Per Gessle – Late Night Concert at Cirkus without audience

Live Nation and TV4 follow up the acclaimed TV format Late Night Concert with a second season. This time we get to see some of Sweden’s most beloved artists perform from Cirkus & Hasselbacken in Stockholm without an audience, with a completely new extra stage. The program is broadcast on Wednesdays and Thursdays in December with a final on Christmas Eve. All six episodes of the second season can be seen on TV4, TV4 Play and C More.

Late Night Concert is a collaboration between Live Nation and TV4, which premiered this spring and was recorded at an empty Gröna Lund. The format was born out of the current situation when live music has fallen silent when concerts have been forced to scale down and is based on the idea of spreading live music out into the country and home to the TV couches.

In the second season, which premieres on the second of December, artists such as Agnes, Miss Li, Jill Johnson, Per Gessle, Myra Granberg, Carola, Astrid S, Victor Leksell and others will appear. In addition to a strong line-up with some of Sweden’s most well-known and playing artists, the program will be broadcast from the classic concert arena Cirkus in Stockholm. New for the season is also the brand new stage “It’s Hits”, which summarizes the music year 2020 when some of the most appreciated artists and songs on Spotify in Sweden take the stage.

“After this summer’s success, we have been overwhelmed by tributes from viewers who appreciate the new concert format. It’s great that we have managed to deliver a high quality and innovative concert experience. TV4 loves music and it is a brilliant example of a unique program format born during this pandemic “, says Jonathan Nordin, Executive Producer at TV4.

“Late Night Concert has not only been extremely appreciated by viewers and artists, it has also created new hits. Zara Larsson’s and Carola’s duet “Säg Mig Var Du Står” which was born in the program has topped the lists on Spotify with over 10 million listens and is already a modern classic “, says Peter Björklund, Marketing Partnership Manager at Live Nation.

Late Night Concert is recorded at Cirkus without an audience and is broadcast on TV4. The program can also be seen on TV4 Play and C More. More artists are announced on an ongoing basis. Partners in the program are Coca-Cola, Karl Fazer, Mio, Polestar, Sonos and Spotify.

Broadcast times – Late Night Concert winter 2020

Wednesday 2/12 23:00, Late Night Concert Part 1
Thursday 3/12 23:00, Late Night Concert Part 2
Wednesday 9/12 23:00, Late Night Concert Part 3
Wednesday 16/12 23:00, Late Night Concert Part 4
Thursday 17/12 23:00, Late Night Concert Part 5
Christmas Eve 24/12 20:00, Christmas Concert – Late Night Christmas

It’s not yet known which will be Per Gessle’s date. Concerts in spring were appr. 45 minutes long.

Photo by Patrícia Peres, GT40 Tour, Fredrikstad

Roxette rocked the National Stadium in Warsaw

It turned out already some days after Roxette’s very successful Warsaw gig in June that they would play in Poland’s capital once again in 2015. What also turned out quite fast is that the concert was announced as a corporate event, the 25th anniversary of Inter Cars. The company planned to celebrate with a huge party in the National Stadium in Warsaw, inviting their best clients. Besides other Polish artists, they thought Roxette is the band they should invite as well for such a milestone celebration in their history.

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Pic by Patrícia Peres

The venue is quite huge. Approximately 60,000 people fit in the stadium, so we thought there would surely be enough space for some hardcore Roxers even if they are not clients of the company. We tried to move every stone to get invitations, contacted the headquarters in Warsaw, checked the possibilities with their affiliates in several cities in Poland, as well as the local Inter Cars affiliates in other countries. We even tried our best to contact clients of Inter Cars to find out if there are any invitations left to offer them for Roxers. Trying to contact the company as a fan or as RoxetteBlog, from Poland or from abroad didn’t help. They seemed to be strict and refused any queries, insisting on the fact that the gala was for their clients only. To cut a long story short, some Polish fans – Basia Konarzewska and our RoxBlog team mate Tomasz Wysocki among them – managed to obtain some client invitations, so a handful of Roxers could attend the party in the end. We’re all very grateful to those who helped. Some of us could even manage to change their seated tickets to standing ones, however, there was a golden circle, which was too big and only VIP people could enter it. So most of the hardcore fans ended up either in the front of the normal standing area or in the seats at different sectors more in the back of the stadium. Anyway, even Christoffer said they were not allowed to invite guests, so they were surprised we could manage to get tickets and hearing this we were proud of that.

