The 9th show on tour was a festival gig in Norway, the first concert outside Sweden. A handful of hardcore fans decided to go and see Per and the band there too and what a good decision they made! The gig turned out to be even more wonderful than the one in Gothenburg. Honestly, when you think Mr. G and his gang can’t surprise you with an even better show than what you had already experienced, they just do. And this coming on a 3rd day in a row when they have no days off, just gig after gig. Fantastic! They rule!
The festival crowd seemed to be in great party mood already before Per & Co came up on stage, so it was predictable they would be a loud audience for the main act too. Loud? It’s not even the right word to describe them. Ass-kicking crowd for an ass-kicking band. People cheering during the whole show, singing along all the time and clapping, whistling, dancing, jumping, whatever you can imagine.
There were several memorable moments at the concert, but just to highlight some most fab ones, I mention 2.
This was the first time Chris didn’t play a Per-song-related intro before The Look. He played In the Hall of the Mountain King (he played this as intro to Joyride already in 2011 when Roxette had a tour stop in Norway). Before he could start playing, the crowd was so loud he had to tell them ”Shhhhhhh!” Haha. Too cool!
After Sommartider, before Per could start performing Småstadsprat, the audience went ”oh-oh-oh-oh-oh”. Such a great crowd reaction, such a sweet acceptance of love from Per and the band! Watch it HERE! Says it all how the whole Månefestivalen gig was! Pure awesomeness!
FREDRIKSTAD, NORWAY JULY 23, 2017! Hallelujah! My Gosh what a gig. Slightly shorter version due to it being a festival but HOLY COW what a crowd! We love you! Thanx for singing along and making our lives exploding with joy! Been riding on the tour bus three hours now and we still talk about you!!! Lots of love + see ya soon!!!! /P.
All photos in the article are taken by Sandra Knospe, except for the still from Üli Car’s video. Thanx so much for your cooperation, girls!
1. På promenad genom stan
2. Vilket håll du än går
3. Juni, juli, augusti
4. Det hjärta som brinner
5. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
6. It Must Have Been Love
7. Honung och guld
8. Kung av sand
9. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
10. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
12. Gå & fiska!
13. The Look (with In the Hall of the Mountain King as intro)
14. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
15. Tycker om när du tar på mej
A hot, sunny day in Gothenburg, a beautiful park, some most enthusiastic Per Gessle fans and a tight band were all together to create a fantastic 8th concert night. You could feel there was something in the air in the city when already during the technicians’ soundcheck there was a guy who was dancing(?) to each and every sound Micke N-S and Jakob created on the drums and on the guitars. It was a very entertaining half an hour or so. Later there was no soundcheck for the band, so we could be kind of sure there was no new song planned to be played that night.
Lots of fans (even from Brazil!) were waiting outside the park which closed at 3 pm because of the concert and the gates opened again at 6 pm. This time we had to try if our running shoes were still working fine, since both entrances opened at the same time. Still all hardcores could find a decent spot in front of the stage.
Göteborg is usually different to any other Swedish cities and towns when it comes to concerts. People there know how to party and what the concerts are about. No picnic, no 15 meters’ distance left between the front row and the 2nd row until the support acts start playing. They are gathering in the front right after being let in. And it always feels good and promising.
Per had the same support acts with him as in Grebbestad. Alex Shield and Charla K started playing at 19:30. Now Alex was not that nervous anymore as on Friday, even talked more to the crowd. There was a little low sound problem with his guitar, but even that he took easier than in Grebbestad, just by mentioning he got a bit unfocused by this. I don’t have to mention that he sounded fab again. Charla K was also acting more, now taking off the mic from the stand and moving around a bit. She sang wonderfully again. Strandels came at 21:10 and Tova, the singer made the audience cheer for Gessle several times. She is also more and more talkative to the audience.
The stage and instruments were getting ready for Per & Co’s performance and while the technicians were busy with all this, Anders Roos set his many cameras at several places. Mr. G and the band hit the stage some minutes after 21:00. The crowd was already cheering for them several times before 9 pm.
The opening song was Min plats and it got a huge applause from the audience. Per talked to the crowd and said it’s always wonderful to play in Gothenburg. It’s almost home ground for him. He also said it’s the first time for him to play in Trädgårdsföreningen. Well, this is not really true, because in 1996 he played there twice with Gyllene Tider. Återtåget Live! was recorded at that very place. But being a hardcore live artist, one can forgive him for not remembering each and every place he played at. Haha.
The next song was På promenad genom stan and Göteborg let its voice heard. Heavy sing along on this one and dancing even in the back.
The first Gyllene Tider section with Juni, juli, augusti made the crowd clap & sing along heavily and they were even jumping along.
This time I streamed Segla på ett moln / Första pris live on our Facebook page. You can watch the video HERE.
While keeping the ”new” song /(Hon vill ha) Puls / they added to the setlist the day before (it rocked in Göteborg too!), Tittar på dej när du dansar got back and we enjoyed it so much! This song should really stay on the setlist forever. I know… I can’t mention it enough times. 😉
The crowd loved It Must Have Been Love and of course were singing along loudly. Kung av sand was also a loud hit.
Before Honung och guld, which Per wrote in the spring of 1982, Mr. G mentioned he was looking for songs he had never played live before and found like 500. Haha.
Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång was such a blast that while grooving around in the front part of the stage, Per stumbled over his monitor. Thank God he could keep his balance and bounce on, so he didn’t fall off the stage or anything serious happened. We don’t want to see Dave Grohl’s throne on PG’s stage, right? 😉 Micke N-S recognized very quickly that something was wrong and he rushed to the monitor to set it back to its place.
The great vibes didn’t end here. Starting with Ljudet av ett annat hjärta it was onehelluva party section until Per and the band went off stage before the first encore. Spegelboll rocked big time again and the crowd didn’t stop jumping and singing along during Gå & fiska! either. The band presentation was much fun this time too and after Chris psychedelic När vi två blir en intro, The Look made the crowd go wild.
Göteborg people shouted, whistled and were clapping loudly to have the gang back on stage. The first encore with PG appearing in white was magical as usual. Varmt igen and Tycker om när du tar på mej sounded extrawonderful on Saturday. DFS was skipped, just like on Friday and the band went on with Joyride which put the crowd in party mood again. So much that until the second encore they didn’t really get silent. Then bang! Andreas came and sat behind his drums. Started the intro to Sommartider. We all loved it! PG asked the band if they were ready for more, if the guys and girls for ready for more and if Göteborg was ready for more. The crowd just went wild for this.
The set ended with Småstadsprat and the audience cheered the band while they were saying goodbye.
This was definitely one of the concerts that you didn’t want to come to an end. If I said in Grebbestad Per & Co gave 120%, in Göteborg they gave 150% at least, but not only them. The audience too! Everyone was all smiles on and off stage during the whole concert. All fans (even those who attended Töreboda) thought that Göteborg was the best gig so far. The band thought so too.
We could see a lot of PG-Chris, Ola-Chris, Ola-Chris-PG, Ola-PG, PG-Magnus, PG-Malin-My, PG-Helena, Malin-My-Magnus, Malin-My-Clarence, Helena-Malin-My, Malin-My-Chris, Andreas-Ola, Chris-Ola-Andreas, Magnus-Chris-Ola, Chris-Magnus, PG-Magnus-Chris actions on stage. One just couldn’t decide which squaremeter to watch to enjoy the visual experience of the gang’s fabulous playing together. One of my favourite actions is when Ola gets close to Per during Det hjärta som brinner and they play their guitars back to back. PG was throwing a lot of guitar picks on Saturday and by checking each other’s caught picks, we realized that there is now a Space Station 12 plec he plays. A black one with white little stars and the SS12 logo on it. Lookin’ good! /Update on 25th July: as Per says: “TO CLARIFY THINGS: There are NO OFFICIAL Space Station 12 guitarpicks made whatsoever. If you see one it’s an unofficial one. /P.” Weird thing… Now where those picks were flying from then? Hm. Anyways, good to know they are not part of the official set./
Per had so much boogie in his shoes that he was often back to his mic late when he had to sing. It was so funny and cool at the same time. He was swaying his hips all the time, doing his left leg stomping as well. Among his black outfits, the most sexy is the one he was wearing in Gothenburg. The shirt with silver stars and the trousers with silver stripes. Looks so hot! Oh and Helena! 1 or 2 concerts earlier I realized she wears no shoes on stage. She is rocking around barefoot! Too cool she is!
