Per Gessle interview on Radio ZET, Poland

Magdalena Barczyk did an interview with Per Gessle for Radio ZET in Poland.

Magdalena’s first question is about Bag of Trix. Per tells her he started digging in the archives in spring and found a lot of materials, e.g. the Abbey Road sessions from 1995, as well as their first demos that served as the basis for their debut album in the 80’s, or leftovers from their Good Karma album. This compilation is kind of a mishmash of everything. He didn’t expect to find that much, so it was a bit overwhelming.

Magdalena is curious if there is still something unreleased left in the drawers. Per laughs and tells there is more. After completing this compilation, he came across even more recordings. It seems to be some kind of infinity. It’s been a really long career. He also found a lot of live tapes from the Joyride and Crash! Boom! Bang! tours. Maybe one day he will release them, we’ll see. He says they sound pretty good.

Magdalena tells Marie passed away a year ago and asks Per how this year was for Mr. G without Marie. Per tells it’s been a crazy year because of the pandemic. He thinks it’s been a special year for everyone in a way. Marie was ill for 17 years and everyone was slowly preparing for the worst, because she wasn’t in good shape. But when the time came, he felt like he couldn’t really prepare for it. He thinks everyone who lost a family member or a close friend understands it. He tries to think positively about what they went through together, their relationship lasted a very long time. She has always been and will always be one of Per’s closest friend. They met when they were teenagers and the adventure they experienced as Roxette is still amazing and difficult for some to understand. He feels lucky that he had a friend like that and a partner like that in his music.

Magdalena asks Per how he sees contemporary music and if anything surprises or annoys him in it. Mr. G tells he noticed that as you get older, you realize how much you are stuck with the music you grew up with. He started listening to pop and rock when he was 6 or 7 years old. So he can say that pop of the 60’s and 70’s is his DNA. Therefore, in his work he has always tried to come back to it. He just likes that style and he likes the way the songs were written. Looking back, pop is a reflection of the era in which it’s been made. In the 60’s it referred to societies, now we live in the times of social media, computers and laptops. You can hear it in music, it’s done on computers, it’s done differently. If you turn on 40 of the most popular radios, you will notice that all the songs are in a similar style. It’s hard to tell these songs apart. He doesn’t say pop music today is better or worse, it’s just different. It’s reflecting its own time.

Magdalena tells now there is a noticeable trend of musical return to the 80’s and is curious how Per likes it. Mr. G tells it puts a smile on his face. Those were his times and he immediately recognize the synthesizer or even the drum sounds. He can hear the sound that young people try to imitate and the way they arrange their songs. It’s cool, he likes it and thinks that The Weeknd captured it sensationally in the song Blinding Lights. He thinks it’s a nice trend.

Magdalena is curious which contemporary artist Per finds interesting and if he likes specific songs. Per says it’s a good question. He likes a lot of artists, but if he is listening to e.g. Billie Eilish for too long, it’s too much for him. The same applies to The Weeknd, even if they make very good pop. Per has always been a fan of creating concept albums where he would write 12, 14 or 16 songs. However, these days people only listen to one song. Album format is dead.

Magdalena mentions that Per is not only a musician, but also a businessman. Mr. G says he doesn’t consider himself a businessman. He has a hotel, which he bought 25 years ago. It’s in his hometown on the Swedish West coast. But he is not managing it, his wife is doing that. Per drives there and checks out everything from time to time. Sometimes he signs autographs and takes selfies there. Haha.

Magdalena asks Per how this strange year was for him personally. Mr. G says it’s been a crazy year. None of us have experienced anything like this before and he doesn’t even know what to say about it. He spent his time in isolation with his family in their house on the coast, although now he is back in Stockholm. He misses travelling the most, because he has always lived out of suitcase. He would like to meet his friends from all over the world in real life, not only via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime. He just misses the socialization that doesn’t exist today. Besides that, they can’t tour. Many of his fellow musicians and technicians barely make ends meet because they have no jobs. It’s a tough year for this business. He hopes next year will be better.