When the gig was announced we thought the band would play 2-3 songs or maybe 5-6, because they were announced as “the icing on the cake”. Then there were rumours it might be a complete concert, so we started hoping for the festival setlist. The agenda Inter Cars shared some days before the event confirmed there should be a 1.5-hour-long Rox show.

Before the gala started, Per went up on stage to check it at around 18:45 for 1 minute. While he was going backstage, some staff members or Inter Cars employees stopped him to ask for autographs. He of course signed what they wanted.

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Pic by Patrícia Peres

Not long before the celebration started at 20:00, a bat flied in and tried to find his way out desperately. We hope he managed. Before Roxette we saw 7-8 other Polish artists (bands and dancers), as well as some company-related interviews and we heard company speeches, too. The stage set looked awesome and for a 25th anniversary it was a very impressive gala. Actually, the stage was so high that in the VIP golden circle you couldn’t see all parts of it very well, but all other standing and seated spots were too far from the stage. So I couldn’t say there was a perfect spot in the stadium.

What we realized already during the other acts was that there were many cameras filming the crowd and the stage from different angles. There were also huge screens, so at least everyone could see what was happening on the stage.

Each perfomer had the time they had left shown on a monitor in front of them, but several artists didn’t finish their little gig (the plan was 15 minute per performer) in time. Because of that Roxette got on stage 20-25 minutes later than planned, some minutes after 23:00 (instead of the planned 22:40). We started worrying about the setlist being cut shorter. The Roxette crew got 20 minutes to rearrange the stage and they did a good job, as usual. During these 20 minutes all countries’ representatives where Inter Cars is present were called up to the stage. We would have loved to see the crew doing their job instead though.

Our time had come and Marie, Per and the band kicked off their performance with Sleeping In My Car. Despite the huge Inter Cars stage set with all the screens they used their own stage set, the one from the XXX tour, keeping only the 2 huge screens on the 2 sides of the stage. They used 3 blinds from the 5, which was a bit strange, because the stage was really huge, so 5 would have fitted more. But it still looked OK.

There was a 1-month-long break between the last show and yesterday’s appearance, so Marie had her time to rest and you could see it did her good. She was in a very good mood, smiling all the time, walking quite good with BoJo up and down the stage. Her voice was the most powerful during Listen To Your Heart. The ending of the song sounded fantastic again.

We discussed it’s maybe because of the huge stage or because of the fact that we saw the whole thing from a larger distance, but Per wasn’t as active as usual. He was of course bouncing from one part of the stage to the other and animating the crowd, doing his circles during Joyride for example, but even the guitar fights with Chris seemed to be less than we got used to.

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Pic by Patrícia Peres

What we missed very much by standing / sitting further away from the stage is definitely seeing their faces, their facial expressions from a closer distance, because watching them on the screens is not the same. Being far away from the stage you might think you can’t miss a thing, because you see the whole stage at once, but actually, you seem to miss more by looking at the screen on the left, then realizing something else what’s not on the screen is happening on the stage, so you look there, but the faces are tiny, so you try to check the screens again if they show Marie or Per with a close-up… Oh well… This distance is not really for the hardcore fans. You totally miss the emotional part, not mentioning the eye contacts.

The sound of the stadium wasn’t the best of all. Roxette sounded good, but sometimes the sound echoed, which was quite strange. Another crappy thing was that the crowd couldn’t be heard at all. Even if we were singing along Spending My Time, no one could hear it. The band didn’t hear us, so they got confused how to move on with the song. After the usual singing along part was over, Per didn’t really know if he should say anything to the mic if it was fantastic or what, because he didn’t hear anything. Marie got also confused and didn’t start singing again. Per realized something wasn’t OK, so he walked back to Marie, miming her how the song goes on and then she got it and SMT was continued after long seconds of silence. It was a bit better at faster songs, but our It Must Have Been Love sing-along was the same silent and Per again wasn’t sure about telling anything about it and our nanananas during The Look or ”She rox you like a baby” during Joyride wasn’t the same powerful as at any other shows. Have to mention the balloon thing. We had some with us, but it took like 3-5 seconds for them to disappear after we released them. The wider crowd didn’t have a clue what to do with them.

