Per Gessle’s Roxette – Göteborg, Sweden – 16th November 2018 – #20

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? 😉

Setlist:

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
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the show:

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.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Oslo, Norway – 15th November 2018 – #19

We reached the second to last show on this tour so fast. Unbelievable! In Oslo we found the longest queue waiting for the doors to be opened at the venue. One line was waiting for the balcony seats, another line for the standing area. Both lines were really long. The doors opened a bit after 7 pm and you could see most people were heading either to the balcony or to the bars, so we could easily reach the front row downstairs, in front of the stage.

Sentrum Scene is a cosy venue. It was full already at 8 pm, even if the concert started only at 8.30 pm, without a support act. And what a concert it was! Who would have thought that this would be the gig that beats all the shows before?! Norway! You showed how to do it! Awesome sing-along crowd and a most fabulous band headed by PG in toptoptop shape!

The Look was a blast already! Not only Per and the band were rocking on stage, but the audience also rocked big time. Loud sing-along, clapping, shouting. One could feel it would be an awesome show. After TL, Per told the crowd it’s so nice to see so many people and that it was quite long ago, the last time he played in Oslo, he can’t even remember. He asked if anyone remembers and someone shouted 1995. Could be. During his talking, the crowd was cheering him all the time. Amazing!

MATAH was beautiful and the audience was not afraid to cheer Helena and applaud her. Then Per started talking about Capri 1993, but while he was doing that, he started fighting with the plaster on his power chord finger. It looked quite healed, but certainly, the plaster must have been irritating, so it had to go. After he could get it off, he threw it towards Magnus, who picked it up from the stage, walked to Per and threw it on him. It was much fun! Then Mr. G mentioned the 6-week-long recording in Capri and they performed CBB. One must love it when the whole crowd sings along. And so loud! When they finished the song, Helena and Per hifived each other and people in the crowd were clapping and shouting. Per said, if anyone wonders, the title came from Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock.

After the photographers left the pit, Åsa came and she was filming a lot from the pit, from the sides of the stage, she filmed both what was happening on stage and also the crowd a lot. Then it was time to party, which with this crowd was even better. DFS was the next song and then came SGNO. The whole audience was clapping loud and Chris played In The Hall Of The Mountain King as the intro to the song. The ladies and gents did an ass-kicking performance and the audience was very much a part of it. This is the song where most of the times something extra happens during the gig. This time the supercool extra was that Christoffer’s hat fell off stage towards the end of the song, but Åsa caught it and gave it to Per. Per put it back on Christoffer’s head, but when Chris went to the back, to Andreas, he put it on Per’s head. Haha. Mr. G kept the hat on his head until Chris and Andreas finished the song in their most rocking style. Then Per put the hat on Christoffer’s head while he was still on his knees. Then Per ”styled” his own hairdo a bit with a huge smile on his face. That smile was actually there during whole night.

              

PG then talked about his good day in 1990. Åsa was there sitting in front of him, filming it. He said he woke up one day and found a cute note on his piano saying ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). He had to marry his girlfriend after seeing this note. It was lovely to see Mrs. Gessle’s reactions, how she was smiling when Per talked about her. After writing Joyride in the morning, PG had a lunch break, ate Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes and then he wrote another song, SMT. It was also wonderful and Helena got a huge applause from the audience.

IGYC sounded beautiful, just like STT. Before the latter one Per talked about Nashville. The crowd enjoyed both songs so much, they clapped loud and cheered the musicians up on stage. Per showed thumbs up to them after STT.

Swedish hillbilly IHAPIMH was much fun to hear again. Then Per said he suggested  84 songs to the band to rehearse. Magnus said it was 92. Per said Magnus has 3 favourite songs, I think he mentioned 2 from Norwegian artists/bands and then IMHBL, which he didn’t want to play on tour. The crowd was singing along during the whole song and they were very loud.

OppNox and TBL kicked ass! Then Mr. G asked Magnus about the ’90s. Magnus said it’s hard to remember the first half of the ’90s, because he was born in 1991, but he remembers the second half. He remembers something regarding Per and him and Paul Waktaar and Magne Furuholmen from 1998. Per couldn’t remember anything. And they went on with FLAF, which also became a loud sing-along session.

Then it was DMS’s turn. Fabulousness again! And you could see Christoffer’s shirt might not survive the last gig of the tour, since it’s more and more torn.