Magdalena tells the word „Poland” and asks for associations. Per says there has always been great concerts there. He always tells that he has travelled the whole world and saw nothing. This is how it is on the road. You come to a country or a particular city, you go to a hotel, then you have to do a soundcheck, you play a concert and you leave. But he knows that every concert in Poland is a great pleasure. They have a lot of fans there who are still supporting them and he appreciates it. If it weren’t for them, he probably wouldn’t be here talking today. It’s the fans who make the band big.

Magdalena asks what Per wishes for himself and Radio ZET listeners for the upcoming holidays. Per thinks the previous months were a nightmare for all of us. It’s depressing for everyone working in hospitals, for children not going to schools and for teachers working in difficult conditions. That’s why he thinks that during this holiday, the most important thing for everyone is that we return to a somewhat normal lifestyle.

Magdalena thanks Per for the interview and Mr. G thanks for it too.

The radio also recorded Per telling their slogan: ”Hi! This is Per Gessle from Roxette. You are listening to Radio ZET – Si?a muzyki.” (= The power of music). With Per Gessle’s Polish accent. Lovely, haha.

Thanks for the technical support, Tomasz Wysocki!

Per Gessle interview on Dzien Dobry TVN, Poland

Dzien Dobry TVN, morning show on TV in Poland asked Per Gessle for a video interview that was broadcast this morning. You can watch it HERE! After an intro talk about Roxette’s success and Marie’s passing away, Gabi Drzewiecka interviewed Mr. G.

Gabi tells Bag of Trix is not only a huge thing for fans, but for all the people, because it contains much material that hasn’t been released before. She is curious how Per decided to release it. Per tells in spring he started going through the archives and he was surprised there was so much stuff they haven’t released yet. He found the Abbey Road Sessions from 1995, some songs that were released on CD singles back in the days and now that we are in a streaming world they are not there anymore. Some are very special, because those are from the times when they were very young and they took their first steps singing together and finding things out together with Marie. He thinks it’s just great to hear.

Gabi asks Per about Marie and says it hit the world that she passed away a year ago. She is curious how Per has been during this past year. Per tells they have known each other since they were in their teens in the 70’s, so it’s been a long journey. It’s hard of course, but he is reminded of Marie every day. She was ill for a long time so they knew the day would come, but you can’t prepare for that. He thinks most people who lost their family members or close friends know what he is talking about. She is very much missed, but he is very proud to have been working with her for so many years. And she is still among us with her music.

Gabi tells Roxette stayed in Stockholm, Sweden to record. She asks if they were stubborn to stay there. Per says Marie was the stubborn one. Their record label wanted them to move to Los Angeles or at least to London, but Marie sticked to staying in Stockholm where she had her friends and family. Per was thinking maybe they could go more into the centre of the music world, but in the end he thinks it was a wise move to stay in Sweden.

Gabi asks if staying in Stockholm maybe protected them from the craziness and madness that could have happened. Per thinks it could be. He still works together with the people who they started to work with in the 80’s, so he thinks this stability really protected them from the craziness in the music business.

Gabi is curious if Per knows how to rest. Per tells he is doing his best. Gabi tells there is Roxette, Per’s family, his hotel, so many to do, but she is curious where is the time for doing nothing. Per tells he is trying not to work all the time. When you have the work you love as an artist it’s a way of life. He doesn’t feel like he is working, but he is probably working all the time. He laughs.

Gabi thanks Per in Swedish for the conversation and Per wishes merry Xmas.

Stills are from the TV program.

Thanks for the technical support, Tomasz Wysocki!

Interview with Per Gessle by Wyborcza, Poland

Jarek Szubrycht from Wyborcza in Poland did a great interview with Per Gessle on the occasion of the Bag of Trix release.

