Game. Set. Match: Marie steals Melbourne show!

MELBOURNE – Rod Laver Arena. The famous Tennis venue that crowns champions, tonight celebrated a legend!

You’d be forgiven for thinking the success of Roxette’s triumphant 2012 Australian Tour and its 100,000 tickets sold was nothing more than a nostalgic trip back to the 90s. A novelty event where casual radio listeners bought a ticket for a feel good trip down memory lane – a one off type of that that could never be matched three years later with the XXX Tour. How times have changed.

Here we are standing inside the heart of Australian’s prestigious Tennis precinct; the famed Rod Laver Arena – and along with 10,000 other screaming fans, this venue had been turned into a thumping house of rock.

Roxette in Melbourne was simply sublime – a triumph! But the real star of tonight’s show was Marie Fredriksson!

The chair! Marie sitting on a chair is a recent change to the concerts and I for one was initially reserved about the idea. I didn’t like the notion of seeing Marie sitting during a rock concert – but I am now a convert! The chair must stay! The result of Marie sitting? An incredible vocal performance. A confident Marie. Marie was ad-libbing again. Marie was improvising again. Marie was giggling at Per’s silly jokes about “It Must Have Been Love” paying her rent for a few years. Marie was truly the star tonight. Marie wasn’t just good “considering”, Marie was bloody good and her singing tonight could go up against any performance from 2012… or even 2001! YouTube clips don’t do her justice. Snippets on Roxette’s Facebook don’t cut it. You need to be there to feel her energy and her now confident vibe. I had my reservations about the chair – but time to eat humble pie. It’s usually reserved for Per to make the big call of “Marie in top shape” – but to hell with it, I’ll call it, Marie was in top shape!

IMG_9378The crowd was standing for most of the show – a huge effort for a lot of Aussie audiences. Even the lesser known hits for general fans worked a treat! Call me biased (I am) but “Crush On You” is a real highlight – and even “She’s Got Nothing On” got the crowd pumped up before the big roller-coaster of hits swung its way through toward the back end of the show.

Could Dea and Marie’s duet of “Watercolours in the Rain” get any better? Yes! “Paint”. What a stroke (pardon the artistic pun) of genius! Marie simply delivers on this one. The big power notes might not always be there in every song, but the vulnerability and tone in her voice gives you goosebumps. And the reason we can experience goosebumps again is because the “chair” is there. No more having to concentrate on her balance to the detriment of the singing. Let her sit and let this woman sing damnit!

Marie singing “Almost Unreal” makes no sense. She hasn’t performed the song live since 1995. Marie is apparently not a fan of the song. So let me ask this – how does she not only remember ALL the lyrics – but how can she deliver it with SUCH emotion? Incredible. Another highlight.

IMG_9383But the best was saved for (second) last. The BIG “Listen To Your Heart” moment. That nervous moment where all eyes turn to Marie before she hits “that” note – and boy oh boy, it was 1991 all over again! She nailed it!

“The Look” ended the show on a rocking high, Per stomped, strummed his guitar and bounced his way to a sensational finale and he seemed genuinely chuffed with the wild crowd and the band seemed to have a great night.

In summary? Here’s a thought. The heady days of “topping the charts” are gone for now as a new generation of artists have risen through the ranks to dominate radio airplay. But when it comes to selling out arenas around the world and competing with the “big boys” of the live act trade, Roxette have definitely made their mark and clearly earned their position among that elite group. Much like Sting, The Rolling Stones or Fleetwood Mac, most people don’t buy their new stuff, but they all pay to see them live. Roxette are now firmly part of the touring legends! This is a back catalog most artists would kill for and Roxette happily shared their “gallery” of hits with this hungry Melbourne audience!

The Setlist:

01. Sleeping in My Car
02. The Big L
03. Stars
04. Spending My Time
05. Crash! Boom! Bang!
06. Crush On You
07. She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio)
08. The Heart Shaped Sea
09. Watercolours in the Rain/Paint
10. Fading Like A Flower
11. How Do You Do!
12. It Must Have Been Love
13. Dressed For Success
14. Dangerous
15. Joyride
16. Almost Unreal
17. Listen To Your Heart
18. The Look


Next stop: Rochford Wines at The Yarra Valley – Saturday 21st of February

  ★ The author:

  ★ Publishing date:

February 20th, 2015

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This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:

TDR:Live, TDR:Roxette.

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  • Kathie Winn

    Enjoyed reading your review Stevo thanks! The more I read about how brilliant Roxette are live the more I like to read and the more thankful I am for the concert I have been to so far and the concerts still to attend. Sounds like you had a wonderful night.

  • Daniela

    Great review! I think everyone should understand that it is currently better for Marie if she can sit during the show. I don’t think that it makes a big difference for the audience if she is standing or sitting.
    Talking about the Australian Open that I have watched on TV for 25 years now, I’d really like to know if Per is still playing tennis! The last and only tennis picture of him I’ve ever seen was the one with him and his son together with Björn Borg which was already a couple of years ago… Last week, I looked through my old Roxette Magazine from 1991 in which he indicated it as one of his hobbies.