The band presentation let the crowd cheer and applaud every band member. Per said they are wonderful people, almost all of them. Haha. After Mr. G finished the introduction, Chris said they are 8 on the stage, but Per introduced only 7 of them, so he went on: ”Song, guitar and especially many many very good songs, Per Gessle!” Then came the teaser to HDYD. We were singing, but Per took over quite early. Anyways, both HDYD and Dangerous were ass-kicking too. It was hard to see the whole gang leaving the stage after that.

The crowd was so loud stomping, shouting, clapping that PG & Co didn’t have any other choice than to come back on stage a few minutes later. Helena was singing QOR perfectly and Joyride was much fun not only to sing-along, but also to see what’s going on on stage. Duracell bunnies all around! Helena sat on the edge of the stage in front of us and was animating the crowd all the time.

The gang came back for a 2nd encore after a very short break. Micke N-S brought Per his guitar and Mr. G was teasing him with getting further and further to the other side of the stage to make MNS walk more before he took the guitar from him. Haha. Per thanked the crowd for the fantastic evening. Then it was LTYH and TSHTSG. Magnus was swinging a lot during these songs, but also the whole band seemed to enjoy themselves very much.

If I have to mention one thing I didn’t like, I say the lights. The spotlight was many times on someone else vs. the one who was singing. Otherwise the whole gig was TOP! I was thinking hard about my priority list regarding the concerts I saw on this tour. I had Hamburg on top of my list so far, but last night it changed. Oslo is the winner! Let’s see what happens in Göteborg!

Setlist:

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
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the gig:

OSLO ALRITE! Yea, amazing gig tonight. Thanx a million to all you wonderful people in the audience. So loud, so proud!! Really beautiful! Could be the best gig so far on this European Tour??? Maybe? Crazy tight band, very relaxed and yet really really powerful. Have to love this! Norway, a treat to be here! See y’all next time. Love from P&Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Helsinki, Finland – 12th November 2018 – #18

The Helsinki gig last night was actually a delayed concert. The Per Gessle’s Roxette tour would have reached Finland already on the 3rd November, in Espoo, but the date had been rescheduled 2 months before, end of August and the venue had also changed to the culture house in Helsinki. You could exchange your tickets for the rescheduled date. I remember I was very disappointed, because I had already booked everything (flights, accommodation /non-refundable, why not… 2 month before the date nothing can go wrong…/) just 2 or 3 days before the announcement was published. It was my decision to book everything the way I did, so no one to blame for it. Then I thought, oh whatever, I could still add the new date (12th November, Helsinki) to the list of shows I could attend, a bit more losing on other flights I had also already booked for the Swedish shows after the original Finland date and the Oslo-Göteborg leg of the tour, it would still be worth booking. Then a long long long long long ”discussion” with Ticketmaster started regarding exchanging the tickets. First of all, when you don’t live in Finland, it’s very difficult to reach them. No direct phone number, no direct e-mail address. So you turn to social media, send them a message on Facebook and get an automatic reply including a phone number. Winning! Then you call them, but the number doesn’t work. You try to contact them on social media again, but all the time you just get the automatic message with the same content. Then for the xth time when you write, they get back to you and ask ”How did you hear about this? Did you receive a message of the reschedule? Did you have any instructions? There is no information in the event info.” Facepalm. THEY sent out the e-mail about the change with almost no information on how to exchange the tickets and they don’t know anything about it. Awesome. Some more messages exchanged and we finally get to the point. They realize that the date had indeed been rescheduled so they suggest me to reach the nearest outlet. Hello! I live in Hungary, bought my ticket online, the nearest outlet is hundreds of kilometers away from me. Any other suggestion in the 21st century? Oh yes, you finally get an e-mail address to which you have to send your order number and they exchange the ticket. Great! All discussed regarding the seat I had for Metro Arena in Espoo. That was the very first ticket I managed to buy right at the very first minute the ticket sales started. Front row middle. They assure that I can get the same seat in the new venue. Fab! Then I send the e-mail with my order number. Days pass, no reply… I get back to them on Facebook. Any news? Yes, I should receive my new ticket shortly. Great. I get an e-mail one day later with the new ticket. In the 4th row. Aha. Back to them on Facebook telling them there might be a misunderstanding, they promised to exchange the ticket for the same front row middle seat as I had for the original venue. And that shouldn’t be a problem, given the new venue is even wider than the originally planned arena. Sorry for the inconvenience they say and send new ticket 1 more day later. To the very side of the front row. I know, I know… First world problems, but once you agree on something I hate it when they don’t keep their word and think you’re stupid or something. I tell them it’s still not the same ticket. They say that’s the best they can offer. I then realize Helsinki doesn’t want to cooperate with me and tell them I would rather ask for a refund then. I thought then they might change the ticket to the one we agreed on, but no, they said OK, they send my money back. Oh cool. See the best lesson on how to lose a customer. You would think it happened only to me, but no. Once the event was rescheduled, they didn’t show the seatmap on the website, you could only see the ”best available ticket” option which was 3rd row. Those who live in Finland and went to an outlet to exchange their tickets they said that the first 2 rows in the middle were greyed out. So Ticketmaster simply kept those tickets reserved for who knows whatever reason. Similar issue we had in Stockholm regarding the seatmap. No seatmap available, only best available ticket option and since the very first minute the tickets went on sale in March many fans were checking the website daily, even several times daily to see when they would release the front row tickets in the middle section. It happened only a few days before the concert. Who understands that? Anyways, I’m just a marketeer, not a sales person, but I would certainly change the customer care system and some other things in the business model at Ticketmaster.