All in all, Göteborg never disappoints! I can’t really remember any concerts in Gothenburg that didn’t work. This city rulez! If there is any recording planned for this tour, it should have happened on Saturday. But still, let’s keep our fingers crossed that at least one of the shows will be recorded and released for our pleasure later.
Mindblowing gig in Gothenburg. Wish you all were there!!!
All photos in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.
1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Vilket håll du än går
4. Juni, juli, augusti
5. Det hjärta som brinner
6. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
7. Tittar på dej när du dansar
8. (Hon vill ha) Puls
9. It Must Have Been Love
10. Honung och guld
11. Kung av sand
12. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
13. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
15. Gå & fiska!
16. The Look (with När vi två blir en as intro)
17. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
18. Tycker om när du tar på mej
4 days ago Per Gessle’s most awaited solo tour started. The pre-premiere gig at Leif’s Lounge was a real good appetizer for what was about to come in July and August, so we couldn’t wait anymore to see and hear Mr. G and the band on a huge stage under the Swedish summer sky. The premiere gig was held at Sofiero Slott in Helsingborg. This place I remembered from 2013 when Gyllene Tider played there. Besides recalling images of 5 amazing golden guys on stage, I also remembered 2 other things: all the people were coming with picnic baskets and the sound was so weak back then that we could hear our voices better than Per’s and also the sound of the instruments was very low. So I was wondering how the show would be, if the sound could be better after 4 years and if the Swedes come to have a picnic again.
Hardcore fans arrived from several countries during the day: besides Sweden, there were fans from Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and maybe from even more countries. So the front row seemed to become very international to cheer PG on his big night. The security team was very helpful and nice, they seemed to understand our insanity of waiting for our favourite artist during all day.
While we were waiting for the gates to open at 6 pm, we could hear the soundcheck that started at appr. 4 pm. The stage was too far away to see clearly what was happening, but the sound was great outside. Gave us high hopes for it to be awesome at night too. What PG and the band rehearsed were På promenad genom stan, Vilket håll du än går, Det hjärta som brinner, Segla på ett moln which lead into Första pris, then Mahi Nana, woohoo Tittar på dej när du dansar,It Must Have Been Love, Honung och guld, Varmt igen, Tycker om när du tar på mej, then we could hear some drum tacts from Soul Deep, then came Småstadsprat, Dressed for Success and Min plats. The whole soundcheck lasted for about an hour. Åsa was there at the venue too and she came to greet us some minutes after 4 pm, during the soundcheck. She was as nice she is always with the fans.
The gates opened at 6 pm and just as we thought, after we got to our places in the front, no Swedes were coming closer to us. They all landed their baskets on the grass, far away from the stage and started having their picnic. Haha. Still such a funny thing. But good for us.
As I already shared some pictures on our Facebook page, there is of course new merchandise. You can buy T-shirts (6 different ones), a crew-neck sweater, a sailor bag, a lithography, a corkscrew, a set of 3 wine glasses in a nice case and a pack of cards. Hm. It might be hard to find out what to include in the merchandise and then you have to decide on the design too. Well, next time it would be worth asking the fans about it. Just saying. To those who plan to buy any of the above mentioned, it might be useful info for you that the wine glasses have tussilagos printed on them. Not engraved, printed. So you might not be able to wash them in a dishwasher. At least we wouldn’t try to. 3 glasses. 3? Could be 2 or 6. Interesting anyway. Another funny thing is the corkscrew and its design. To print ”Per Gessle” with silver on a silver coloured (plastic) surface wasn’t the best of ideas. OK, everyone can decide on what he / she is into and would buy from the merchandise. What we all miss are mugs and keyrings and T-shirts with the tour dates on the back. And more PG pics on the merch stuff, instead of signs. The tussilagos are fine though. And how about merch guitar picks? Besides all what I listed above you can also buy the standard ”En vacker natt” vinyl and the CD, as well as the Mazarin LP at the merch stand.
After checking the merchandise, we got back to our places. While standing there waiting for the support acts, we saw photographer Anders Roos on stage. We talked to him shortly and it turned out he would be at several shows to take photos. So let’s hope there will be a nice photo book of this tour too.
Good Harvest was the first support act to perform. The 2 girls, Hanna Enlöf and Ylva Eriksson got on stage at 19:30 and played for about 25 minutes. They sound beautiful together and their guitar playing is also wonderful. Their songs and covers are really unique.
After Good Harvest, the stage was set for Strandels, Tova and Sixten Strandell (sister and brother) and a young guitarist and drummer. They performed both own songs and covers too, starting at 20:10, playing for about 25 minutes. They got the crowd into a bit more party mood.
Before, after and between the support acts PG’s mix tape was on. The good old crew, the technicians were busy with setting up the stage, having everything ready for THE show. Some minutes (maybe 3-4) after 21:00, the band and Per appeared on stage.
Here comes the setlist and then I go into details:
1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Vilket håll du än går
4. Juni, juli, augusti
5. Det hjärta som brinner
6. Segla på ett moln / Första pris
7. Tittar på dej när du dansar
8. It Must Have Been Love
9. Honung och guld
10. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
11. Kung av sand
12. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
14. Gå & fiska!
15. The Look (with När vi två blir en as intro)
16. Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
17. Tycker om när du tar på mej
18. Dressed for Success
As Min plats was the opener at Leif’s Lounge, we expected it to be the first song on tour too. You could sense Per was so nervous (during the first 3 songs maybe), his facial expressions showed it and his moves too. He messed up the first verse in Min plats and he had to check the screen in front of him several times to make sure he sings the correct lyrics. It was probably not visible to all in the crowd and mostly hardcore fans realized it only anyway. Mr. G was so cute in this situation. I think the crowd’s reaction during and after the songs encouraged him to think all was going fine and he let his nerves ease. Really after 3 songs there was no sign of being nervous at all.
Before the next song, Per said ”I thought to play songs from my whole, ridiculously long career. I’ve been writing songs since more than 40 years now…, which is a little odd, because I’m only 33.” Then they went on with the 2nd song. You can’t go wrong with På promenad genom stan. The crowd loved it and was singing along loudly. Sha la la… he-he-hej!
Vilket håll du än går was a nice addition to the setlist, it wasn’t played at Leif’s Lounge. Why I liked it so much is because I love when Per plays the harmonica. When the crew was setting up the stage, we could already see there were harmonicas attached to Per’s mic stand. I couldn’t wait for him using them. The song sounded cool live, with Malin on the violin and all.
Before Juni, juli, augusti, Per talked a bit to the crowd and said he hoped they had nothing against a little Gyllene Tider. Oh, we had nothing against it, of course. Party time! Just like with the next song, Det hjärta som brinner. On this one, Ola came to the front with his guitar and was rocking it hard. Also had a funny interaction with Mr. G.
Then it was time to calm down a bit. Helena and Malin started singing Segla på ett moln while Per was changing his guitars next to Micke N-S. Before Per got back to the stage he was singing along (without a mic). This intro lead into Första pris. Malin’s viloin playing here was heavenly too and Helena’s singing as well.
After Första pris Per talked to the audience again and talked about Nashville, that they recorded the song there and it was an amazing experience for them. He said he gives a holiday idea, go to Nashville. He mentioned they also recorded the next song there. And yeeeeaaah, Tittar på dej när du dansar came as next on the setlist. We really wanted to hear this song live and it didn’t disappoint. Sounds fab live too! Mahi Nana! The boogie didn’t catch the standard crowd’s feet, but we hope they will be more into it during the rest of the tour. Maybe a physical release of this single would help. 😉 Haha. The song got a big applause anyway. By the way, Malin plays both the violin and the mandolin on this one. So talented and sweet!
After the song Per talked to the crowd again. He said back in the days one learned English via pop music, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Small Faces, Pink Floyd, oh well, Pink Floyd not really. He said he thought to play one of the first songs he wrote for Roxette. And it was It Must Have Been Love. Oh well… I think we (I mean the hardcore fans in the front) were not really prepared to hear this song. It is so much Marie and we are so not over the fact that Roxette is not touring anymore (and maybe not even recording anymore) that it hurt very much hearing this actual Roxette song live – without Marie. So even if we sang along and the rest of the crowd enjoyed it, we had mixed feelings and we could easily live without this song in the setlist. Really. At the same time, it’s a big song in Per’s career, a US No. 1 and a huge hit all over the world, we know it. And seeing and hearing the standard crowd’s reaction, it will surely stay in the set. But still. It hurts.
