Hearts up, baby, hearts up: A heart shaped Warszaw(a)
Roxette in Warsaw is always something special but this time Polish fans made sure this evening will be remembered by the band, too.
The concert in Warsaw was a unique event during the current tour. What made it so special to both the band and their fans? It was mostly thanks to a campaign named “Polish hearts for Roxette”, initiated by Malgorzata Puterman who is in charge of the Facebook group “Roxforum reaaktywacja”. Her enormous motivation and dedication complemented by strong support by affiliate websites led to a gained attention by Polish media.
The main idea of “Polish hearts for Roxette” was to show grattitude and great respect for Marie and her return onto the stage after the long break caused by the very serious illness she had to go through. As we all know the prognoses were rather bad so it’s a miracle she is still among us. It’s thanks to Marie’s tremendous strength, love for life, music and the huge support by family, friends and fans from all over the world that Marie has found the power to fight the disease. In the documentary “It All Begins Where It Ends” (to be found on Roxette’s latest live BluRay) Marie mentioned that a big help for her rehabilitation was the huge support by all the fans, particularily those who had struggled of serious health problems themselves so that they could give hope to each other. The force was so strong that only a few years after the long rehabiliation Marie could return onto the stage. It certainly was Marie’s love for her fans that although she still suffers from the long term effects of her illness she is still with us to delight us with her voice and a strong personality.
This reporter, working for Polish blog RoxettePL.com joined forces with TDR’s Kai in following the events this evening shall reveal. So we arrived at Torwar, the concert venue, 4 hours prior to the concert to find out more about the campaign. We immediately noticed lots of people holding paper hearts in their hands as well as Gosia (Malgorzata) standing there with a megaphone informing newly arriving concertgoers of the idea. Bustling, tired, fully committed to the event, Gosia along with other fans had cut out lots of paper hearts since the morning and gave them away to everyone waiting in the lines in front of the building. We managed to catch her for a while to do a short interview with her which will hopefully be made available in a short while. Gosia told us what her inspiration was and what the production process looked like. She was very pleased with how her idea was received by the people but found it a little sad that there were not enough friends there to help her giving away the hearts to the many thousand concertgoers making this job a very tough one. However her determination was admirable and thanks to her and her friends, during the concert we then could see the results of her efforts.
Those who had not been aware of the campaign before had the chance to have themselves informed on site. Gosia’a friends organised a meeting point in front of the early entrance gate where not only information was given but also paperboard hearts. Most of the people willingly joined the project. Gosia told us that until 3 hours prior to the concert at least 3.000 hearts had been handed over. How many it were in the end we don’t know but from what we saw during the concert it were a lot.
Shortly before the band hit the stage, Torwar got filled to the brim. Although the precise number of people attending this concert is still unknown to me, visually it seemed to exceed the number from 2011 when Roxette held their first concert here. In the front row we could easily recognize well-known faces of those most dedicated fans who had waited in front of the building since the very early morning hours. From the railing hung white and red banners and flags with greetings to the band both in Polish and Swedish. Many fans also brought with them all kinds of gadgets especially made for this occasion, some of them took many months to get prepared for instance those by Arkadiusz Rykaczewski who has done a lot of professional projects which attracted the attention of many fans.
During the concert the band adhered strictly to he usual playlist, so this time there were no surprises either. The band was in a great shape, full of energy. Exactly the same can be said about the audience which greeted their idols very warmly in spite of the rainy weather outside. This concert was one of the best ones I have attended so far. The “Polish hearts for Roxette” project added a very special atmosphere to this. The vast majority of the audience was well prepared so as told before they held up their paper hearts during “Heart Shaped Sea”. White hearts were to be shown on the galleries, red hearts in the standing area. Because it remained dark in the audience during the song the hearts were hard to see though. However it looked much better during the second song chosen for this action, “Listen To Your Heart”. A beautiful sea of hearts flooded the entire hall. Both the band and the audience on the galleries could enjoy the amazing view best. Those in the first row could testify that Marie wiped her tears when she saw this. Isn’t this the moment when every fan’s heart gets soft and the project reached its aim? This is an outstanding gesture by the Polish fans, you have to admit.
From the bottom of our heart I would like to say Thank you to the creator of the project and also to everyone having supported it. Thanks to you I firmly believe that this gesture will be remember by Marie as well as the band as the most emotional moment in Poland.
Considering this as well as the concert as a whole I must admit it was a very beautiful experience, all songs sounded really good. Christoffer Lundquist had tradionally prepared a musical surprise before “Joyride” and played the theme of “Maya the Honeybee”, well-known to the children born in Poland, Czech Republic or Germany in the 1970s and 1980s. The song was very warmly welcome by the audience who sang along flawlessly.
To sum up: It was a really great show, the band gave everything and showed that Roxette still roxxx. In addition to a really fantastic performance we could also hear a funny dialogue between Per and Magnus. We also could notice that Per perfected his Polish language skills, he learned a new word: “Dzieki” (Thanks) which he used several times between the songs.
I may add that I’m proud to be a Pole in times like during the concert where everyone mobilised themselves in such a great way to thank Marie for being with us and for the fact that she never gives up. She is an inspiration and role-model. She gave us an example that one should not give up and you should neither give up your interests nor what gives you energy for life. Thank you Marie, thank you Roxette!!!!!