Sorry for the long intro. Longer than what I’ll be able to write about the show itself. 😉 The doors opened for the concert in Helsinki at 7 pm and the gig started at 8 pm. There was no change in the setlist, so the gang entered the stage and started to play The Look. The crowd left their boogie shoes at home, they all remained seated. Actually, 2 girls stood up, but the security team then asked them to sit down. Still, one could feel the audience had much fun listening to Roxette’s evergreens and Per’s solo gems. They were clapping very loud and singing along too. You could clearly hear them doing so during IMHBL. This is also a way one can enjoy a gig and still show a high level of enthusiasm. It was only during Joyride when slowly but surely everyone stood up and from then on they didn’t sit back and waited for PG & Co to get back on stage for the 2nd encore. Yaaay!

The stage was very low and it was also very close to the front row, you could reach the band members who by the way were in top shape. Lots of smiles and interactions among the ladies and gents on stage. Åsa joined Per for the Finland trip and she also recorded some parts of the gig. DFS is already online on GessleHomeVids. Hope to see some more footage. Evgeny recorded TSHTSG.

Now only 2 shows left! Get your tickets if you haven’t seen this wonderful gang on tour yet! 😉

Setlist:

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
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the concert:

HELSINKI. Yes, this band is still groovin’ better and better for every gig!!! Thanx everyone for showing up this cold and rainy Monday night. You certainly brought a lot of sunshine!!! No blood on stage this time (hahaha) + got a couple of days off before Oslo on Thursday so my finger will surely mend. See y’all there!!!! Cheers, P.

Pic in the article by Samu Reijonen.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Linköping, Sweden – 10th November 2018 – #17

Karlstad set the expectations higher, so I expected an at least as fun concert in Linköping as our Friday night was. Another town, another ice hockey arena, same cold. Here the show was also originally planned to be standing on the floor, seated on the sides, but at the same time as it happened with Karlstad, appr. a month ago the floor was changed to unnumbered seats. Those who arrived first could occupy their spots in the front row. There was a meet & greet for a few fans before the show and to our surprise, seats in the second row were reserved for the participants. I think this was the first time ever, when it happened that a meet & greet participant didn’t really have to worry about losing his/her good spot for the show because of the M&G. Great support from the management!

Just like in Karlstad, Roxette music was playing inside the arena in the restaurant area. These ice hockey arenas know how to attract their visitors!

Nano started at 19:30 and the audience cheered him and was clapping along his songs. I found it quite promising! And then from 20:30 the crowd did show they love having Per Gessle and his band in town! When the gig started with The Look, the front row people were up on their feet and that’s what most people on the floor did, stood up in front of their seats. In Linköping even less people sat down during the ballads vs. Karlstad. It was great to see Per’s and the band members’ faces when they saw the crowd standing. It added to their mood again.

After TL, Per told the crowd it’s always fun to play in Linköping. The last time he performed there was last summer. He asked the audience if they were there and the crowd was shouting yeees. Per said they were there too, actually all of them on stage. He said they would play Roxette songs, but he thought to include some of his solo songs too, because it’s fun to play songs that nobody knows. Haha.

After beautiful MATAH Helena got a long & loud applause. Then Per talked about Capri 1993. He said they recorded there for 6 weeks and had friends and journalists there. And friends and journalists. Haha. They were eating pizza and drinking bad wines. But in that chaos they could record a quite OK album. CBB was a success in Linköping too. The crowd burst into loud clapping and shouting at the end.