After IMHBL came another song that was new on the setlist vs. what was played at Leif’s Lounge. It’s from Gyllene Tider’s third album, Puls and Per asked the audience if they remembered that album. The crowd’s reaction showed they remembered. He said he thought he would play a song they had never played live before, so asked the crowd to keep their fingers crossed. Honung och guld was the song.
After sipping a little from his ginger tea, Mr. G and the band went on with Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång. The same way it was played at Leif’s, however, there these two songs were the last on the setlist. The crowd loved it very much and we enjoyed a loud sing along. Doobie doobie dum doh!
Then came another harmonica song, woohoo! Kung av sand! What a lovely song it still is!
After KAS it was time to party hard again. The crowd went crazy when they realized which song was next. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta! Helena and Malin go wild on this one, jumping like hell. This song is a real highlight and how Spegelboll comes after LAEAH is awesome! You can’t stop dancing, jumping, clapping, singing along and shouting. Not even during the next song, because it’s Gå & fiska! and you just hope the party never ends. The stage is now much bigger than it was at Leif’s and so all the musicians can go from one side to another, Magnus and the girls from right to left, Chris and Ola from left to right and Per can also run around easily. However, every now and then they still bump into each other. 6 people moving around can be tricky sometimes. Haha. But it’s so cool!
After Gå & fiska! Per introduced the band and he started it with telling that he found them on a dating site. First he introduced Helena (vocals), one his favourite singers, then Malin (violin and mandolin), who was born in Umeå, but grown up in Hong Kong, then Clarence (keyboards), an old acquaintance of Per’s wife, then Magnus (vocals, bass, dance and a little blue machine), Stockholm’s, Malmö’s, Sweden’s biggest sex machine. Per asked Magnus how he felt. Magnus said he was fine, it was a very special day. Besides having their premiere gig, it was 60 years ago when John met Paul. Magnus told the crowd if they know who John and Paul are, they get Dumle (Swedish sweet). Then Per introduced Ola (guitar and pedal steel), Andreas (drums) and ”last but least”, Professor Christoffer von Lundquist (guitar). All in the band got huge applause and shout outs from the crowd.
Then Chris played När vi två blir en as intro to The Look in his crazy style. The party mood was guaranteed again and it was yet another highlight in the set. All the guys on stage going psychedelic and the crowd singing along the nananananas. Then the band left the stage and the crowd was clapping and shouting to get them back.
The first encore was different to that in Leif’s Lounge. First all band members came back on stage and Chris started playing Queen of Rain (which I must admit I haven’t recognized until Per mentioned it, I was probably distracted by so many other things on stage, haha) and it lead into Varmt igen for which Per appeared on stage in WHITE clothes. Oh my God! How long I had to wait for this moment! You might find it stupid and I don’t really know what we, most of the fans (OK, probably most of the Gessle Girls) like so much about Per in white, but that’s a fact: we adore him in white clothes. Well, clothes don’t make the man, we love him anyway, you know that. 😉 Varmt igen sounded incredibly wonderful, it was a pure delight to hear this song live. Both Per and Helena sing beautifully.
And they go on sounding wonderful on Tycker om när du tar på mej which came next in the setlist. Per’s moves and facial expressions during this song are priceless. This song definitely means much to him. And when he goes next to Chris and they play the guitars together is so lovely too.
After 2 slow songs it was time to p-a-r-t-y and bring a little Roxette sound. Dressed for Success was next and the audience was singing along heavily to this one too. Also to Joyride which came after DFS. Everyone was a real Joyrider on and off stage. Per and Chris played their guitars back to back each other at some point. It was much fun! And time flies when you’re having fun, they all went off stage again.
The crowd was loud and wanted them back again. Of course, they came back after some minutes. First Andreas sat behind the drums and aaaaaah, he started playing Sommartider. One must love how he is drumming. A real pleasure to watch and hear him playing. Fun guy! Hej hej! The crowd went crazy for Sommartider and it became a heavy sing along again. Only this time we realized why BoJo was checking the camera (as a cameraman) before the show, because he came to the front and started filming the crowd. The pictures went on to the screens on the stage. It looked cool. And BoJo seems to be not only the nicest bodyguard and tour manager on Earth, but also a talented cameraman. Haha.
I would say Sommartider would be a PERfect ending to the concerts, but for some reason the ending song became Småstadsprat. Before they could start playing it, the crowd started shouting oj-oj-oj-oj-oj and clapping and it lasted long. Per appreciated it, thanked and sent kisses and he also applauded the audience. If it were not the blue lights on stage we might have had seen him blushing. He was so sweet! Småstadsprat sounded beautiful at the premiere show too and with it the show ended. Per thanked for the audience, told them they were absolutely wonderful, thanked them for coming and wished a wonderful summer.
We couldn’t believe the concert ended, it had just begun! And we would have been ready to relive it again (and again and again) right then. It was really en vacker kväll. More than that! A most fantastic night! Great start of the tour both for the band and for the audience (8385 people).
Åsa filmed a lot during the whole show and 3 videos Per already shared on his YouTube channel (1; 2; 3). We hope there is more to be uploaded.
The last time the PLECtionary got updated was in August 2015, right before the last show of the European tour leg. Now one tour leg later, an update is due again. We hoped for new picks for the South African shows, but we couldn’t be sure there would be any new plectrums until Per posted the photo of the guitar pick they designed especially for South Africa (Roxette FB, Per IG, Roxette IG).
It wasn’t clear at first sight whether it was only one pick and Mr. G showed the 2 sides of it or it was 2 different picks, but soon it turned out they got back to the roots, making it more limited, so it’s only one pick with the South African flag on one side and GESSLE ON THE ROXXX on the other side. Looking good! Haute couture, as the master says.
Sandra was there in South Africa and she could now take photo of it to include the plec (No. 107) in the PLECtionary. More than that, thanks to her we can also add Per’s guitar technician’s, Micke N-S’s new pick (No. 108) and in the meantime Sandra could obtain one of the Night of the Proms plectrums (No. 26) she had been looking for since a long time, so it’s now in the PLECtionary as well.
Besides these 3 new additions, you will find a separate section for the misprinted picks. The misprinted ones mean something went wrong during the production and e.g. the design or the text is missing on one side. With this update you see 2 misprinted plecs, No. 77 and No. 96.
The last time the PLECtionary got updated was eXXXactly 3 months ago today. Let’s celebrate it with adding some more picks to it!
Since the 2014 picks weren’t really used (check in the PLECtionary, why), it was evident Per needed new plectrums for the New Zealand – Australia leg of the tour. He shared a photo of his new guitar picks one day before the Auckland show. We could all agree on these were fitting NZ-Oz quite much and that they are hilarious with the funny texts on them.
Sandra Knospe decided to see the band live in Australia in February and during the concerts she attended she could collect all the latest Per Gessle plecs, as well as one Christoffer pick and one Micke N-S plectrum. After getting back home, she found the time to take the pics of all the beauties and tell the trivia she knows about them, so 8 plectrums are added this time to her already stunning collection. Check out the PLECtionary and look for the guitar picks No. 92-99!
There are plenty of the picks produced for NZ-Oz, so maybe there are enough left for at least the European leg of the tour. The designs are fitting Australia more, but of course we’re happy to catch them in Europe, too. 😉 (Update on 28th March: Per says there will be new picks for Europe.) 7 weeks left until the tour goes on! Woohoo!
Huge thanx for the updates, Sandra! We’re eXXXtremely happy that your collection is growing and growing!
Halmstad was cooking almost at the same temperature as Gothenburg! What a great show and what a great audience again!
Since the venue was changed from Halmstad Arena to Halmstad Theater, a much smaller place, everyone who bought the tickets already the first day they went on sale in October was worrying about the seats, how the organizers would solve this issue. We hoped for not sitting in the 15th row if we had a ticket for the 1st row, however, the organizers tried to assure us that it wouldn’t be the case. We were still not sure about how it could work, until we actually got into the theater and saw that they renumbered the seats, so everyone could be satisfied with the new seats.