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Pic by Patrícia Peres

Regarding the setlist, they skipped 3 songs from the latest wider setlist: Crash! Boom! Bang!, The Heart Shaped Sea and Watercolours In The Rain / Paint. Fortunately, they kept Crush On You in. Woohoo! It was funny enough that we didn’t realize CBB was left out until we had a nice chat with Jakob (Christoffer’s technician) after the show. We insisted on they left out only THSS and WITR/Paint when he said there was one more song. We looked at each other… the hardcores… it can’t be, then he said CBB and we face-palmed ourselves… Haha. Well, we were happy about hearing the more powerful songs, skipping some slower ballads.

There were some funny moments when for example Marie asked the crowd before It Must Have Been Love: ”Are you feeling good?” There was a little crowd reaction confirming we felt good, but certainly it wasn’t too powerful. Marie anyway said into the mic: ”Good!” Then Per started with his usual talk before IMHBL (hairdos, shoulder pads etc.), but this time out of the blue he added Samantha Fox after Milli Vanilli and Modern Talking as ’80s bands. The cutest was when before Marie started singing the song, they held each other’s hands. Too lovely. You can watch the talking and the hand-holding moment in THIS video.

The catwalk wasn’t used very often, but Per and Chris went there doing their guitar fights sometimes. One of those ”fights” you can watch in THIS video, the ending of She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio). Dea and Magnus went to the catwalk only at the end of The Look, while Chris went off the stage to play the guitar down there at the golden circle part of the stadium.

The catwalk was also a ”pick catcher”… Most of the plectrums Per was throwing landed on the catwalk ground, so they never reached anyone. 1-2 picks flew to the VIP crowd, not too many.

By the way, we tried to go to the golden circle part of the crowd area, but the security team didn’t let us go, not even for the last 2 songs. The strange thing was that the show being a corporate gig and that all other acts didn’t come back after they left the stage, a huge part of the crowd wasn’t prepared for Roxette coming back, so they started leaving the stadium. When Marie, Per and the band came back, we looked behind us and there were only ”a few” people left in the standing area and the seats were almost all empty in the back… Oh my… It was an interesting experience. Never mind, we enjoyed the last 2 songs very much regardless.

At the end Marie thanked twice saying: ”Thank you!” ”Thank you very much to all of you!” and Per said they hope to meet us somewhere down the road and take care of each other. By this time there was much smoke in the air, because the organizers were already being prepared for the laser show, so we couldn’t see Marie and Per for the last goodbye wave very well… The laser show was useless anyway, because only a few hundreds of people stayed until the very end of the show.

Per says there were 25-30,000 people, but the organizers said there were appr. 45,000 in the arena and seeing the crowd, knowing the max. capacity is appr. 60k, we thought 45k fitted indeed.

Åsa was there filming and she mostly filmed at the VIP area. Micke Lindström came to film to the normal standing area, but filmed the stage only as we could see. Looking forward to some videos to appear on Roxette’s Facebook page. There might be some dancing to Rox songs vids, because many in the VIP area were dancing with each other. Nice, but this way they totally missed what was happening on the stage.

Per’s comment after the corporate boogaloo:

WARSAW UPDATE: Oh yeah! Very late gig in front of approx 40.000* beautiful people at the National Stadium in Warsaw. We certainly had a blast. Great vibe and most folks knew all the songs. Thanx Warsaw, thanx Poland. We love to play here! Hope to see y’all soon again. RoxAir back to Sweden. /P
PS. Pic by Micke N-S

*Per wrote “approx 25-30.000 beautiful people” first, but some hours later (after he shared this article) he edited the text of his post and the number became 40.000. /PP

The next stop is… Who knows? In a post sharing this company event Per teased us with a comment that there might be something else announced for this year:

Yep, could be the last Rox concert this year. Might pop up something else as well. Will let you know, folks! /P.