He starts with asking Per about touring with Marie during the past few years. Jarek thinks it was sad to see that Marie, who was bursting with energy in the past had to sit during the concerts. On the other hand, it was touching and uplifting as well, that she didn’t give up. Mr. G says the last tours were a really tough experience. Per asked Marie many times, “Do you really want this? Should we really go?” Her answer was always the same. When Marie told she would be sitting from now on because she had problems with her leg, it was hard to believe for Per. She always ran around the stage and standing still was something unnatural for her. She said she would be sitting because she wanted to sing for the people, she wanted to see them. Per is convinced that the energy she got from the people at concerts and the love they showed for her helped her survive. She was sick for a long time and Mr. G thinks that if they hadn’t gone on the last two tours, she would have left earlier. All the doctors advised her against touring, but she didn’t listen. And if she wanted to go on tour, so did Per. It was all he could do for her, to be with her to the end.

Jarek asks Per if we will ever see Roxette on stage again, maybe with a new singer, or maybe with Marie’s hologram. Mr. G can’t imagine replacing Marie with another singer and he won’t do that. On the other hand, he would feel bad about never performing Roxette songs again. He considers touring with several female singers and tries to find a solution that works both on an emotional and musical level.

Jarek is curious why Marie and Per joined their forces while they both had separate careers. Mr. G tells they have been friends for years and they shared a dream to break through outside Sweden. Per knew that he could write songs, but he is not an outstanding singer, neither the best guitarist in the world. He believed that with the right voice he could do a lot. Marie, on the other hand, felt great on stage and sang perfectly, but she couldn’t take care of the repertoire herself. She needed Per’s songs. In their case, 1+1 made 3 and they were much better together than they were apart. Roxette’s debut album was a huge success in Sweden, but only in Sweden, so Marie’s label urged her to stop working together with Per and focus on her solo career. Marie was persistent enough and fought with them for Roxette’s survival. After achieving international success, they were unstoppable.

According to Jarek, Roxette is a pop band on the radio, but a rock band on stage. Per says Roxette’s strength was great concerts. They put together a really good band and Marie was not only a great singer but also a stage personality. And they put the emphasis on the strong guitar sound on stage.

Regarding Bag of Trix Per tells it’s not a greatest hits compilation. They have already released many such compilations and you don’t need another one. He was browsing Roxette’s archives and to his great surprise, he discovered a lot of recordings that he had forgotten about. Among them there are demos they recorded in a cramped basement in the southern part of Stockholm, still not sure how to divide the roles, how to choose the key, but already very curious how they will make music together. They felt that something special was happening. Per says he also has some great live recordings from the Joyride tour in Australia and he will definitely not keep them to himself.

The biggest surprise for Mr. G on Bag of Trix was Soul Deep. It was to be the first single when Joyride was released in the US and producer Tom Lord-Alge pulled the song more towards soul. In the end, Soul Deep never became a single and even Per himself is not sure that he had heard this version before. He was happy to discover it now.

The warmest memories related to any tracks on Bag of Trix is the Abbey Road Sessions. PG says he couldn’t stop smiling when he listened to it. When they released Don’t Bore Us, Get To The Chorus! in 1995, their label organized a promo concert for them in London. The day before, BBC invited them to the Abbey Road Studios to play some acoustic songs for them. They couldn’t refuse because they were huge fans of The Beatles. Marie said they should do something from The Beatles and since she always loved Help!, they did that cover and it worked out fine. Marie’s voice did all the work here.

Jarek asks if these memories are painful for Per. Mr. G says it’s not painful anymore, but when he was digging in the archives, it happened that he felt melancholy. He tries to remember only the good times and think about the magic that worked in Roxette. They managed to do something amazing, they were really lucky. Thanks to Marie – as a singer, but also an extraordinary personality – Per’s songs became better than they were. It’s not easy, because every day something reminds Mr. G of Marie and he knows it will be like that for the rest of his life, so he has to get used to it somehow.

