Gessle ready for the road

STOCKHOLM – According to today’s Aftonbladet, Per Gessle is pepped up for the sold out tour premiere in Halmstad tonight. Pepped up, but nervous. “Before every gig I’m really nervous, but in a positive way,” Per says to Aftonbladet, during a break in rehearsals.

  There’s a “Mazarin” hysteria in Sweden right now, the album is closing in on 170,000 copies sold – tripple platinum soon. “People are touched in a way I never could have imagined,” says Per. People cry, people write letters, people hug him in the streets.

  One of Per’s biggest interests is F1, and that is very suitable, the last few months have been fast like an explosion. Even a scarred veteran like Per has problems to grasp it. “It’s been totally unbelievable.”

  The tour premiere has been sold out for a month, tonight Per plays before 12,000 people, including friends, families, VIP and sponsors. “It’s gonna be a blast! Here come all the friends all at once,” Per says with a smile.

His album “Mazarin” is still #1 in Sweden, and the single “Här kommer alla känslorna” is #1 since three weeks now. And besides tonight, the concerts in Helsingborg and Gothenburg are sold out.

  They surely won’t be the last.

“It feels like everyone likes this, like everyone wants to see it. It’s not like I’m going uphill, really,” Per Gessle says.

  After all the success he’s had with Gyllene Tider and Roxette Per is used to the fans’ reactions.

  He thought.

  Then came “Mazarin”…

  “This time people are touched in a way I’ve never experienced before. People write letters, people cry, people act weird downtown. Hug me. I went through this when I was 22, but I’m an old man now,” Per Gessle says and laughs.

  The foundation of the show will be songs from “Mazarin”. But quite some other material is to be expected. “Or course I will play some popular classics, so people will be happy. We will play a nice collection of Gyllene Tider songs, among other things. The solo and Gyllene Tider songs we will play fit within the “Mazarin” ideal. Per reveals those songs that are from his previous albums and the Gyllene material have been rearranged to fit into the “Mazarin formula”. “How fun would it be to be a Gyllene Tider cover band?” Per states. “But of course, it would be damned hard for me to go on a summertour in Sweden and not play ‘Sommartider’, so of course we will play that!” he continues.

  The motto for Per and band is “relaxed”, “airy” and “uncomplicated”. Per says with a smile: “We want room to skip a song, play a song twice or start over if it doesn’t sound good the first time.” The rumor about Marie Fredriksson joining Per on stage is said to be incorrect. However, other – for now, secret – guests are to be expected.

  This last week he and the band “Mazarinerna” have rehearsed in a large studio in northern Stockholm, every day. The tour is on his mind constantly. “The family couldn’t take it, they moved down to Halmstad saying I was totally asocial,” Per laughs. The other night he went up at 4 AM and hooked up his guitar. “I’m all into this now. There’s so much to learn by heart, the lyrics, the flow of the show. But it feels damn great.”

  Per hooks up the guitar again, time to continue rehearsing. But now the wait is over.

  Summer begins tonight.

This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

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July 29th, 2003

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