What’s that? A New Year’s Eve party maybe? No clue, but it would be awesome! We just hope the location will be easy to reach and tickets will be easy to obtain. Soooo, Per, share the date and place with us asap, please! 😉

Setlist

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Maya The Bee theme song – same as on the June gig)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

200 Roxette World related shows

As we mentioned it in our latest review, Sandra Knospe celebrated her 200th gig in Amsterdam 2 days ago. 200! What an impressive number! Hard to beat it except if you are member of the band or at least the crew. 😉 It’s not only Roxette, but also Marie and Per solo, as well as Gyllene Tider, but most of the shows she attended were Roxette gigs. She followed the band from South America to Australia, but being a German girl, she of course went to the most shows in Europe. And why I use past tense here I have no clue… she followed the band from here to there and she’ll never stop. Well, she was truly born to follow.

When Sandra enjoyed her 100th show she surely didn’t expect she would have such a special treatment 100 concerts later. The crew offered her to see the venue from a different perspective and showed her around the stage. Then on the concert the band mentioned her anniversary. What a night!

Here are Sandra’s thoughts about her 200th gig:

 

A Rox gig with a different perspective

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Pic by Sandra Knospe

Another day another concert. After Rox had played in the famous L’Olympia just the other night it was Amsterdam’s turn now. Approaching the venue at around 5pm I have to say I was surprised to see way less people queuing in front of it than usually. There were two entries, one for people who had bought the expensive Early Entrance tix and one for the remaining concert visitors. I expected to see more “hardcores” in any of the queues, but I guess some just decided to come late since it didn’t make sense to queue the whole day with a normal ticket and no big chances of front row anymore. And other Roxers probably have decided to skip the concert completely and boycott the EE ticket policy from Live Nation. So maybe one doesn’t need to wonder that it felt a bit different outside this time. And in a way it continued inside.

The entrance for EE ticket owners was around 6.15pm and the others followed shortly afterwards. I can’t really tell how the entry was outside, because a friend of mine and I were lucky enough to get to see the stage from the other side of the fence while the doors opened. That evening I celebrated my anniversary of 200 concerts including Rox, P&M solo and GT and a very kind person suggested that maybe it would be interesting for me to see the things from a different perspective. And it was!! I am very happy and extremely thankful that we got this little special treatment!!

After that my friend and I found our places in the front and we were eager to see the show. Some chit chat with people around us and then Eskobar started to play. As a fan who has seen a few shows you can already sense during the supporting act what mood the crowd is in and if they will get infected by the vibe and atmosphere on stage. At least to 90% you can guess that already before Rox enter the stage. And this time it felt as if it would be a bit of a tough job to get the crowd into it. And it turned out to be like that. Of course Rox got a warm welcome when they finally entered the stage and people surely clapped and sang along to the choruses of the oh so well known hits, but in between it felt a bit quiet and the enthusiasm was, well, let’s say limited compared to all other shows of this leg so far. But that only goes for the audience. On stage the glorious 7 had a top night. Marie delivering a great performance, Per bouncing, spinning and dancing around. Lyrics where they belonged. Only Per with a cock-eyed brain once, when singing this line twice in a row during “Crush on You”. And speaking of Per I have to take the opportunity to mention here that there is a noticeable change since this leg in the way Per interacts with the audience. There is much more contact with the people in the front rows than before. Keeping eye contact for more than just a millisecond and checking out the first few rows quite often is not that usual for him. It feels nice to see him being so relaxed and acting and reacting to the crowd in a more open way on stage. And it’s not just me who has noticed it. So whatever has happened that made him change this I hope he keeps it and I am sure all other Roxers hope that, too. Because it adds some extra kix to every gig.