In the audience – besides many Roxers from abroad(Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Denmark, etc.) – there were Göran Fritzon(from Gyllene Tider)and Jan-Owe Wikström(Hallandsposten; author of the Alla tiders Gyllene Tider book among others). We missed 1 big Roxer though, but we hope for his appearance at least in the crowd at a future concert. Per, you must go and see Ms Effe! She’s awesome! But you know that.
Some of us met Marie and the band when they arrived to Halmstad and they were all smiles already then. We were excited to see them on stage again. Before the show, when almost everyone found their places, a girl from the crew came and distributed some signed Marie cards(the one you could get if you pre-ordered her album Nu!) to the fans in the front rows. It was very nice. Thanks a lot for that!
And the show began. Should I mention Marie was barefoot? Now it’s quite evident she performs like that and we just love it.
After the acoustic Så stilla så långsamt we just jumped up from our seats and so did almost the whole audience, so the fab intro of Kom vila hos mig led us to a great party this time again. Halmstad crowd was almost as cooperative as the one in Gothenburg. Marie mentioned it already at this song how fantastic the audience is. She kept the acting she did in Gothenburg during Bara för en dag. So lovely! The bridge between Det regnar igen and Sista sommarens vals is still something fabulous. Ber bara en gång brought the party feeling again, but we were sitting, just clapping and dancing while sitting. At Sparvöga Marie mentioned it’s her favourite song and it sounded amazing this time, too. During Ett hus vid havet a seagull flew to the wrong place, but otherwise the performance was fantastic. Still so heart-warming how Marie and Jokke are performing it together. Then came the 2 most touching songs, Ett bord i solen and Så skimrande var aldrig havet. Marie’s facial expressions and how she feels these songs were again undescribable. Ännu doftar kärlek made the audience sing along. Not too loud, but you could hear more people were singing out loud than before. Party time again AND this time the audience stayed standing also after Så länge det lyser mittemot, so we were still dancing during Om du såg mig nu and of course during Efter stormen. Wow! THAT was a party! By the end of the tour there might be a concert where no one is sitting, but standing during the whole show. Before ES, Marie thanked the Roxette fans in English for being there. She got a loud response from the fans. Some fans also shouted ”I love you, Marie!” several times and they got a reply from Marie: ”I love you, too!” The party at the end of Den sjunde vågen when Marie already went off the stage (helped by MNS) was so intensive that even Christoffer’s hat fell off his head.
During the break we didn’t sit down, were clapping and standing all the time, waiting for Marie to come back. And she came back, of course. Micke was helping her again to find her place at the mic stand. The party went on with Mellan sommar och höst, then came Den bästa dagen. Before the closing song, Tro, Marie thanked in Swedish for all the energy she gets from the crowd. It means a lot to her. And it means a lot to us. It’s really fantastic to see her reactions, how she loves the active audience. One can see the whole band enjoys it much more when the crowd makes some noise. Even Surjo was acting more tonight, clapping and dancing a bit in the background and Micke was playing the keyboards many times standing and dancing more than how I could see them before.
At the end of the concert, a red heart was back. This time there wasn’t ”Tack!” written on it, but it was a heart-shaped pillow Marie got from a fan, Nikolett. That’s what you can see on the picture here.
Halmstad audience was really fab, joining us whenever we stood up and clapping with us to the rhythm. I loved the reactions of some older Swedish people behind me. They were happy about being part of a crowd like this and they were smiling all the time.
After the show Marie came out and gave some autographs. We also met Pelle and Chris. Chris said it really makes a difference to them when we are there. He said his favourite concert so far was Gothenburg and also Växjö, but tonight’s Halmstad show was very close to them. Chris asked us if we know the guitarist of Gyllene Tider… Of course we know! Pelle and Chris said MP (Mats MP Persson) was playing at a place not too far from the theater, so if we want to see him, we should go there. Some of us went there and yes, MP was playing with a band. They were covering e.g. Bryan Adams: Summer of 69 and we were in time for hearing their cover of Tylö Sun from Gyllene Tider. Per’s voice was definitely missing, but otherwise MP’s playing was great. I had a chance to talk to him a bit and he said they play together with this band once a month. He seemed to feel more comfortable with this cozy set up on stage than with Gyllene Tider. He agreed. This ”after-party” was a great closure of tonight.
Marie and the band are in Karlstad tomorrow. Have fun, everyone and make some noise there, too!
Setlist (no changes)
1. Så stilla så långsamt [1992 – DSR]
2. Kom vila hos mig [2013 – Nu!]
3. Bara för en dag [1987 – ES]
4. Det regnar igen [1992 – DSR]
5. Sista sommarens vals [2013 – Nu!]
6. Ber bara en gång [1996 – IETSV]
7. Sparvöga [1989 off the Swedish drama TV series]
8. Ett hus vid havet [1985 – DSV]
9. Ett bord i solen [2007 – TFT]
10. Så skimrande var aldrig havet [1990 off Taube compilation album]
11. Ännu doftar kärlek [1984 – HV]
12. Så länge det lyser mittemot [1992 – DSR]
13. Om du såg mig nu [1987 – ES]
14. Efter stormen [1987 – ES]
15. Den sjunde vågen [1985 – DSV]
16. Mellan sommar och höst [1992 – DSR]
17. Den bästa dagen [1985 – DSV]
18. Tro [1996 – IETSV]
For the setlist and collection of reviews click here.
Take my review from yesterday and multiply the blowing-away factor by at least 10! Göteborg concert was P-U-R-E A-W-E-S-O-M-E-N-E-S-S!
Before the concert we met Christoffer and he said we should be prepared for maybe not the best sound, because the acoustics of the concert hall are not the best as he knows it. However, we were sure they would do their best with the sound anyway and in the end, to me it seemed to be perfect. We also met Marie before the show and she said she is so happy that so many international fans are here to support her. She was in a great mood, smiling again all the time and she also said she tries to be better than she was yesterday in Jönköping.
One word: BAREFOOT! Now we know this always means a concert will be mind-blowing.
Some of us decided that whatever happens, we will stand up already when Kom vila hos mig comes. As we’ve been mostly in the first 3 rows, we all stood up and the rest of the audience realized it had to be like that, so they stood up as well. Great crowd it was! Everyone could see that Marie & the band liked it a lot, so we kept the energy high in the crowd and so did Marie on the stage.
She was acting much more, e.g. in Bara för en dag she made gestures according to the lyrics like ”… göra mej vacker och tvätta mitt hår, låta solen torka det …”. It was great to see her acting.
During Sparvöga the audience held up glow sticks (thanks Basia Konarzewska & Chrissie Roehrs for organizing it) and moved their arms to the rythm of the song. After the song Marie said it’s a fantastic crowd. She said that after several songs, since the audience indeed was continuously fantastic.
Ett hus vid havet today was how it has to be, all the boats and seagulls were at the right place now and the ”Och göra som jag vill” (= And do what I want to do) line at the end was as effective as yesterday.
We stood up again when Så länge det lyser mittemot started and the whole audience joined us. We held up some letters to show Marie the words: KÄRLEK and VINNARE. She recognized it. KÄRLEK stayed there on the stage. Thanks to our RXB Team mate, Kirsten Ohlwein for organizing this and drawing the letters.
The biggest party was again at Efter stormen. Everyone in the front was dancing, jumping, singing along and in the back people were rather clapping. It was fab to see the crowd like this!
It was again Micke N-S who helped Marie going off the stage during Den sjunde vågen. Now talking about the crew, I must mention at this point the hilarious guitar changings of Christoffer. He is wearing a hat and when Jakob Johnzén, his technician comes up the stage, Jakob gets the hat to his head while the guitar finds its right place at Chris.
There wasn’t a long break before Marie came back to the stage. Micke was helping her to come to the mic stand. Aw, they are such a lovely couple! We’ve been already standing and also the rest of the crowd, so we were in the right position to continue the party during Mellan sommar och höst.
When we could hear the first notes of the closing song, Tro, I couldn’t and didn’t want to believe that this party was coming to an end. It was such an amazing night! Those who were in Växjö said it was very-very close to it. But one thing is sure: Göteborg crowd was the best so far! Marie confirmed it as well.
