· Guests Online: 4
· Members Online: 0
· Total Members: 23,321
· Newest Member: Verecadia
Words by Shane Pinnegar | Images by Mark Diggins
Say what you will about Roxette’s brand of smooth, radio friendly pop rock – but it sure SELLS, even in this troubling financial climate.
Challenge Stadium is bursting at the seams for tonight’s show, the first of a 2 night stop in our fair city for the Swedish hit makers.
Waist bands may be tighter and hair far more sensible throughout the crowd than in the band’s heyday, when each successive album brought more and more chart topping hits to radio, but the spirit of what they do so well has not dimmed at all.
Earlier, 1927 teased the crowd with a strong set of their old tunes, culminating in a nostalgic and spirited rendition of their biggie – ‘If I Could’ - sounding much like they did in their youth.
Despite a raucous response from the crowd, there was never any doubt who they were here to see, and when Per Gessle and Marie Fredricksson led Roxette onto the darkened stage for a rousing ‘Dressed For Success’, the atmosphere was electric.
Singer/guitarist Gessle is trim, stylish and unflaggingly energetic, whilst second guitarist Christoffer Lundquist bounces around like an energiser bunny, dishing out tasty solos and some far-meatier-than-on-the-records riffing.
Singer Fredricksson remained mostly centre stage between these two hyper guitarists, and despite appearing somewhat frail and not moving much throughout the whole concert (she is now blind in one eye following a brain tumour in the early 2000’s), proves her voice remains as strong and clear as ever, especially when boosted by backing singer Dea Norberg.
What follows is a pop rock masterclass showing both sides of the second most popular Swedish musical export ever, behind ABBA: there are the irrepressibly bouncy pop rock classics (‘Sleeping In My Car’, ‘Shes Got Nothing On (But The Radio)’, ‘7Twenty7’ - the band having some fun with duelling guitar and keyboard solos and playing up some infectious (albeit well choreographed) hijinks, ‘Dangerous’, ‘Joyride’ etc) and the heartfelt ballads (‘Wish I Could Fly’, ‘Perfect Day’ – touchingly performed by Fredricksson accompanied only by a mournful piano and lap steel guitar, ‘It Must Have Been Love’ – started acoustic then given over to the crowd to sing an entire chorus & verse before being taken up by the full band), all topped off with a minimalist flat packed stage set that would make Ikea proud, and a deceptively simple, classy & striking lightshow.
Dressed For Success
Spending My Time
Listen To Your Heart