The band was in top shape as well. What I really like a lot is that meanwhile the short dialogues on stage are alternating. It’s not always the same every night and it looks and sounds more spontaneous and not that practiced anymore. Really funny. They should keep that. It adds a lot to the atmosphere. And if not for the normal concert visitors then for sure for the hardcore Roxers. OK, I have to admit I am probably not very objective now since I got a little extra mentioning on stage that night. And THAT surely made my anniversary even more special!! So unexpected and freaking amazing. You simply have to love them all. Not only for the music. But before going into raptures now I’ll rather stick to the review.

I enjoyed the concert to the full and the energy and mood on stage made it exciting for me. So after the gig I was all smiles. The only question I’ve asked myself was “Would it have been different audience wise without EE tix?” I tend to say yes, because I think more hardcores would have shown up and been in front row, partying and jumping all the time. But with 150,-€ per ticket one simply has to cross out some shows when you have planned to see them more than just once during their tour. So I really hope that EE ticket policy won’t become a regular thing. But that’s just my personal impression. And even if most of the visitors weren’t physically active, the general opinion of the people who were standing next to me was positive. They all enjoyed the concert. The only thing some mentioned was the feeling that the concert was too short. Well, what can I say? Surely, I agree on that and all of us would love to get more than 17 songs on a gig, but nevertheless, we enjoyed what we’ve got to the max. So thanks for playing and cheers to the next 200!!

 

The audience could have been more active, but anyway, even if there is a standing still crowd, you can always be sure there is at least one person jumping in the front during the complete show. And it’s Sandra Knospe. Indeed, to the next 200, Sandra!

If you don’t like it – don’t go: A ticket price rant..

This is just a blog post, WARNING, no news included.

In the middle of the ticket presales that started this week the fans have been surprised by not so nice things. One of the “things” popping up was an issue already months ago when the ticket sales in Australia started. Australian fans were – let’s say – surprised when they found out that the prices for tickets in the front rows were high above what they were willing to pay. A check today made clear the prices never changed, even though many fans complained about them on Facebook, Twitter, official sites and elsewhere. So, a “hot seat package”, which probably means you have a “hot seat” in front of the stage costs around 212 Euro. And then there is a “VIP package” which costs around 280 Euro. And of course, there are normal tickets – even in the front row, if you are lucky enough to get them. In the end that means that someone who paid 90 Euro could easily set next to somebody who paid 212 – a really bad thing and a trend that cannot be stopped it seems since there are always some people out there who pay every price they have to. For those who want to see more than one show it’s even harder.

However, prices in that range were hardly imaginable in Europe, but today we learned better. A front row seat for the show London costs around 380 Euro and a ticket for the also seated show in Paris is around 200 Euro. But this is not the only problem regarding the ticket issue. Many fans wondered why there are “exclusive presales” when it’s not possible to book and buy the best possible seats. This problem showed up for the show in Mainz (seated show, tickets costs 86 Euro which is pretty much for Germany and starting from row 3) and Paris (tickets from row 7 only). So yes, the question is: Why exactly do they offer an “exclusive presale” when it’s not possible to get the best tickets? Who else but hardcore fans buy tickets on an “exclusive presale”? Seriously?

A quick poll among fans showed what even hardcore fans are willing to pay. The German Roxette fan site Planet Roxette asked their users on Facebook about that. Many would definitely pay more for their favourite band but then buy less tickets and see less shows. For the German fans 80 Euro seems to be the magic limit. Compared to let’s say Romania this isn’t much. The tickets for the Romanian show cost 60 Euro, but please keep the ticket price-salary relation in mind. 200 Euro for a ticket is about 1/6 of a monthly average salary. 60 Euro in Romania are 1/7.

Another short story from yesterday/today. The Swedish presale via coop and comviq yesterday didn’t include the possibility to book tickets with an “early entrance” option. Today suddenly this option appears – for some extra 90 Euro. We wonder: What happened to the numbering system? Is it really all because of the money? And why is it necessary to totally rip off the fans?