I must add that there were some changes in the lyrics here and there, but if someone doesn’t know them by heart, couldn’t recognize it. Marie handled it perfectly and she gave each song a great flow. Hats off!
After the concert Marie went straight to have a rest, but we could talk to the band. Jokke said the audience was amazing and the show was fantastic. Very similar to Växjö. Micke said it means so much to Marie that the audience is reacting like this and that gives her even more energy. He also said it was a fantastic concert and Pelle thought so, too.
Thank you, Marie & the band for the amazing experience and huge thanx for your cooperation, Göteborg!!!
Next show is on 19th March in Uppsala. There will be a bit less international fans, but I hope the spirit stays like this. More of us are there in Halmstad on 21st March, so we are expecting a very similar energetic night then.
It was a special concert from RoxetteBlog’s point of view, since 4 of the 5 RoxetteBloggers were there in Jönköping tonight. The standard review you will find if you scroll down on our website, but why I’m writing a separate review is because almost a month passed since the tour started, but my time has come only today. For me it was a very special show, because it was my first ever Marie solo concert. And it was just a perfectly fantastic first experience for me.Marie was in a very good mood, smiling all the time, even joking many times and doing funny facial expressions. One must love this woman!
When she entered the stage we could already see she was barefoot again. So we could be kind of sure about the outcome, that it was going to be a fab show. Sitting in the front row made you feel very close to her, actually, it felt like being on a private concert.
Så stilla så långsamt sounds awesome in this arrangement live. I saw some videos already on YouTube and already thought it sounded great, but hearing it live was amazing. Marie and Christoffer are magical in this.
Then came Kom vila hos mig. I was among the ones who from the very beginning questioned this tour being seated. Then I thought OK, maybe I’ve just never attended any concerts like this in the past and just don’t know how it is when you’re actually there. NOW I can tell it IS very hard to be sitting. At this song I felt like standing up, but as everyone was still sitting, I didn’t dare to. Too bad. This song just rocks too much. Both on the album and live.
If you ask me, it was still hard sitting during Bara för en dag. I’m always amazed how Marie can sing this song live because of the fast parts. I can’t even read out those words so fast after one another. She rulez!
Det regnar igen, just like any other song from Marie’s best album, Den ständiga resan, is very much her. How she is feeling the song makes you have goosebumps.
Sista sommarens vals is also very much Marie. Of course, it’s the only song she wrote for her latest album, Nu! What I was missing in this song was a closer connection between Marie and Micke. Yes, sometimes I felt Micke was sitting too much in the back for that. And it’s of course not a complaint and I know it can’t always be the way it was in Tack för musiken show last December. Micke is fantastic on the piano.
I always liked Ber bara en gång, but it was just after I saw a video from this tour on YouTube when I started loving it. Should I mention it was hard sitting during this one, too…?
Sparvöga was again an awesome live experience. You can see how much Marie loves this song. All her facial expressions are showing it.
Then came some real funny moments in Ett hus vid havet. This is the song which is performed by Marie and Jokke. Jokke is standing next to her, also singing some part of the song. He has a great voice! From the videos it might not be evident for everyone, but he DOES have a pleasant voice. The funny moments: Marie messed up the lyrics, but was just smiling at it, mixing up boats and seagulls. She was looking at Jokke’s mouth to see what he was singing, but she just wanted to sing ”Och göra som jag vill” (= And do what I want to do). Who cares? Marie, you CAN do whatever you want to do! We were laughing so much at her reactions during this song.
Ett bord i solen was one of the most touching songs. She said before she started singing that she wrote it when she got cancer. It made me remember how grateful we all have to be that she is still here, giving so much to us with her singing.
The next most touching song was Så skimrande var aldrig havet. I’ve never been a big fan of this song, but my Gosh… Marie’s performance left me breathless. Also her facial expressions during the song were undescribable. This song is just so much hers.
At some point, Marie said she is performing new and old songs during the concert, but mainly old ones. It was funny how she expressed herself. Ännu doftar kärlek is definitely one of the oldest, but also one of the best songs.
Then came Så länge det lyser mittemot. I don’t even have to mention it was hard sitting during this song, too…. So we stood up towards the end. Unfortuntaly, from row 4 no one else felt like this, but at least we had a party in the front and Marie and the band liked it.
I’m not sure anymore about before which song Marie wanted to go on with the next song, but everyone else was late, so she was laughing and said: ”OK, nästa” (= OK, the next one). The audience was also laughing out loud. Maybe it was before Om du såg mig nu.
And what we’ve been all waiting for, the real party came at Efter stormen. First we stood up in the front rows, then everyone else in the audience stood up. We’ve been dancing, jumping, singing along. At last!!! It felt incredibly good!
Again came a slower song, Den sjunde vågen. We had some more funny moments, which I also have on video. Check it out by clicking on the embedded video in the article. I started recording it from the lovely sound Marie made while taking a breath (we were smiling at it) and you can also see it wasn’t BoJo who helped Marie going off the stage tonight, but Micke N-S. It was such a funny part. After Miss Effe went off the stage, the guys went crazy with the guitars. They could have their rocking moments. Both Christoffer and Jokke could let their guitars bleed. Surjo might not be the craziest guitarist on Earth. To me he seems to be a calm and quiet person, but he is also doing a fantastic job back with his bass. Pelle is great on the drums, we could get used to it during the Roxette tours. There is a plexi glass in front of his drumset since Malmö concert and this probably provides an even better sound. The sound was fab.
Marie didn’t let us wait so long and she came back to the stage after about 2 minutes. It was just a very short break. We felt she really wanted to be on stage again. And oh yes! The first extra song is Mellan sommar och höst, my all time favourite MF song. It rocked big time and the whole audience was standing again. Front rows were even dancing & jumping again. Woohoo!
Then came Den bästa dagen and when Marie messed up the lyrics, the audience helped her singing out loud and she thanked it while she was smiling. It is always so heart-warming when the audience helps her like this. Those who already attended some other concerts during the tour, said it was the first time during this tour when the audience helped like this.
Why do all good things come to an end? The last song was of course Tro. Yet another song which is very much Marie. Towards the end of the song we held up some letters so she could read the word: VINNARE (= winner). She is! And we are also winners to have her! Thank you so much for all what you are giving to us, Marie!
After the concert fans were heading to the hotel where we thought Marie was staying and when Marie and Micke came we had a small chat with them. They said it was a great show and thanked to us for that. They also said it was hot in the theatre, but we said they could only thank it to themselves.
Then came the rest of the band, Chris, Pelle, Jokke and Surjo. Chris said from the stage the beginning of the concert seemed to be so-so, but the energy was rising and rising. When I said there is not so much space for Chris and Jokke to play the guitar like what we are used to how Chris plays it on a Roxette tour or Jokke in his own band, they said it’s fine like this. And it IS fine like this. The focus is now completely on Marie and we love it. But we also love the band. They sound great together!
God! I’m sooo grateful I still have 4 concerts to go! Tomorrow Göteborg!!!
If anyone had told me in the past that one day I’d have the chance to do an interview with Per Gessle, I would have surely told them they were insane. But life proves, you should dream also those dreams you don’t dare to dream! Getting myself together after the positive shock, I must say that it continuously gets confirmed that I’m a fan of the most amazing and most caring Artist in the Universe and the fastest on Planet Earth! Well, what else could I expect from the Son of The Fastest Plumber in the West?
It’s an interview done via e-mail to keep Mr G’s quotes correct. Per, thanx a million again for spending your precious time with this! It’s much appreciated and you definitely made me feel being the luckiest, happiest and most grateful person on the Globe. Also thanks heaps to D&D Management for their cooperation!
The interview is about the customized plecs, info about the customizing process, stories connected to the picks, some details about the phrases on the plectrums, Per’s thoughts about the picks in general and how he is using them etc. So everything you wanted to know about the plecs and more! Don’t forget to check the PLECtionary again, because some ”Trivia from Per” can now also be found at the picks he talked about.
Now the intro is over. Go and read the real deal, Roxers! Enjoy!
Patrícia Peres: – First of all, thank you very much for taking your time and I hope you won’t get tired by all the plec questions, but we, Roxers are very curious about any tiny detail about these precious little items and stories related to them. We got very positive feedback from the fans and we are very happy that you also like the PLECtionary. Sandra did a fantastic job with it and we are very grateful to her that she made it possible to see all the picks at one place. She has an amazing collection! How does it feel that there is such a dedicated fan of your plecs?
