When the news started spreading in May 2014 that Roxette would tour Australia and New Zealand, all Kiwi fans must have been over the moon. They have been waiting for long since the last time Rox would have performed there in February 2012. Per fell ill on his flight from Stockholm and they had to cancel the show. Earlier, Roxette visited New Zealand for a promotional visit at the end of the 80’s, but never performed there. Roxette kept their promise to come back and Per now luckily avoided eating strange stuff on board or maybe it was his airline PJs that kept him healthy this time.
Before the show, fans could check the merch stand as usual. Besides the new XXX water bottle you’ll find an XXX baseball cap and the Tour Program as new stuff. The tour program looks extremely hot with fab pics inside. The scarf they have now looks like it’s made of a different type of textile than what we could get in 2014.
Before the gig, the audience could see a sign that said: ”Tonight’s concert (and possibly audience) is being filmed at the request of the artist. Enjoy the show!” Maybe it’s for a new project or just to see how the new stage design works with the audience or any other reason. I hope we’ll get to know it one day and most importantly, see at least a part of that recording.
Vector Arena was fully packed, everyone was sitting impatiently while waiting for Roxette. There was a support act, Ekko Park starting at 7.30 pm. Roxette was set to hit the stage at 8.30 pm, but they entered with appr. 20 minutes delay. During the support act and the beginning of the show the background elements of the new stage design were still “rolled up”, but already during the first song the audience got to see the new stuff in action. There were cool lighting effects and lyrics appeared on the background every now and then, as well as the band’s name. It was quite colorful and looked stylish and fresh. Stunning like Pelle’s beard, to quote PG. 😉
We thought New Zealand can be warm enough for Per to leave his glam rock jacket behind, but he kept it for the first 3 songs. Marie kept the tradition of being barefoot. Both of them and the band were in great mood and they were very energetic. There were some light mistakes here and there in the lyrics, but who cares when you get the crowd on their feet and make them sing along and stand until the end of the show. Marie was sitting during 2 ballads, The Heart Shaped Sea and Perfect Day, but then she got up again and rocked on. The crowd went nuts at many songs and Roxette was bringing down the house in Auckland.
To many Roxers’ big surprise, there were fab changes in the setlist. However, one can miss Real Sugar and Fading Like A Flower, 3 of the songs that many fans wished for appeared on the setlist. First of all, Crush On You! Sounded awesome live again after so many years! You can check it in this video. Then Almost Unreal was performed as well. These 2 songs were already cool additions, but they kept something more for the extras. From Watercolours In The Rain when it’s only Marie and Dea on stage there was a transition into Paint. What a wonderful version it was! Even if it wasn’t the complete song, it’s just amazing they added it. Check it out here! Awesomeness is the word! We know it’s not too easy to have a new setlist too often, so it’s much appreciated that there are these extra marvellous changes. So huge thanks for listening to what hardcore Roxers asked or voted for on the XXX Tour poll (already 4 songs out of the top 10 or album top 3 have been played since we run the poll, including Real Sugar!)
Per got a new set of guitar picks for the New Zealand – Australia leg of the tour. And he used them, making many in the crowd happy to catch them. The phrases “THROW THIS AT CHRIS” and “WHERE AIR PER? / PER AIR HAIR!” are simply hilarious.
AUCKLAND UPDATE: Yeah! Super gig tonite in front of around 6000 wonderful NZ ppl!!! First time for us here, we felt very welcome!!! Thanks all of you who attended the show. New stage production (which made us all slightly nervous from time to time), a couple of new tracks in the set list and and brand new hardcore guitar pix couldn’t stop this Saturday from being a winner!! Vids to follow tomorrow when I’m awake. Cheers everyone… Love from P&Co
Next gig is on Tuesday (10th February) in Brisbane, Australia.
Articles and photos
PG interview via phone on TV4 (in Swedish)
Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
The Heart Shaped Sea
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Listen To Your Heart
Queen of Rain
Thanx a lot for your cooperation, Celestte Williams and Alexis Schettler! Huge thanx for the extra videos, Celestte!