Before DFS Per asked the audience if we were sitting. The crowd shouted ”neeeej!” (nooo!). Then Mr. G pointed at the standing people on the floor and said ”you are standing”, then pointed at the sides and said ”you are sitting there”. If I saw it right, it was DFS when a little accident happened to Per’s index finger (or power chord finger, how he calls it, LOL) on his right hand. I could already see it on some of my pictures from Karlstad that the nail looked damaged, so probably it got even worse while crashing the guitar during DFS and it started bleeding. From that moment when Per realized something was wrong with the finger, he looked at it many times during the rest of the concert, but never asked for a plaster or anything else and he was playing all songs PERfectly, as if nothing had happened. Hats off!

SGNO must have been a difficult one to play with that bleeding finger, but Mr. G managed it. While the whole audience was clapping loud, Chris played Ljudet av ett annat hjärta as the intro to SGNO. Everyone on stage was animating the crowd and they succeeded. SGNO was one of the best party songs on Saturday.

After SGNO Per picked up a black towel with which he usually wipes his face. Now he was wiping his bloody finger. While he was talking about his good day in 1990, he was constantly checking his finger and wiping it with the towel. He said he woke up one day and found a cute note on his piano saying ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). He had to marry his girlfriend after this note. The crowd was cheering and clapping and Per said ”she is not here tonight”. Obviously, he wrote Joyride, then he had a lunch break and then he wrote another song. SMT, of course. During the song Per walked to the left side of the stage to the technician board. Maybe he did ask Jakob for a plaster, but he might have run out of it because of a certain heavy user, a.k.a. Christoffer. Haha. Just kidding. It was funny that after fans saw the bleeding finger, they were trying to catch the thrown picks even harder than usual, to have one in their collection with Per’s blood on it. How cool is that! Haha.

During IGYC the power chord finger could have a rest. The duet of Per and Helena was fantastically beautiful.

Before STT Per talked about his Nashville adventure and said they would play a song the audience might already know in Swedish, Småstadsprat. He said they sing it in English, but if the crowd knew the lyrics in Swedish, sing along in Swedish and let’s see how it sounds. Haha.

Halmstad hillbilly IHAPIMH was much fun to hear, the flute ladies did their best again. After the song Per mentioned it was on his album, Son of a Plumber from 200? (twothousandsomething), he can’t remember. Magnus pointed at someone in the crowd and told Per someone knows the date. Per said ah, one person heard about that album. Great! Haha. Then Mr. G said he suggested  88(!) songs to the band to rehearse. Magnus said 12 is the maximum, they told Per. Per said Magnus has 2 favourite artists Roxette and Lars Winnerbäck (his hometown is Linköping). The crowd was cheering when they heard LW’s name. PG said thanks to Magnus we could hear the next song, IMHBL. It was very much welcomed by the crowd, but they showed it rather via their cheering, not via singing along loud. Still fair enough.

OppNox and TBL were again ass-kicking. One can’t get enough of these 2 songs in a row! Then we stayed in the ’90s and before the gang performed FLAF Mr. G asked the audience if they remembered the ’90s. We replied yeees! Per asked Magnus about the ’90s. He said he himself was the ’90s. When it was the ’80s, he was already the ’90s.

When it was DMS’s turn, I went live on our Facebook page, so you can watch the epic performance of the song. Christoffer on a high. Pure awesomeness!

During the band presentation the crowd rewarded each and every band member with a loud applause and cheering. Wonderful! After Per finished the introduction, someone in the crowd shouted in Swedish: ”And the man in the middle?” Christoffer grabbed the mic and said ”song, guitar and especially many many very good songs, Per Gessle! From Harplinge… or Furet!” Haha. The teaser to HDYD worked with clapping, but only the front row fans started singing the song, so Per took the mic and he started to sing himself. Both HDYD and Dangerous kept us warm because of the jumping. One can’t get tired of these songs either.

The Linköping crowd wanted to have the gang back on stage again, so they didn’t stop shouting, whistling and clapping. PG and the band came back after 3-4 minutes and performed QOR and then Joyride. Joyride was definitely one of the highlights at the Linköping concert. Helena and Per were constantly animating the crowd and during the second half of the song Chris was down on his knees in front of us, playing the guitar. Per came to him and they were fooling around. Then Helena came there too and sat on the edge of the stage with her tambourine and then Chris sat next to Helena and they were singing and playing there. Pure Saturday night fever!