Per Gessle: – It feels, of course, most rewarding. I encourage every form of extreme and meaningful hobby, like collecting rare snakeskin-boots or grey square Russian cars.
PP: – Haha. Rare snakeskin-boots! Now that you say it… When and how did it all start for you? I mean having your own customized plectrums. What was your very first idea to print on a guitar pick and which became the first customized PG-plec?
PG: – Oh, I can’t remember. In the old days it was very rare that you’d find customized picks. I think I hooked up as soon as I heard it was possible. It’s a great way of sharing a joke and showing off your humble personality!
PP: – Do more plecs exist besides the ones you can see in the PLECtionary?
PG: – No, I think everything is covered in the article. It’s a shame in a way but the sad and plain truth.
PP: – Have you kept at least one of each of your plectrums over the years?
PG: – Yes, I think so. I’ve looked for the ones Sandra is missing but can’t find any extras. Only the ones I keep in my archive. If I find more of them I will of course give them to her. She deserves the best. The best and the complete. I consider it a mission to help her find Plectrum-Nirvana.
PP: – Wow! I’m 1000% sure Sandra is gonna be extremely happy to hear this! I was just about to ask if you have those plecs she is missing.
PG: – Yes, like I said, I keep them proud and polished in my archive. Clarence pops in once in a while to sniff them. He likes the smell of vintage success.
PP: – How should we imagine where you keep your plecs? Are they in a box in a drawer or maybe in a big glass bowl in the hall or they are just lying anywhere around your house / apartment? OK, knowing how pedantic you are, this latter one is surely not applicable.
PG: – Oh, they are kept in a red Ferrari-box in a metal cupboard in my office. Next to the diaries I always write when I’m recording. I try to keep my life tidy and in order. My cupboards are holy ground. If you open them things will never be the same.
PP: – Ferrari-box, metal cupboard, diaries. Aaah, sounds like holy ground indeed. When it comes to brands, are you more into Dunlop or Fender guitar picks? Or does it matter at all? What kind of plecs were you playing the guitar with before you started customizing the picks?
PG: – It never mattered. It’s the feel that decides. On stage I have a softer pick for the acoustic guitars, in the studio I rarely use picks at all when I play acoustic. I don’t like my picks to be very thick. Then the sound becomes too hard, too rough. I lose the touch.
PP: – So no thick picks for Gessle. OK. Is it always your actual guitar tech – earlier Falken, now Micke N-S – who is in charge of making the plectrums designed and produced or did it work in a different way in the past?
PG: – Yes, in the past I ordered them myself. The Party Crasher-one (with the sleeve on it) I ordered myself from Australia. Nowadays, MNS is taking care of business. I tell him what kind of slogans or messages I want and then he comes up with zillions of suggestions and colours etc.
PP: – How does the whole customizing process work? Micke N-S mentioned in the interview I did with him during the GT tour that you usually give him a few lines you want to see on the plecs and he does the rest. Is it totally up to him how the design (plec colour, font type) will look like in the end or does he send it over to you several times during the development phase to check and confirm if you’re OK with it?
PG: – Yes, he comes up with layout suggestions most often based on the current tour logo etc. It can, for instance, be the same logo on my picks as Pelle’s got on his bass drum. I guess you’ve noticed. I know I have.
PP: – Haha. Well, you can’t have all the stars just for yourself. Regarding the phrases we can read on the picks, there are some quite obvious ones, like ”HELLO YOU FOOL I LOVE YOU” or ”HOW DO YOU DO!”, but other phrases are rather filled with humor, which is even more fun. For example, there are those early plecs with the catchy money reference: ”MONEY NEVER SLEEP$” or ”ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER DOLLAR” or ”CASH BOOM BANK”. I think I also read ”WE ARE IN THI$ ONLY FOR THE MONEY” somewhere, however, I’ve never seen a plec like that. Did it exist?
PG: – No, I’ve never heard of that one. It’s a bad phrase, too clumpsy, not my style.
PP: – True. It doesn’t sound too Gessleish. What was that about the money those days?
PG: – The ”money-picks” came from an idea to harass the Swedish media who always considered me / us to be too commercial and never could read between the lines. ”Money never sleeps” came from the ”Wall Street”-movie (a quote by Gordon Gekko), ”Another day, another dollar” was a phrase our American lawyer used all the time. It’s always rewarding to try to make fun of reporters, I think every artist agrees on that. Come to think of it, most humans probably do.
PP: – ”ART FOR ME IS JUST SHORT FOR ARTHUR”. Knowing you are very much into art, it’s too funny to read something like this from you. Is there any special story behind this phrase?
PG: – Yes, it’s a quote from Keith Richards. I thought it was pretty cool at the time. It’s very old. I wouldn’t use it today.
PP: – All the plecs are real gems, even if they only have the text ”ROXETTE – PER GESSLE 2011” on them. But there is one which we don’t know too much about. It says: ”TEDDE GOES 50! – WITH LUV FROM THE GESSLES”. Can you tell us who Tedde is?
PG: – He’s a dear friend to me and my family. We gave him a Les Paul as a birthday-gift and of course he needed his own guitar pick! Doesn’t everybody?
PP: – So now Tedde plays that Les Paul with another pick. Different number of plectrums were designed in the past and nowadays for one tour. Do you have lucky numbers? Or how do you decide on how many different picks to produce for one tour(leg)?
PG: – No, I suggest a few lines or slogans and then suddenly MNS comes up with 25 different suggestions. He likes things plenty. I think we should slow it down a bit in the future.
PP: – Talking about luck, do you have any plec you consider as a lucky charm? Do you believe in such things at all?
PG: – No, I only try to hit the right strings with them.
PP: – And you do it so right. At least most of the time. By the way, how many pieces of each plec are produced nowadays? Was it the same amount per plec in the past?
PG: – No, the editions are much bigger nowadays. We use them as giveaways a lot, I throw a lot of them out to the crowds. In the past it was more of an internal thing. Like those hidden messages on the vinyl records. ”Don’t forget you’re a rocker” etc.
PP: – Which is the all time favourite plec of yours and why?
PG: – They’re all part of my family tree. No personal favourites. Sorry.
PP: – I can completely understand you. Is there a guitar pick of yours you like the least? We know, for example, that you don’t really like baby blue plectrums, as you gave some of them to Chris to play with.
PG: – It’s not really true, I like blue plectrums. The thing is that I prefer lighter colours (white, for instance) because when you play, often in the dark on the stage, it’s really hard to know / see what you do with black picks. I’ve hit the wrong strings far too many times because of this. It makes you feel silly. And it sounds shit.
PP: – Now I’ll pay more attention to the shitty sounds next time you are playing the guitar with a dark plec on a future tour. The plecs related anyhow to Åsa are usually the nicest or coolest ones. E.g. the latest ”WOODY – VEM FAN ÄR VERA?” is one of your funniest picks ever. The design with that marbled blue base colour and that silver print looks fab! What is Åsa saying about the Woody / Åsa picks? I bet she likes them a lot.
PG: – She ordered them. I had nothing to do with those. It’s something she and MNS came up with.
PP: – Ahaaa, now that’s really cool! Well done, Fru Nordin! She was also the one who made the ”Ta mej… nu är jag din! / Åsa” plec produced as a surprise for you. Can you tell us a bit more about it? How many plecs like this were produced?
PG: – Oh, I dunno. There are always some goofy ones like that on every tour. It makes us smile.
PP: – Thanx to you, I’m a lucky owner of one of those misspelled ”WODDY / HEJ DIN TOK JAG ÄLSKAR DIG” picks. Which year is that from exactly? What’s the story of it and what was your first reaction when you saw the misspelling? Rumour has it, you gave these plecs to MP to use them. How come?
PG: – Can’t remember. It certainly wasn’t me who ordered them, I know howh too spel.
PP: – Yeah, sure you do! Was there another production of these plecs with correct spelling?
PG: – No, I don’t think so. We were poor in those days, one edition was enough to crash the budget.
PP: – Talking about MP and also Chris, did you encourage them to have their own customized plecs or was it them (or maybe their technicians) who came up with the idea to have their own picks?
PG: – Yep, it was their guitar guys who came up with those picks. It’s not really neither MP’s nor Chris’s cup of tea to order personalized plectrums. Trust me.
