Only 4 months are left to – what is currently planned – the premiere night of Per Gessle’s solo tour in Prague, Czech Republic on the 7th of October. The upcoming tournée will take the man from Roxette across 12 countries & 21 European cities in just 40 days. For the second time ever Gessle takes himself and European fans on the English language adventure through music, lyrics and memories he has been part of for the last 30 years.
Last year over 1,000 of you, dear RoxetteBlog readers voted for your favourite songs of Gessle, Gyllene Tider and Roxette in the series of 10 polls just before the solo Swedish tour took off. We are still hoping some of your suggestions might help Mr G to prepare a setlist as the band will surely start rehearsing during late summer. So here comes a little summary of what we know, what we think we know and what we don’t know (and we might never know).
As Roxette sadly became the past, Per declares his plans to concentrate mostly on the vast Roxette catalogue during his European tour in the exclusive RoxetteBlog interview: In the perfect world Marie would have been by my side to sing and perform but that won’t happen anymore. I have to live with that. You do too. The options I have are to perform the songs without her or not perform them at all. I chose the obvious one (…) Most of the songs will most certainly be Roxette-songs. I’ll probably sneak in a couple from the new solo album as well. Time will tell.
Do we have any hints of what Roxette gems can be performed during the tour? In the generic TV commercial produced for promotional purposes you can easily see and hear 3 Roxette songs from Halmstad’s 2017 concert as follow: The Look, Joyride, It must have been love. These hits are likely to get the same treatment as last year as it’s going to be the same band that goes on European roads with Per. It must have been love with Helena on the lead might be a hard to swallow for some, but well, we’re in 2018. Dressed for success and Listen to your heart were also performed on a brief occassion during 2017 gigs, so these are another safe bets. Looking also at some historical data, during the Party Crasher Tour the band performed 13 Roxette songs, beside 5 megahits mentioned previously, tracks such as Wish I Could Fly / She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore / 7Twenty7 / Opportunity Nox / Church Of Your Heart / Dangerous / Sleeping In My Car / Queen Of Rain. Country arrangements, anyone?
Would there be enough space on this year’s setlist to put songs less known which we haven’t heard in a while? I belive mosts fans support the idea of hearing compositions Per has created and sang himself originally on the official releases which haven’t heard live at all. One of the Swedish auction site Tradera user put a poster on sale that seems to be the official one for the Swedish leg of 2018 tour. What can come as a little surprise is the fact it includes tracks’ names that haven’t been performed by Gessle solo so far which are: Spending my time / How do you do / Fading like a flower / June Afternoon / Crash! Boom! Bang! / Vulnerable / Real sugar. Back in 2009 Vulnerable was said to be “impossible” to perform live. Have 9 years changed anything in that matter? Is it a random choice from the concert agency? Or maybe the poster is just fake? But hey, June Afternoon or Real Sugar are brilliant choices anyway.
On the top of that there is a Spotify Roxette playlist recently created by The Man himself which includes – beside obvious – incredible pearls (if you seriously consider theses songs could be performed live): “Paint”, “Jefferson”, “A Thing About You”, “Some other summer” or “Secrets that she keeps”. Unfortunately, we know such teasing on social media rarely leads to anything surprising in the end. In the last year’s poll you voted for She doesn’t live here anymore as the most desired Roxette songs that needs to be performed live. “a safe risk” with most popular Roxette songs? Time will tell, to quote our Guru.
Let’s not forget the fact the previous tour was also partially about solo material which actually received a very positive feedback from the audience back then. 11 songs performed during the Party Crasher Tour were a mix of Son of a plumber classics (Drowning In Wonderful Thoughts About Her / I Have A Party In My Head (I Hope It Never Ends) / Late, Later On / C’mon / Are You On Old Hippie, Sir? / Hey Mr. Dj (Won’t You Play Another Love Song), highlights from The World According to Gessle (Stupid / Do You Wanna Be My Baby?) and very little off Party Crasher (The Party Pleaser / Doesn’t Make Sense). Yet another time we were said Silly Really doesn’t really translate well into a live song, so let it be. There was also a little surprise at the end – The Monkee’s (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone cover, also briefly performed by Roxette in 2010.
Looking at various interviews Gessle hopes “Small Town Talk” album (English version of last year’s Swedish solo projects) will get a little bit of exposure during the concert. If so, then the title song (Nick Lowe as a special guest in London?), “The Finest Prize” (Första pris last year was great live) or “There’s a place” (Min plats) could be live options off that album. Let’s face it, anything above 3-4 new songs will be a shocker. I’m hoping Per Gessle’s Roxette tour name anyway gives Per a little bit of space and freedom to include his favourite English solo songs from the last 21 years. They are worth to be sang, they cannot be forgotten.
Just a quick reminder how you voted for your favourites off English solo albums last year: 1997 The World According to Gessle: Son of a Plumber: 009 – Party Crasher:
Summing up, my prediction would be a setlist of 24 songs as it always makes a perfect 90-100-minute concert in the Gessle’s world. 16 songs would come out of Roxette and 8 would be solo tracks. But the more, the better.
What songs would you like to hear this year? See you around in Europe!