  • Adam

    What did Christoffer play before Joyride? In Adelaide he played Skippy The Bush Kangaroo. Perth got Walling Matilda and Brisbane got C’mon Aussie C’mon.

    • Wully

      He played waltzing Matilda

  • Antonio Epifania

    Great article, well said. Marie is amazing!

  • RobS

    Great review, and my sentiments exactly. I had a great time and from what I could tell everyone else in the arena did as well. As for Marie sitting, if it works for her then that’s what she should do. She sounded great. As you said, Almost Unreal was quite an amazing song.

  • joyrider

    Spot on, Stevo: it was sublime! I was one of the standers (fifth row!) and watching Marie courageously power through the hit list with such grace and passion was an absolute privilege. I just wanted to give her a bearhug by the end. Per and the rest, wow! what energy! Gives us budding middle agers hope. A fantastic show by consummate and supremely talented professionals, with a great positive vibe reciprocated by the crowd.

  • Miroos

    Please, play one song from Room Service!!! I need it

  • Frederik

    I am puzzled by all these positive reviews. Yes, Marie is a hero. This
    is very sweet and true for the rox fans. I understand what all the
    reporters at TDR and Roxetteblog feel. But for the casual fan or someone
    whose world does not revolve around Roxette this might not be the case.
    I love to hear Marie sing live and to see her smile when the fans give
    her a standing ovation. But let me play the devil’s advocate for a
    second. I went to a few roxette shows with several people who are not
    rox fans and they thought the shows were terrible. I have seen a few
    vids from NZ and AU and they are pretty bad as well. For me is OK, but
    for other people who simply don`t love Marie as we do it can be an
    unacceptable performance from one of the top acts in the world. I can
    imagine if I paid a ticket to see, let’s say, Rihanna (not a fan at all
    but I know a few songs) and she sang the way Marie sings live nowadays
    I’d be pissed off big time because I would expect a superb performance.
    So I guess the same thing is happening to a lot of people going to the
    shows. There has been a lot of controversy in the past days regarding
    the “the other dude incident” (Can you blame him? Outside the rox world
    nobody knows Per. Roxette is referred as “the blonde chick”) and people
    being harsh about Marie’s vocal performance not knowing that she had a
    brain tumor. The truth is that the memories that the casual audience may
    have of Roxette live are simply better than the reality Roxette is
    today. On a personal note, I just hope they continue to make music and
    tour the world for many many years 🙂 but we can`t simply expect the
    whole world to agree with us.

    • Daniela

      Well, nobody is forced to come! Nowadays people have so many opportunities to inform themselves. They can see the stars’ live performances on YouTube before they buy their tickets, and even Per is posting a lot of videos from the concerts on the Roxette Facebook page so that afterwards the people cannot blame anybody if the Roxette concerts aren’t good enough for them anymore. I have been to concerts from some other artists as well, but somehow most of them cannot make me as happy as Roxette do, even if the quality might be better. So it is not just about perfectionism, there must be something else in them or their music which makes us coming back so many times! And even a non-Roxette-fan who is a tiny little bit interested in music should know that Roxette is consisting of two people, Marie and Per, otherwise this is a huge gap in his education! Over the years they have visited so many TV and radio stations all over the world saying “Hello, this is Marie, and this is Per, and we are Roxette”, so that everybody on this planet should be aware about this.
      I also hope that they keep on making music and going on tour for a very long time!

    • RobS

      I’ve sort of wondered the same, it’s one thing to say that as fans we’re slightly biased, but at the same time every review that i’ve read except one has been very favourable toward the shows. They always mention Marie’s struggle over the years etc, Most point out that Marie’s vocal can’t extend to the degree that it did years ago, but not one has said that it was a bad show. Whether it’s out of respect or nostalgia, who knows. While it might not be what people expect if they aren’t aware most people still seem to have a great time at the shows. I know I heard a number of people around me say just that.

      I just read a review of The Veronica’s show – they used some pre-recorded vocals and apparently some miming(!) and one of the girls struggled a little. Considering they’re 30yrs younger than Marie, I wouldn’t be happy with that as a live performance. For anyone expecting Marie to sing like she did on LookSharp/Joyride – well they’re just delusional. If any casual concert goer sees Marie perform WITR and says she can’t sing then i’d be referring them to an ear specialist.

    • Antonio Epifania

      I like to think I’m pretty honest when it comes to Marie’s performances and in Auckland and Brisbane she was not good. Plain and simple. I was not in the crowd for those shows so I can only say this based on YouTube videos which might also be a little unfair. I was however front row for Rod Laver and Marie was MUCH better, solid in my books and I’m a harsh critic. In Yarra Valley she went up another gear! Much more confidence in her voice and night and day compared to say Brisbane. And I’m sorry but the overwhelming feeling after these shows by “casual” fans was Roxette put on a brilliant performance! Was it perfect? No! Was Marie faultless? No! But it’s a live rock show and she sings 100% live. Given all that and all she’s endured singing from a chair unless you were dragged along and really hardly care for Roxette only then would you think it was terrible! Sometimes yes they are average and Marie has shitty nights but if they were as terrible as you make out and that most people go to the shows thinking they’re shit well they wouldn’t be having such a successful Australian tour 3 years after the last tour here. Think about that.

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