PP: – I trust you, Sir. Were there ever customized Marie Fredriksson plectrums back in the days when Marie was also playing the guitar? I remember a TV show – I think it was in Argentina – when the hosts found 2 ”HELLO YOU FOOL I LOVE YOU” picks after your playback was over. So that means Marie played the guitar with the same customized plec you played it with. Was it always the case?
PG: – Yes, I believe so. She used anything. Or wait. Maybe she had one of her own. It rings a bell. Let’s keep it ringing for a while….
PP: – Oh! It sounds exciting! Anytime the ringing is over and you find it out, just let us know. Sandra mentioned the gauge of the plecs you used in the early years was heavier than nowadays. Micke N-S said in the interview with him that he is using one gauge thicker plec than what you are using, because it’s more accurate to tune with. What makes you decide on what gauge to use? We can see you use the thin plecs for the acoustic guitar, but what about the medium and heavy ones? Does it make any difference to you?
PG: – Yes, I hate thick ones. It makes your playing very clumpsy and too ”masculine”. I like medium gauge for electric and light for the acoustics on stage. I’m a delicate guy! A ballet dancer. You know that.
PP: – A ballet dancer? Dunno, but a left leg stomper for sure and a delicate guy indeed. When you post pictures of the plecs on Facebook, fans get very excited and you can see many comments regarding how much we want to have them or how awesome they look like. You even mentioned in your 2012 Xmas message on roxette.se that ”… loads and loads of autographs signed, letters written, stamped and sent, guitar picks urgently needed by all of you”. How does it feel that we are so crazy about these tiny little picks of yours?
PG: – I think it fits the Roxers really well to spend quality time on stuff like that. I can fully identify with it. Groove is in the heart.
PP: – And we stomp on a stoop when we hear your pop loop. Now this might be a stupid question, but take into consideration that I’m not a pro when it comes to how to use plecs properly. What happens to the plec when you lick it? I think you did it the most often at the Snowpenair concert in Switzerland, kind of once in every 5 minutes. No clue whether it has anything to do with the cold or it makes a better sound or it just sticks more to your fingers.
PG: – It sticks to the finger. Normally (not necessarily at Snowpenair) you’re very sweaty everywhere (including your hands) so you tend to drop the pick if it doesn’t stick. It has happened a lot.
PP: – Ah, OK. Thanx for the clarification. Do you chew on plecs while writing songs or doing demos? I mean chewing like others chew on the end of pens.
PG: – No, I never use picks when I write. I actually never use picks at all playing acoustic guitar at home or in the studio, I only use my nails to get the right feel. On stage however, you need a pick to get the volume.
PP: – We often comment on Facebook that it would be great if you could include your plecs in the merchandise. Do you plan to include them in the future?
PG: – Well, yea. We try to come up with new things for the store all the time so custom made guitar picks, why not? We had guitar picks with the Gyllene Tider-cartoons on for sale last summer, didn’t we? In a tiny black box. I have a few of those in the cupboard.
PP: – Yes, that special pick collection is very cool. I have one of that tiny black box on my holy shelf, too. Well, OK, the more difficult to obtain the plecs, the more precious they are for us. I remember a chat where someone said he got a plec from you in Karlstad and asked how much you think that plec would worth in 20 years. You replied: ”The question is what Karlstad is worth in 20 years.” That’s a good one. There are people (mainly not fans, but traders) who are selling your plecs at a ridiculously high price on eBay, Tradera etc. and of course there are fans who are buying them. What do you think about this fact?
PG: – It’s like you say, the more rare an item is the more people want it. I don’t really have an opinion on this, some people sell, other people buy. The wheels keep on spinnin’!
PP: – Talking about catching picks at the gigs, you throw much more plecs these days than earlier (and definitely much more plecs than towels). During the GT tour Micke N-S even put an extra plec holder on the mic stand after some gigs to have 18 picks there instead of 12. Do you throw more just to make more fans happy or is it just cool throwing the plectrums and you do it automatically?
PG: – I throw them because I know a lot of people want them. And like I said earlier, MNS orders so many of them I might as well distribute them myself.
PP: – Keep throwin’ them! The adhesive tape on the guitar is of great help to have some plecs always at hand. Does it happen often that a plec falls out of your hand and you can’t pick another one quick enough during a song, so you have to play the guitar with your fingers / nails? OK, your nails are surely touching the strings as the nail polish almost disappears by the end of a show.
PG: – It happens but not that often anymore. I lick ’em!
PP: – Yeah, now we know lickin’ is of great help, too. There was a video you posted after Brisbane show in 2012, where Christoffer’s hand and guitar were covered with blood. Ouch! It has also made it to the Roxette Blu-ray. Did it ever happen that your fingers got hurt badly while playing the guitar?
PG: – Oh yea, many times. For me the most common injury is that I crash my right arm very hard into the body of the guitar when I try to look cool and do a massive sexy move hitting some adrenalin-droolin’ power chord. Oh, it hurts. It hurts to be alone. The plan’s gone wrong like a runaway train going down.
PP: – OK, Mr G… I can imagine all Gessle Girls are now sliding down a dream when you are mentioning your massive sexy moves in the same sentence as adrenalin-droolin’. Ehm… Come back to the original topic, PP… Last summer we saw a girl in Tele2 Arena at the GT gig picking up a Woody plec from the floor. She just found it there and the concert hadn’t even started. Do you usually throw plecs during the soundchecks, too? Checking how it works at the certain venue or how far you have to throw the plecs?
PG: – I was probably aiming at Pelle or someone who was running late for the soundcheck.
PP: – It must have been Micke Syd then. When it comes to throwing distance, do you pay attention to it before the concert starts? Do you try throwing your plecs into the crowd at venues where the distance of the crowd from the stage is quite long (e.g. China)?
PG: – Yes, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t have a system, I just throw them. Or I don’t. If the feeling’s right those picks have to go.
PP: – Was there any memorable moment for you regarding your throwing the plecs? Maybe 10 fans jumped on each other just to catch your pick or anything else?
PG: – No, not really. Most of the time it’s hard to see from the stage where they land. I try to throw them up in the air so I don’t hit anyone in the eye. Or in the mouth. Or, God forbid, what would happen if I make a scratch on a smartphone?
PP: – Trust me, if you would scratch any fan’s smartphone with your plec, that smartphone would become one of the most precious items of that fan’s collection. Oh, and that throwing moment at the end of Man blir yr video looks so hot! How many times did you have to record it to be this perfect?
PG: – It’s a first take. Of course.
PP: – Of course, silly me! Until now I asked you about YOUR plecs and those related anyhow to the Rox World, but I’m curious about the coolest guitar pick you have ever seen in your life. Could you describe it? Whose plec was it?
PG: – We have a great collection of Jonas Åkerlund’s photos of guitar picks at Hotel Tylösand. All of them are fab! Nikki Sixx’s ”Fuck The Fucking Fuckers” is pretty spot on, don’t you think?
PP: – Haha. A fab one, but let’s say I prefer your phrases on a pick. I’m not a Mötley Crüe type of girl. As a last question: do you have plectrums from any of your idols? Tom Petty or David Bowie maybe? Or from any other guitar players? If yes, how did you get them and where do you keep them? If no, would you love to have a pick of theirs one day?
PG: – I don’t actually. A Dylan-pick or a T.P.-pick would be nice. Or from Nick Lowe. But I don’t lose any sleep over it.
PP: – That’s nice to hear, but in case insomnia is reaching you because of this, I suggest you go to their concerts and stand in the front row. You might get lucky! Thank you very much again for taking your time. Can’t wait to see your next set of plecs (coming hand in hand with a next tour) and update the PLECtionary with them!
PG: – That makes it two of us! Cheers!
Update on 2nd February, 2014: Per shared 2 pics of a box in which he keeps plectrums in the guest bathroom. Check out pic No. 1 and pic No. 2.
Mikael Nogueira Svensson is the most well-known member of the crew among fans. Many people know him as Micke N-S, the guy behind the iPhone, taking the panorama pics we can see on Roxette Official and on Gyllene Tider’s Facebook site. We know his face and sometimes fans are chatting with him at the venues, but still, we don’t know too much about Micke, just that he is doing a fantastic job as backline technician.
