SUNDSVALL - In perfect weather in Sundsvall, Sweden, at 22.17 Per and Marie finally entered the stage for the long, long awaited real reunion of Roxette. The Daily Roxette was there too of course. Roxette started 13 minutes early (probably due to the midnight curfew) and played 20 songs for the 16,000 in the audience. German rockabilly act The Baseballs was the opening act. "I made a classical mistake this time" says Per "I thought it was so much fun I was exhausted after the first two songs."
The question on everyone's lips is "will Marie be able to handle this?" This reporter thinks that if nothing drastic happens, Roxette will once again travel the world in 2011.
Marie was doing terrific and she was beaming on stage looking stunned, happy and amazed. Everyone could see how she loved being back, and when the final chord of "Church of Your Heart" faded and the applause wouldn't stop, Marie had tears in her eyes.
Roxette this time around is Per and Marie, of course, with Pelle Alsing drums, Magnus Börjeson bass, Clarence (with a brand new fez) Öfwerman keys, Christoffer Lundquist guitar and newbie Malin Ekstrand backup vocals. They all performed greatly.
True, there were kinks, Marie forgetting lyrics, someone (Per?) playing in the wrong key on "Sleeping in My Car" and some other small things. But as Per says to TDR: "This isn't a tour so much as a handful of concerts flung together." Probably it will be different even tonight as Roxette plays Denmark. "I don't want to call it a test, but it is a test to see how much Marie can handle." says Per and continues "We'll have to evaluate this at a later point. Both of us want to continue doing Roxette stuff. There is a huge interest in the world. The album is halfway done, and when it is done it would be nice to take it on the road." Marie adds "It's good that one has performed as much as one has in one's life. It's in the body so to speak."
The only difference to the setlist this time was that "Things Will Never Be the Same" was cut. "Steppin' Stone" was performed in the honor of The Monkees this time, instead of Paul Revere like during Per's solo tour. Roxette is not happy with the tracklist, there will be changes according to both Per and Marie. They are open to more covers, but won't reveal which. Per also mentions that Roxette has loads of other hits they can play on a "real tour".
The concert opened with "Dressed for Success" which went well, but the band seemed a bit nervous. After that came "Sleeping in My Car" where someone played the guitar in the wrong key for a few bars. Then when "Nox" came along the whole band seemed to settle and then the hits just rolled out. The setlist was, as mentioned, basically identical to the secret concert in Halmstad. The audience appeared to like "It Must Have Been Love", "Listen to Your Heart" and "The Look" the most judging from the noise. This reporter's favorites were probably "The Look" and "Silver Blue". "I don't know about this Internet vote, there's a thousand, maybe more, fans that have voted and there always comes up weird song choices like 'The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye'" laughs Per. "We played 'Silver Blue' since that song won. We did it in a new arrangement that was nice." "The Look" had so much energy and even though the band "cheats" by playing the Roxette hits like they did on Per's solo tour it still is a freight train on the loose. Yes, the band plays Roxette's hits more or less like they did on Per's European solo tour last spring. And 15 of the 20 songs were on that setlist as well. "Silver Blue" has an absolutely fantastic new arrangement. I say put that out as a single, and do it now! The song is hauntingly beautiful in spite of Marie's lyrical problems.
Like in Halmstad, Marie went off stage when Per played "Stupid" and "Do You Want to Be My Baby?" and while this reporter absolutely loves those songs he, like many others, feels that there are Roxette songs that could do the job just as well as those solo songs like "June Afternoon" or "Crush on You".
And at the end of the concert it just takes off with hit after hit - "Fading Like a Flower", "How Do You Do!", "Dangerous" etc… "HDYD!" and "Dangerous" are interlaced brilliantly.
While the songs played are the basic variety; there are no longer endings, not much sing-along, or different versions, the audience gets a real treat.
I dare say: Roxette is back for real this time!
Dressed For Success
Sleeping In My Car
The Big L
Wish I Could Fly
She Doesn't Live Here Anymore
It Must Have Been Love
Do You Wanna Be My Baby?
Fading Like a Flower
How Do You Do!
Listen To Your Heart
(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
Church Of Your Heart
Other articles with the same topic
- Roxette live in Yekaterinburg: the set list (March 5, 2011)
- Samara was a smash (March 4, 2011)
- Roxette tour moves south to Samara, Russia (March 3, 2011)
- North America and Australia on the Roxette radar for later this year (March 2, 2011)
- Roxette live in Kazan: a promising start to the World Tour (March 1, 2011)