             

The crowd was very happy to have PG & Co back on stage again after a very short break before the second encore. Per said they thought to play a song from the ’80s, a song which he wrote to a good friend of his. LTYH it was, of course. After the wonderful TSHTSG it was very hard to let them go off stage. The crowd was still loud, clapping, cheering Per and the band.

What a most fantastic Saturday night! It could even top our Friday in Karlstad I would say! Who would have expected it?! Not me! I realized it only towards the end of the concert that Christoffer’s shirt got torn on the right side. He must have been rocking out to one of the uptempo songs when it happened. A real rock ’n’ roll guy! Haha.

Let’s hope Per’s power chord finger has enough time until the next gig to heal. Micke N-S must have had a hard time in Linköping, cleaning all the guitars and strings. Well, the strings, maybe he changed them anyway. Just more often this time. On the guitars to that part where you can see Per’s blood he stuck some black stage tape. I guess it’s easier to remove the tape than cleaning the blood off the guitar.

So, guys and girls, those who could catch a bloody Per pick in Linköping, keep it safe in your collection. It doesn’t happen too often that you can get hold of such a rare item! 😉

Setlist:

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
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Mr. G after the gig:

LINKÖPING. Oh yea, another great gig. We’re on a roll right now, doing superb interpretations of the Rox songs and having lots of fun along the way. I’m sure you notice if you’re in the audience. The Linkoping crowd was awesome, thanks everyone for joining the party. Had a little problem with my power chord finger (check out that guitar…), it happens every year around gig #15…. Anyway, promise to be in good shape in Helsinki on Monday. Love to you all, thanks for being there! Love from P&Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Karlstad, Sweden – 9th November 2018 – #16

Arriving to Karlstad, seeing all the Per Gessle promotion (digital screens, posters, banners) in town one could feel very welcomed. The concert was held at the ice hockey arena and while we were waiting outside, shivering with cold I thought how good it will be when they finally let us inside, so we wouldn’t feel cold anymore. Haha. It’s an ice hockey arena you know and how they rearrange it for non-ice-related events is that they cover the ground, but leave the ice under. Of course, silly me. So the cold we didn’t get rid of until Per & Co came up on stage.

The show was originally planned to be standing on the floor, seated on the sides, but appr. a month ago the floor was changed to unnumbered seats. There were 40 seats in a row, so enough for those who had been waiting outside for long to get in and have the best seats. Fortunately, it was already stated in the e-mail they sent out about the change that one could be standing in front of his/her seat at the concert. Woohoo!

Inside the arena there was Roxette music playing in the restaurant area, so another thumbs up for the venue.

Nano, the support act started to perform at 19:30 and hey… what happened? Did I hear cheering people, clapping loud already during the support act? Couldn’t go wrong during the real deal either, I thought. And I was right. Yay! At last a Swedish audience that knows how to party! Might be because of the ice hockey matches they can practice at. Haha. Great!

Even if it wasn’t originally planned, Anders Roos was there again to take pictures and record the show and he was to come to Linköping as well. Judging by the camera settings, we will (hopefully) get to see some fab shots from Karlstad too.

So, Per and his beautiful band entered the stage at 20:30 and the front row stood up right at that moment. When they started playing The Look, most people on the floor stood up and remained standing during the whole concert. Some sat down during the ballads, but actually, it looked quite good when I looked around and saw all those standing people. This probably added even more to the anyway great mood of PG & Co. After some days off, they charged their batteries to be able to bounce around the stage. They were in top top shape. As Malin-My also said, after some days off they come back and there is always something new happening on stage. Indeed! There were some more spontaneous actions and pure energy.

After TL, Per greeted the audience and said it was debut for him in that ice hockey arena. Well, not really, because almost exactly 17 years ago he played there with Roxette during the Room Service tour. Time flies, memory fades. Haha. He said he played there with Gyllene Tider in 2013 in Mariebergsskogen. He asked if anyone else was there and the crowd shouted yeees. Per said ”those were the days!”. When he said he had been writing songs for more than 40 years and that they would dive deep in the Roxette song catalogue, the crowd was loud cheering.

MATAH sounded wonderful in the arena. Great acoustics, fab ballad! Then Per talked about the Capri adventure of Roxette in 1993 and that besides the world’s most expensive pizza and drinking incredibly much wine, they could record a quite OK album in 6 weeks. They played CBB of course and Helena got cheered after it. She was throwing kisses to the crowd to thank.