Throughout the day many fans were clearly irritated about the increasing prices for concerts, prices which are not much longer affordable.  In the end, it’s pretty easy: “If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. If you don’t want to afford it, don’t buy a ticket.” But maybe it’s not that easy in this case. Many fans save their money for concert tickets for months, waiting for this one concert, this only chance to see their favorite band on stage. Everybody in this world should be able to do so. It’s clear that this is not Roxette’s fault but certainly a big fault of the promoters. Or maybe really their intention. In the end it means that at least some foreign fans don’t travel to Swedish Liverpool, because they are not willing to pay 190 Euro to stand in the front.

Just a short note: The German promoter Marek Lieberberg blocked the two front rows for the Mainz concert for themselves – no chance for fans to get in the front row. And not many people are willing to pay 86 Euro for a third row ticket.

This feels wrong. It probably shouldn’t be like that – neither the prices nor the way the agencies deal with the tickets they give away.

UPDATE, November 14th:

This is getting more and more absurd. Not only in Mainz but also in London the front rows are already blocked for American Express customers. So it says on the website: “”American Express Invites® Reserved Tickets.” If this is the future of pop concerts, then no, I don’t want to be part of it anymore.

Gyllene Tider – Dags att tänka på konserten – DVD is out!

We had to wait a year to be able to relive the sommartider of our lives, but now here it is! Gyllene Tider’s Dags att tänka på konserten was released on 23rd July. I would say it was worth the waiting. Even if it’s ”just” a DVD (I mean no Blu-ray around – who knows why…), the quality is great and what we can see on the DVD is simply fantastic. It contains a complete concert (24 songs, 1 hour 36 minutes), a documentary (1 hour 6 minutes) and 3 videos. Photos on the cover and in the DVD booklet are by Anders Roos. He’s the photographer who took those amazing shots for the Alla tiders Gyllene Tider book, which was written during the tour.

 

Concert

The stage scenes are from Skövde, but the crowd scenes are mixed from 2 concerts. Besides Skövde, some crowd cuts are from Eskilstuna, so if you were there at the last 2 concerts of the tour, there is a high chance you will see yourself.

What I felt when watching the concert was that I was there in Sweden again, on a summer night, being part of a loud crowd, seeing 5 energy bombs on stage. And it left a constant smile on my face during the whole show. Judging by what I saw, Skövde concert must have been one of the Top5 most energetic gigs. From the 2nd song the crowd was more reactive and I must say it’s amazing to see everyone doing the coreography Micke Syd shows during Min tjej och jag. When you are in the crowd in the front you can’t see such things and it must feel so great to see this reaction from your crowd when you are on stage.

Another fantastic thing to see is young and old (let’s say from 15 to 70) singing along to old and new GT songs. It’s unbelievable what music, THIS music can do to people.Too cool!

Camera angles are great, too. Grumpy Productions did a fab job. You might remember the posts (1; 2) on Gyllene Tider’s Facebook page about the camera techniques they used in Skövde. Looking good!

I left it for last, but it’s definitely one of the most important points: T.H.E. S.O.U.N.D. I.S. P.U.R.E. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.N.E.S.S.! Hats off to Christoffer Lundquist who did the mixing! So now we are in need of a live CD! Anyway, wasn’t it the case that we get one? Hm.

Documentary – Gyllene Tider sommaren 2013

It’s the same that was broadcast on TV4 last December. A fantastic one! You can read my review of it if you click HERE. Love to have it on DVD.

Videos

Man blir yr and Det blir aldrig som man tänkt sej are the official videos we already saw. Regarding Allt jag lärt mej om livet (har jag lärt mej av Vera), even if I didn’t really expect that it would be an unknown video, something new, it would have been a nice surprise if it weren’t the Humorgalan performance from May 2013.

 

One more thing I must add is that towards the end of the concert part I felt the same I felt at the end of each gig last summer: I don’t want this come to an end! But the good thing with the DVD is that you can play it as many times as you wish. This one is definitely something I’ll play several times in my life.

If you haven’t bought / ordered your copy yet, do yourself a favour and get yourself this DVD. If you attended any of the concerts, the reason why is to relive those magic moments. If you couldn’t attend any of the shows, you’ll have the chance to jump and sing along in front of your TV now. Here are the links from where you can order the DVD: Bengans, Ginza, CDON.

 

GT_DVD_front  GT_DVD_back