He took his time between Gyllene Tider’s Örnsköldsvik show and 2nd Halmstad gig and was happy to share some more information about himself & his work and told us some interesting and funny stories, too.
PP: – On a Swedish drum workshop website I read this: ”Workshop leader is Mikael Nogueira Svensson, one of the most experienced and hired drum technicians in Sweden.” When did you start your work as a drum / guitar technician? What came first: drums or guitars?
MNS: – I started around 1997 with some local acts in the middle of Sweden, Dalarna. First it was only drums. The guitar bit of it came in the picture in around 2002, when I ran a rental company in Stockholm and had to go on tour with a band and also help the guitar player. And basically, it’s more common in Sweden that the techs help the guitar player more than the drummer.
PP: – Do you like working with drums or guitars more? Or does it depend on the person whom you are working with?
MNS: – It’s totally up to the artist I work for, so it doesn’t matter at all if it’s drums or guitars. But I toured with Prince between Roxette tour legs, which was more of a challenge, because then I did keyboards and piano for him.
PP: – Even keyboards and piano. Great! By the way, have you ever been studying music? Or you just learned to play the instruments by yourself?
MNS: – I’ve been studying at Stockholm Conservatory of Music for 3 years. But the fun part of it is that I decided to play the drums when I was a child, after meeting Pelle Alsing backstage in Gävle on the Joyride tour. And now I work for them.
PP: – Really? That sounds cool! What was Pelle’s reaction, when you told him you decided to play the drums because of him?
MNS: – Can’t remember. Nothing special I guess.
PP: – Oj, Pelle… Any other instruments you play besides the drums and guitar?
MNS: – I can only play the drums, can’t play the guitar. I only know a few chords. But I guess I can set up a guitar better than most of the guitar players out there…
PP: – You’re kidding! I thought it’s evident that you can play the guitar. Hats off then! Besides Roxette and Per Gessle you worked together with many other artists on tour (e.g. Peter Jöback, Carola) or played the drums for (e.g. Rod Stewart and the producer of U2). Who is the one whom you enjoyed to work together with the most?
MNS: – First, I didn’t play the drums for Peter or Carola. I was a tech for them. I played the bass on a singback performance with Peter Jöback once at the Swedish football gala. I kind of like to work with artists who are very aware of everything. It’s a give and take. I like to make it nice for them and they appreciate it. If it’s an artist who doesn’t care about anything, I don’t like it. You get no positive feedback then.
PP: – You are now on tour with Gyllene Tider. How different is it to work with them vs. Roxette?
MNS: – There’s no difference, except that I sleep at home from Sunday till Tuesday. We are the same crew and everything is the same.
PP: -Who is the easiest to work with in GT?
MNS: – I would say it’s equal. Everyone demands a certain kind of professionalism and everyone is just as kind as the other. But I’ve known Micke Syd for the longest time, so he is kind of the same ”father” figure for me as Pelle Alsing.
PP: – You are taking care of Per Gessle’s guitars, Micke Syd’s drums and also Anders Herrlin’s bass guitars, as well as many other things before, during and after the GT concerts. Which is the toughest part of your job now and what do you like the most?
MNS: – I wouldn’t say that I take care of many other things than Per, Micke and Anders. Actually, I only take care of them (their gear). And if you think that something is not connected to them, it is. No one would think about it, but it’s kind of boring to change strings every day.
PP: – Every day??? That must be boring indeed. When do you have to be at the venue on a concert day? What’s the daily routine? What are the first tasks and what is the last thing you do after a gig ends?
MNS: – I’m the last to arrive, at around 11 am. The stage is built the day before by the second unit crew. The riggers and light crew set up everything from 8 am on a concert day. Then I start building the drums, which takes about 1 hour including tuning, head change and miking the drums. After that I set up Per’s VOX rig and Fender amps of Anders. Then it’s lunch. After lunch I set up my tech world [see photo] and connect everything to the sound desk. Around 2 pm we do line check with the crew. Then we remove all the things in front of our risers, so Linnea and her band can set up.
PP: – You do soundchecks in the early afternoon with or without the band, but you are also checking the sounds before the concert starts. Were there any difficulties during this tour that you had to solve very quickly before a concert started to make everything work in the end? Or all is going smoothly during these soundchecks?
MNS: – There was no problem so far. Knock on wood.
PP: – I remember there was a moment in Karlstad, when Per looked at you and showed he has problems with his guitar. They were just coming back to the stage for the 2nd extra with Sommartider. You had to come up the stage and change the guitar settings from silent mode to normal, while Per was playing the guitar. It was hilarious. Are you and Micke Syd teasing him a lot with this since then? (At least in Örebro I saw you and Micke Syd were teasing him and showing the guitar was then set to normal mode.)
MNS: – Hahaha! Shit happens to everyone. And actually Syd is not talking about the guitar, he is just teasing me, because Per makes fun of me holding the guitars for so long. He’s fooling me and decides to wipe his face once again and have another drink. So I have to stand there and look like a fool. Sometimes I walk back before he can take the new guitar.
PP: – Now that’s too funny. Anyway, which is your personal favourite among Per’s actual guitars – Cherry Gibson, Blonde Gibson, Black Gibson or the Black Acoustic – and why?
MNS: – I like the Black Gibson, because it’s the easiest to work with. But I bought the Blonde for Per during the Roxette tour and that one has grown in my mind and feelings. (Also in Per’s, I guess, since it’s used for more songs now.)
PP: – Between the support act, Linnea Henriksson and the GT gig we see you on stage with a red plec saying ”Tänk att få sätta på” (part of the lyrics of Flickorna på TV2). Lookin’ good. Is it your personal plec? Is it an own design?
MNS: – It’s my personal tuning pick. It’s one gauge thicker than what Per plays with. It’s more comfortable and more accurate to tune with. I have had own tuning picks since Roxette started the tour. Purple ones.
PP: – We know that for the Roxette tour you had many ideas regarding plecs and Pelle’s drumkit with the star was absolutely your idea. How much have you been involved in designing this year’s plec collection and drumkit?
MNS: – I have designed all of them. Per gave me a few lines he wanted to see on them and I did the rest. The drumkit setup is designed by me. The front head design is Gyllene Tider’s official tour shield, not my design, but I made a few changes to it. It’s 3D, if you look closely at it. Peter, who printed and helped out with the Roxette drumkit, also did the graphic work and printing for this and the Leif on the small kickdrum.
PP: – Talking about ideas, we could see one of your greatest in the Roxette live concert film, namely the small cam on Per’s guitar. Awesome camera angle. Can we expect anything like this in the coming GT live film?
MNS: – No, but I pitched the idea for the show designer to add the GoPro wide angle cameras in the production inside the drumkit. But that is shown every night, so it’s nothing new.
PP: – Back to your past. Have you ever played in any band? Are there any plans that you want to leave backstage and come into the spotlight one day or it’s not your cup of tea at all?
MNS: – I was playing in a band during my years at the Conservatory of Music. We did a reunion in 2009 and played for 2 weeks in St. Anton ski resort. But there are no other plans and it’s nothing I want to do.
PP: – Do you already know what’s next, whose backline are you going to be after the tour ends? Or do you take a good rest and have some free weeks?
MNS: – I do all the pre-work for the Swedish / Norwegian talk show, Skavlan at our national TV station (SVT). I take care of the acts playing there when it comes to all backline work and logistics. It can be any artist: Foo Fighters, Take That, Alicia Keys or a local act. Funny thing is that Sinéad O’Connor asked me if I could get her a guitar for her performance. The only one who I knew he had a guitar Sinéad wanted was Per. So I called him and borrowed his guitar for that show. He told me to say hello to her, since earlier they met in another TV show (where she ripped a photo of the Pope).
You can watch Sinéad O’Connor’s performance in Skavlan show here. She was playing Per’s Gibson Les Paul Jr. /PP/
PP: – One last question came into my mind when I looked at your cover picture on Facebook – Bruce Springsteen throwing the guitar to his technician. Cool one! Who is the artist you would love to work with if you had one wish and why?
MNS: – Foo Fighters, because it’s good music and they are nice guys.
PP: – Fingers crossed for you to work with Foo Fighters then. Thank you for your time and for the fun stories. See you on a next Gessle-related tour!
MNS: – Thank you for coming to the shows. We are nothing without you. And who knows. There might be something in the future, or not…