Before DFS Per looked around and asked the audience if we were sitting. The crowd burst out into a loud shouting ”neeeej!” (nooo!). PG said sitting wouldn’t fit the next song. Haha. And it didn’t fit SGNO either. There was no GT song intro now, but Christoffer’s intro was rocking anyway and Per was clapping above Christoffer’s head while he played, so cool! When Chris lost his hat and it was laying upside down on stage, Per came and throw a pick into it as if it was a coin, then went to pick another plectrum off the mic stand and threw one more and one more. I was laughing my ass off and I heard the crowd laughing too! It was a great spontaneous action. Loved it!

After SGNO Per told the audience Chris actually grew up in the neighbourhood, in Värmland county. Chris laughed and said, yeah, in Lund… (which is in Skåne county). Haha. Per asked the audience if all was good. He got a loud yeees as a reply. Mr. G said ”what a Friday, shit!” He said they feel very good on stage here in Karlstad. He went on with his Joyride-SMT story and said the last time he had such a good day was in 1990. And the story goes: he woke up one day in May in Halmstad and found a note on his piano saying ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). He just had to marry his girlfriend after seeing this note. He wrote Joyride and it felt awesome. Then he ate lunch and rank some coffee, Löfbergs (that was the name of the arena and it’s a Swedish coffee brand) and he wrote another song. SMT, another ballad that sounded fab in the arena. Helena got her huge applause after this song too.

Then came IGYC. I love the arrangement of this song and the setting of the lights as well, how first it’s only the silhouette of the musicians we can see on stage.

Before STT Per said he always had the dream of going to Nashville and record there with local musicians, but he also took some of his friends with him, e.g. Chris and Helena. STT is always so beautiful from the first note Malin-My plays on the violin through the wonderful duet of Per and Chris to the last guitar tune. Pure love!

Swedish hillbilly IHAPIMH with the flutes sounded great in the ice hockey arena and then came the Magnus-Per stand-up comedy part before IMHBL. Per said he gave 86(!) songs to the band to rehearse and they didn’t want to. Magnus said it was 89 songs. Mr. G said there was one he was thinking about not playing, but Magnus said stop, the crowd would be crying if they didn’t play it. Per said Magnus has 2 favourite artists and one of them is Roxette and the next song is one of his faves, so they played it and most people in the audience sang along. They weren’t incredibly loud, but still they were singing.

OppNox and TBL kicked ass in Karlstad too. For us longtime fans for sure. Heavy party in the front and loud clapping in the whole arena! Then it was time for a ballad again, so FLAF was performed, but before that Mr. G asked the xrowd if we like the ’90s. The reply was a loud yeees! Per asked Magnus about the ’90s. He said he can’t remember much, because he was born in 1991, but he remembers he saw a match in this arena in 1993 and he told a short ice hockey anecdote about the local team, Färjestad BK.

DMS, another highlight at each concert! I could listen to it and watch the band playing it 24/7! Christoffer’s hand is not bleeding that much anymore. He said he doesn’t do the things he would love to, to take care of the hand, but still he is rocking during this song every time.

   

PG introduced his wonderful band to the crowd. Each one of them got a loud applause. So well-deserved! They are absolutely fantastic musicians, all of them! When Per introduced Clarence he said he missed the tour bus today, but they are very happy that he took a taxi and he is here now. Haha. There was no introduction of Per in Karlstad, they went on with the teaser to HDYD. The crowd was clapping loud and Per said it’s not bad. Then we started singing when he stopped playing, but it wasn’t the whole audience singing, rather the front section only, so then he started to perform the song himself. Dangerous was also ass-kicking before the gang went off stage.

The arena was loud of the audience shouting and whistling and clapping, wanting Per and the band back on stage. They came back after a few minutes to perform one Mr. G’s all-time fave Roxette songs, QOR and then a groovy Joyride.

How the band came back for the second encore and LTYH you can watch in the live video I posted on our Facebook page. Another most fantastic ballad! One can’t get enough of it! And you can’t get enough of the closing song either! TSHTSG! Yet another song I could listen to and watch them playing it during the rest of my life.

The concert ended with Per saying thanks to the crowd and wishing ”Merry Christmas!”, just like that. Haha. Loved the whole show! Oh and thank you Sweden for showing your other side crowdwise! 😉

Setlist:

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
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the show:

KARLSTAD. Yeehaa. What a fun Friday evening! Had a blast with the Greatest Band On Earth + a super crowd. It’s kinda strange for me to perform in Sweden without playing my Swedish songs which have been so monumental in this country for decades. But tonite it all felt perfect. I had such a good time. Thanks everyone who showed up, love you dearly. Linköping tomorrow. Look forward. /P.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.