SAN FRANCISCO - It is pretty safe to say that a return for Roxette to the U.S. stage is a very long time overdue. Having broken the American market – something which proves extremely difficult for foreign acts to achieve – back in the late '80s with an incredible four number one singles which sit proudly emblazoned within the band's impressive portfolio, Roxette has swiftly made its way back into the successful mainstream arena once again. Since the band's comeback in 2009 the duo has been hitting all the right notes as they grace some of the world's most established and recognized venues as part of their current extended tour.
Being a fan of Roxette has been a very enriching component of the past 26 years of my life. Coming from small town Christchurch, New Zealand, I had long given up hope of ever seeing my idols. Growing up in a city that could not be further from the surroundings of the band's Swedish homeland, the prospect of seeing the iconic duo perform seemed fleeting particularly after the news of Marie Fredriksson's near fatal health scare.
But after relocating to London in 2003, that dream did seem a bit more realistic. As 2009 came around it was transformed into reality as I found myself on my way to see the band at three concerts in Antwerp, Belgium as they reunited for the European touring concert series, Night of the Proms. This proved to be a taste of what was to come and before I knew it the band had released tickets for 6 concerts throughout Europe. With a show confirmed in Per's hometown of Halmstad, I was on my way to see my first full length Roxette concert in August 2010. It was a mind-blowing performance in a symbolic location. Since that concert I have seen a number of Roxette performances as part of the current world tour including their sold out Wembley Arena show in London where, thanks to winning a Daily Roxette contest, I got to meet the band. I also followed the band to Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and Dublin earlier this year and had the opportunity, because of my work as a journalist, to interview the band twice.
Now living in the sunny surroundings of San Diego, I found luck on my side once again. A trip to San Francisco was in the cards as Roxette approaches the end of a tour that has taken them around the world twice, seen them perform to over 1.5 million fans and reignite the pop flame once again for a new generation. While the rest of the world has been basking in the fun of Roxette's most recent journey into comeback territory it was always a fan and band expectation that they would finally make a return to the U.S. at some point. I was very excited to be on my way to see the band perform in the somewhat ostentatious surroundings of Nob Hill's Masonic Centre in the flamboyant city of San Francisco. The band was set to play to an almost sold out crowd of eager fans as the world tour draws to a close.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah..."
Opening with the infectious, hook-laden pop nugget "Dressed For Success," the duo was in top form showcasing their energy and charisma right from the opening guitar riff. Fredriksson's vocals whipped through the number with a confidence that showcased a singer truly back on top. Further upbeat gems followed in the form of the rock hit "Sleeping In My Car" and the flowing "The Big L" providing an energetic injection to the beginning to the set.