While Jarek was listening to the demos of Roxette’s great hits, he wondered what distinguishes a good song from a great one that millions of people would later consider their own. Per tells that every time you try to do it the best you can. You follow the music, combine the melody and the words. He thinks there is also temperature and color of each song. He can’t predict which song will make the masses happy and which will get lost, but sometimes in the studio he hears that a new song has something special about it. This was the case with The Look, for example. When they recorded it, they were just one of the many Swedish bands that would like to play a little overseas. But in the studio, when they played The Look to people, they saw that they reacted differently than usual, that this was a song that had that notorious X factor. With Joyride and Milk and Toast and Honey he felt that too. Such songs write themselves, Per thinks. He knows immediately where he is going and how to get there. It’s a special feeling because usually he has no idea what he wants and the music guides him. Sometimes he gets stuck and he knows it’s sometimes better to leave it then and do something else.

Jarek asks Per if he thinks a career like Roxette’s would be possible to achieve today. Mr. G thinks it’s possible, but unlikely. The labels work completely differently, album format is history, radio has changed too much and social media has appeared. Per says pop music has always been a mirror of its era and it is also today. Most mainstream productions are made on laptops, using the same software, so they all sound great, but it’s difficult to tell them apart. Once upon a time, there was no doubt about who recorded which song, you could tell it by the sound. It doesn’t work like that anymore. Computers made everything similar. But the same thing happened with our lives, this is the modern world. On top of that there is an overproduction of music. 40,000 new songs premiere on Spotify every day, which means that new bands hardly have a chance to be noticed by anyone.

Jarek thinks that kids absorb and remember everything, but the older generation already have their idols and are not too open to new ones. Per tells his son is 23 years old and listens to music non-stop, and so do his friends. But they have no idea what the artists are called or what the titles are. Music just comes and goes. When Per was their age and he managed to get money for a new album, not only did he listen to it all the time, but he also studied every detail of the cover, learned the lyrics by heart, he even knew the serial numbers of the albums. He bought releases by specific labels because he knew he could trust them that he would like everything they released. This world is long gone. Mr. G is sorry for that, but his son is not sorry because he doesn’t know what he has lost.

Jarek is curious about when they felt that Roxette’s success exceeds their expectations. Per says they dreamed of touring Europe. To go to Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium and play in a few clubs. They couldn’t imagine much else, even success in the UK didn’t seem possible to them. Meanwhile, the first country where they achieved success outside Sweden was the US. Nobody heard anything like that, nobody understood it. That’s why everyone in America decided they were single shots, that they made The Look, but that was it. Their second single in the US was Dressed For Success and the biggest radio network refused to play it. They decided that since they had already played one track of these Swedes, as a curiosity, they would not play a second one. That’s why Dressed For Success peaked only at No. 14 on the Billboard. Fortunately, the next single was Listen To Your Heart and then everyone gave up and was waiting for their next album with open arms.

Jarek mentions ABBA, Roxette, Europe, Max Martin, successful Swedes and is curious about how it’s done. What do Swedes know about popular music that Poles don’t? Per tells in the 80’s, when music became digital, everything changed. When he was recording his first album in 1979, all Swedish music sounded awful. His music too. Only ABBA was the exception, they always sounded fantastic. After the digital revolution, with the spread of synthesizers and music software, everything changed. Productions from Munich, Buenos Aires and Stockholm began to sound more or less the same as those from London. Swedes have always liked new technologies, so a whole generation of producers and songwriters who could use these tools quickly emerged. This, however, doesn’t explain the success of bands such as Roxette, Europe, The Cardigans or The Hives. So Per thinks maybe the point is that northern Europeans – not only Scandinavians, but also northern England or Scotland – have an innate talent for composing beautiful melodies.

Thanks a lot for the hint, Tomasz Wysocki!

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Warsaw, Poland – 21st October 2018 – #8

The 8th gig on tour turned out to be a fab one! The communication between Per & Co. and the audience was so far the best! People started queueing in front of the venue quite early and by 4-5 pm there were already more than 40 people waiting. The doors to the club opened only after 6 pm.

