in Belgium too. It can never go wrong! After the song Per talked to the crowd and said he played there 29 years ago ”when you weren’t even born”. ”Or were you here?”, he asked. Some in the audience shouted yes and Per said ”we should go on a cruise together”. He tried to remember anything from that evening, but he couldn’t and Clarence, who was there back then too, he couldn’t remember it either.
Between MATAH and CBB Mr. G told about 1993 when the Roxette team went to Italy. ”Scary thought. Not Italy, the Roxette team”, he said.
With DFS, the gang speeded the tempo up and Per said we’re still young. Oh yes, they are and we are too! It got confirmed during SGNO as well. The intro to it increased the excitement and we partied on. I was standing on the left side of the stage again and Chris and Ola, as well as Per were so close to us when they came to the front to play their guitars. Once Mr. G kicked in the air with his left leg and it felt like there was 1 cm between his leg and my camera. The cam survived. Haha. After the song Per said it’s fantastic he is here, ”thanx to you guys”.
Before playing SMT, a guy shouted ”we love you”. Per smiled, but he still finds it a bit difficult to take compliments. That’s what I saw on his face this time too. He said this is a great day and he had another great day back in May 1990. Mr. G mentioned Åsa in Brussels, that he wrote Joyride thanks to his wife who left a note on the piano saying ”hello, you fool, I love you, bla-bla-bla”. The crowd laughed. Then he took a break he said and took some Swedish icecream, some coffee and then he wrote SMT. Helena got her well-deserved applause after she sang the song.
After IGYC, Per said ”dank u wel” I think (it means ”thank you”) and in reply to that someone shouted ”tack så mycket”. Per was happy both about his own and the shouting guy’s ”thank you”-s. Then Per talked about his Nashville experience before he started playing STT, which of course sounded wonderful at Ancienne Belgique. We definitely need it on a live CD, don’t we? 😉
The intro to IHAPIMH just almost contained na na nana na, but the audience was clapping loudly and enjoyed the song so much.
Before IMHBL Per mentioned that when they started rehearsing for the tour he had appr. 72 songs that he wanted everyone to learn in the band. Magnus said and they did. There was one song that he didn’t really feel like playing, but then he heard it was Magnus’s fave track of all time. Magnus said he had to pay Per to play this song and he stills pay Mr. G every gig. It became a nice sing-along.
Do I have to mention that OppNox and TBL put everyone on fire? On and off stage. I love this part! You could see in the video Åsa recorded from the back how the crowd enjoyed themselves during TBL.
Getting back to the ’90s, before FLAF Per asked Magnus about his girlfriends in the ’90s. Magnus said he didn’t have any. Per said then tell us about his boyfriends. Magnus said he didn’t have any friends at all.
Before DMS Per wanted to say something about the Party Crasher album, but then he said he shouldn’t. Magnus said we’d really love to know and then Per said Magnus blogged about it on www.puke.com. The crowd laughed out loud. The song by the way sounded awesome again and Chris became the definite hero of the night. Poor guy was rocking on his guitar so much that even something got broken on it and it flew over the audience and Christoffer’s hand was also bleeding like hell. Jakob, Christoffer’s technician tried to wipe the blood off with a towel, but it didn’t help much. The guys tried to find some plasters and were trying hard to stop the hand bleeding. Per asked, ”did that make sense?” Haha. Mr. G started introducing the band. Started with Chris who was still bleeding, then moved on to Ola, then Andreas. That was funny, because PG said he called 5 drummers, but 4 couldn’t make it, so that’s how Andreas ended up in the band. Haha. Then Mr. G introduced Clarence, who produced almost every existing Roxette song, even the hits and the B-sides. Then Magnus, Malin-My and Helena were introduced too. And then Per turned to the audience and said: ”And a wonderful crowd, thank you!” In the meantime, Chris got his plasters. Per asked him if he can continue and Chris said the show must go on. The crowd applauded him and shouted woohoo.
During HDYD we had a blast again, the intro teaser worked fine. Then came Dangerous and off they went. The audience didn’t stop clapping or shouting, not even for a second, however, it took a bit longer time now for the band to come back on stage to play the first encore, QOR and Joyride.
The crowd didn’t keep quiet while waiting for the 2nd encore either. They were really loud. And so the gang came up on stage again. Per said the next song he wrote for a friend of his in the ’80s, when there was a bit of a conflict in his friend’s life. LTYH it was, of course. Then the closing song TSHTSG. And it plays in my head again until the next show.
There was a Belgian couple who I met for the first time. We talked a bit before the show and they said it’s the only concert they plan to see on this tour. They have kids and have to work and the logistics are not so easy. After the show we talked again and they loved it so much they started thinking about how to organize things to be able to attend at least one more gig. Oh yeah!
BRUSSELS: YEEHAA. Back again at the Ancienne Belgique. Haven’t played here for 29 years. Had a blast, dear you! Hot and cozy. Wonderful crowd. Great band. Happy!!!!
See you all in London. Plan A: Got to get some band aid for Chris’s hand…….. Plan B: Call MP! Cheers, P.
All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.