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!
The 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.
But 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!
01. Sleeping in My Car
02. The Big L
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
16. Almost Unreal
17. Listen To Your Heart
18. The Look
Next stop: Rochford Wines at The Yarra Valley – Saturday 21st of February