There was no support act at the show and Per was to start at 19:30. Before he could get up on stage, he had 2 interviews (1 for a Polish TV program, 1 for TDR) and a fan meet & greet. The latter one started at least half an hour later than planned and it was quite short, since there was not much time left after the interviews. A bit after 19:30 the gig started.


1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

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

Once the gang entered the stage you could hear the crowd was there to have much fun. They were loud already at the very beginning. The Look was a perfect opening song in Warsaw too. After it ended, the audience didn’t stop shouting ”Per Gessle, Per Gessle, Per Gessle!” Per thanked it and said he was at the same venue 9 years ago. He asked the crowd if anyone else was there too and many shouted yes. Then Magnus and Chris also said they were there too and Per replied it’s good he wasn’t there alone. When he mentioned he sneaked in a couple of solo songs in the setlist, someone in the audience started singing Gå & fiska! PG laughed and the guys in the band started to play the song. A very short version of it though. Per asked the crowd if they know the lyrics, please sing along, they love that.

After MATAH, Helena got a huge applause and the crowd shouted ”Helena, Helena, Helena!” She was so happy about it. Then the crowd went on cheering Malin-My, calling her Malinka. Haha.

CBB became a loud sing-along and ”Helena, Helena, Helena!” was also cheered at the end of the song. Helena formed a heart from her hands and showed it to the crowd and also thanked for their kindness in Polish.

DFS and SGNO made the crowd party. We were very much into these 2 songs. At the end of SGNO Ola and Chris came to the right side of the stage to go wild. Christoffer’s hat fell on to the stagefloor and Per came to pick it up while Andreas was putting his drumset on fire. After they finished SGNO, Per put the hat back on Professor Lundquist’s head. That was cool! Per was amazed by the crowd reaction and said it was getting hot up there on stage. Oh well, I can tell it was hot off stage too.

Before SMT Mr. G asked the crowd if they are happy: Yeaaah! and if life is good: Yeaaah! Then he said he had a good day in 1990. He woke up one morning and found a note on his piano saying ”Hello, you fool, I love you”, so he had to write a song. He didn’t want to, but he did. Then he had lunch, Swedish meatballs, then he was full and watched 3-4 Ingmar Bergman movies and then he had to write another song. SMT. Helena got her loud applause here too and the loud sing-along was present during this song as well.

IGYC had a longer intro this time, because Mr. G stood there at the fan to get some fresh breeze. The audience loved the song.

Before STT Per told the crowd he had this dream for a very long time to go to Nashville and work with his core people and with local musicians. After Malin-My’s violin intro, Per stepped to his mic and started to sing his part, but he was in a bit too early. At least it sounded so. Anyway, it turned out to be wonderful again. When Chris stepped in, he got a huge applause from the audience. As Per said, they record all shows, so we will for sure get this PG-Chris Lundquist duet on a live CD one day.

Then came the Swedish hillbilly music, IHAPIMH. Per said it was released on Son of A Plumber which came out in ”2005-6-7-8-9-10”. Haha. The audience almost didn’t stop clapping during the whole song and after the song shouted ”Gessle, Gessle, Gessle!” He said: ”Thank you, you’re very kind!”

Before IMHBL Per said when they started rehearsing, he presented the band a DAT tape. He wasn’t sure if anyone knew what a DAT tape is. There were 72 songs he wanted the band to learn to play. Magnus said, they didn’t have a DAT player. That’s the problem, but Per sorted it out, he copied them to cassette. So the next song is Magnus’s fave song of all time. Even better than The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. IMHBL sounded fab and the crowd’s loud sing-along was heartwarming on this one too. Helena thanked the audience in Polish.

OppNox and TBL were successful party songs tonight too. The ”Gessle, Gessle, Gessle!” shouting started again. Per went to Chris with his towel in his hands and by the help of it, he provided Chris with some fresh air. Helena did the same with Malin-My. Someone in the crowd shouted: ”We love you, you fool!” Per smiled and replied: ”I heard that before! I have a family.”

