Closing time, closing time, thank you very much for coming…
Roxette officially retire from touring
Roxette management have officially confirmed that the band will not only cancel their live 2016 Summer shows, but as a result of doctor’s orders, Marie Fredriksson has been advised to stop touring. But, in her trademark positive spirit, Marie had the following to say in response to the major news “It’s been an amazing 30 years! I feel nothing but joy and happiness when I look back on the Roxette world tours. All our shows and memories over the years will forever be a big part of my life. I’m particularly proud and grateful for coming back in 2009 after my severe illness and to have been able to take Roxette around the globe a couple of more times. Sadly, now my touring days are over and I want to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful fans that has followed us on our long and winding journey…”
Whilst this confirmation will be hard for many to come to terms with, rather than lament and feel sad, this is perhaps the best time of all to truly learn the valuable lessons that Marie has imparted to her many fans all over the world and that lesson is to celebrate life now and to be truly grateful for what we have.
Firstly, let’s be very clear – Marie is alive – she ain’t going anywhere. Secondly – in case the deluge of butterflies all over this site and social media wasn’t enough of a clue – Roxette have a brand new album coming out in June, aptly titled Good Karma. Thirdly – if the vocal performance of Marie on the lead single “It Just Happens” is anything to go by – then we have quite a few more “Marie memories” waiting for us in the wings! So let’s not dwell too much on what we’re missing out, but more on what we’re about to gain.
Some singers stop singing live because they don’t have the vocal chops anymore. Some singers disappear off stage because of health issues brought on by a life of drug abuse. Some bands stop playing because they hate each other. And most commonly, some bands fade from the live scene because people just stop buying the tickets. With regards to Marie Fredriksson and Roxette, none of the aforementioned issues apply – together we can all take great comfort from that. As cruel as this journey has been for Marie, there is some bizarre positivity in the way that this chapter has come to an end – none of this was her doing, which means that she persisted through what life gave her – can we all honestly say we would be as strong as her? If not, then maybe now is the time to re-think how we go about our day to day lives.
The Press Release mentions that Roxette have performed 557 shows throughout their 30 year career – an impressive feat but what really matters are the memories we have from these shows. So why not use this time to celebrate some of our highlights from Roxette on the road.
Stevo – For me, my favourite shows are not only the ones where Marie is belting out the big notes and owning the stage like a rock diva, but those that encompass the true magical spirit of being on the road following this fantastic rock band from show to show. Sydney 2015 at the Qantas Credit Union Arena was something a little bit crazy. International fans were in attendance and all marveled at the intensity of the gig and the whole crowd reaction, there was something wild about that gig! The Sydney Opera House gig springs to mind due to the iconic nature of the show but some of Marie’s vocal performances during the second Melbourne 2012 show was vintage 1991-style stuff.
Paul – It’s of course sad to close this chapter on Roxette’s incredible live career but also, there is also a sense of relief to know that Marie doesn’t have to struggle anymore. Logistically, the travel schedule must be hard on anyone of any age regardless of health, so for Marie to have persisted on as she did simply shines a light on her true warrior spirit. For me, the shows in
Thomas – So many shows, such little time. Although we knew this day was coming, it takes some time to get used to and to accept but this idea of celebrating over 500 incredible shows certainly helps with this breaking news. I’ve had the good fortune to not only attend many shows as a fan but also as a photographer and even snuck backstage to annoy the guys on a few occassions and the stand outs for me would have to be the 1993 MTV Unplugged Session, their 1992 Stockholm show and their 2012 New York City gig at the Beacon Theatre.
Visa – The first show that springs to mind for me is in actual fact my very first Roxette show ever – Helsinki 1994 as part of their rocking “Crash! Boom! Bang” Tour. What’s that old saying… you never forget your first time! I certainly didn’t, along with the 10,000 other fans there that night!
Naturally, Team TDR all felt the need to share their thoughts but when it comes to seeing Roxette live, very few fans around the world can compare with the sheer volume of live shows consumed by one passionate and dedicated fan – Sandra Knospe from Germany. This guitar pic collecting die-hard is in a league of her own when it comes to supporting the band live and it just felt like this article would not be complete without a few words from this front-row jumping joyrider.
Sandra – “…When the news showed up on my mobile today I somehow wasn’t too surprised but, of course, emotions were on overload. The touring was a big part of my life and all those concerts always gave me so much. No matter when or where. Every gig was special in its own way. The feeling of travelling around the world, seeing them play everywhere and making people happy all over the globe is something you can easily get addicted to. And I am thankful, that I could be part of this as long as it lasted. And as sad as it might be at the moment, the memories can’t be taken away. So thank you, Roxette, for being there for us, for making our lives more colourful and giving us so many great gigs and experiences. All the best to each and everyone, Marie, Per, the band, the crew, the management, simply everyone who made it happen. It will be hard not to see all of you guys again. Maybe more, than the loss of the concerts itself, since it felt like being part of a big loving family which now suddenly is no more. But it’s over when it’s over. And there is nothing we can do about it. But there is one thing that gives me a warm feeling and makes me smile even now, and that’s the fact that all of you and all of the memories, I will carry in my heart forever…”
And with that, just one, albeit a very important factor, of Roxette’s career comes to an end. But did anyone truly expect the band to return after the life-changing drama of 2002? Even Per had given up on the prospect of a Roxette comeback! Little did he know that the subsequent tours would, in some territories, out sell the records they set in their early 90s heyday. As always, the band’s expectations were little when Marie returned in 2009 and just like we’ve seen many times from this “small town” band – the results blew away all exceptions, you might say, it just happens.
Roxette had reached their full stop in 2002 – the fact that Marie, the mother of two and wife of Micke Boylos, survived cancer and came through the other side is a true miracle. That in itself is the happy ending. But what we selfishly got after that? Well that was an insane bonus that we collectively, as the Roxette community, can never truly express how grateful we are for what we experienced together as one strong Roxette-loving unit post 2009. Seeing Marie in her sparking blue suit at the 2009 Night of the Proms was enough to bring a tear to the eye to the true believers, the miracle had come full circle, what we got was unimaginable – so folks, don’t shed a tear, don’t feel anything other than blessed – instead, have a drink and celebrate this crazy story, you wouldn’t believe it if someone told you. Few people in life get the second chance that Marie got and as a result of her “amazonian” spirit, we all got to go along for the joyride of our lives to say goodbye to this amazing live band from the 2011/12 Tour to the recent XXX shows. The priceless memories we’ve all accumulated throughout the years on the road, the magic friends made – that’s the true joyride of being a Roxette fan and for that, all we can collectively say is thank you!
Closing time, closing time, ladies and gentlemen – thank you very much for coming, make your way out through the exits.