FLAF brought another ’90s stand-up comedy talk by Per and Magnus. Magnus said he doesn’t really remember the ’90s because he was born in 1991. Of course… Haha. After their discussion Per said: ”Can’t live with him, can’t kill him!” FLAF became a huge sing-along song as well. After she finished FLAF, Helena told the crowd in Polish that it was beautiful and thank you. Per asked if we were having a good time and he got a loud ”yeah” and a ”we love you, Per” as a reply.

Then they started DMS which – as usual – rocked big time. Would you be surprised if I said that Christoffer’s hand was bleeding again? Gosh, this guy is amazing! He wanted to throw his pick he played on this song to the crowd, but because of the blood it sticked to his hand so landed not so far from him. Jakob came and took Christoffer’s guitar and took care of his bleeding hand too.

The coolest band presentation happened in Warsaw so far. Each band member got his and her name shouted by the audience many times one after another. E.g. ”Ola, Ola, Ola!” They were happy about it. Per said Clarence produced most of the Roxette songs, all the hits, all the flops. When Per finished the introduction with Helena and the audience shouted ”Helena, Helena, Helena!”, someone shouted: ”And who are you?” LOL! Everyone laughed! Christoffer said: ”His name is Per Gessle.” The audience shouted ”Gessle, Gessle, Gessle!” Then he looked at his monitor where MNS probably wrote him how to say ”thank you” in Polish, but Per was uncertain. Magnus also encouraged him he should tell those words and Helena too. Then Per said he’s not sure how to translate ”thank you”. The crowd shouted ”dziekuje” and then Per read up the words from the monitor ”dziekuje bardzo” (”thank you very much”). MNS showed him thumbs up an the crowd cheered him. Well done, Mr. G! Haha. Per said it’s like being in X Factor. Magnus said ”You’ve got the talent!” Per said to the audience: ”Let’s see if you’ve got the talent!” And he started the intro to HDYD. Of couse, we’ve got the talent! We started singing the song and then partied hard to HDYD and Dangerous.

When the gang went off stage, some started singing Sommartider. Then the shouting and clapping didn’t stop and ”we want more” was heard in different languages, in Swedish too. The band came back for the first encore and played QOR and Joyride. There were quite some balloons and some of them are simply landed on stage. Joyride was fun, Magnus danced a lot during the song and actually, he was on a high during the whole gig.

When PG & the band came back for the 2nd encore, Per thanked for the wonderful evening. LTYH became another sing-along song, while TSHTSG became a clap-along closing song. BoJo put his boogie shoes on and he was dancing on the side of the stage during TSHTSG. It was too cool! After the band took a bow and another and another and another, the crowd started shouting ”Dziekujemy, dziekujemy, dziekujemy!” (thank you). And Per threw the last picks off his mic stand to the crowd.

Wonderful it was indeed! The whole show! As we heard, the gig was filmed. What a good choice to film this one! Let’s see if we get to see the result of it. A DVD would be perfect!

After the concert I bumped into 2 Swedish guys from Örebro and they said they were 6 and came to Warsaw for the weekend. The Per Gessle concert was a good excuse for them to organize this trip. They will probably attend a Swedish show too, because they liked what they saw and heard. Very cool!

Oh one more thing. Per had a photo session with Anders Roos in the old town of Warsaw in the afternoon. Let’s hope those pics were taken for a fat tour photo book. 😉

Per’s words after the concert:

OH MY GOSH!!!! Warsaw – we love you! What a gig! Outstanding crowd + a decent band = neverending love!
Had such a great time. Hope Anders Roos managed to get some pix from this extraordinary gig. Anyway, we got the recordings!!! See ya next time. Berlin tomorrow. No rest for the wicked! Love, P&Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

More photos:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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! 😉


Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
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
Joyride (intro: Maya The Bee theme song – same as on the June gig)

Listen To Your Heart
The Look