London Baby! – RoXXXette @ The O2.
LONDON - My Roxette History: In brief, it's my 4th ever Roxette concert despite being a fan since 1988. My Parents thought me to young to attend the Joyride or indeed Crash! Boom! Bang! World Tours when they hit the UK back in the early nineties. I don't think I ever forgave them for that. I've followed them since 1988 and have amassed a Roxette Collection to be proud of. My latest item being the rare French "Fading Like A Flower" CD Single with the Black Cover. Love it!
The weather was terrible. Overcast, miserable grey and occasional rain. So you could call it a typical British Summer. We arrived on Sunday so we could catch up with London-based friends and decided to take have a day of culture. We managed three museums on the Sunday – perfect considering the weather.
The Victoria & Albert, The Natural History and The Science Museum – all very different, but all great. I especially liked the Natural History Museum, as it had been a childhood dream of mine to see the Dinosaur Exhibition after watching the classic Disney Movie – “One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing”. If you haven’t seen it then I do recommend it, it’s the perfect Sunday afternoon movie.
On the day of the concert we had lunch at Vintage Salt on the rooftop of Selfridges – great food. Then slowly made our way to The London Eye to catch the Thames Clipper to The O2.
I wasn’t sure what to expect this time around after reading and viewing clips focusing on Marie’s health. We were lucky again to have front row seats and they didn’t disappoint. We missed Eskobar, but to be honest wasn’t really interested. We opted for more Cocktails instead!
By the time we took to our seats we only waited around 10 minutes and the house lights went off. My first sight of Marie was her being escorted to her seat. She looked OK to me, despite appearing a little frail and guarded in her movement. “Sleeping In My Car” punched through the arena with real gusto. Marie had the biggest smile and looked so thrilled to be there. My nerves settled as I watched in absolute adoration my childhood idols rock their way through song after song, hit after hit. It was truly thrilling.
We took a friend who wasn’t really a big Roxette fan, other than the predictable “It Must Have Been Love” from Pretty Woman. Having said that, she did enjoy the experience and had no idea what Marie had been through. She said she deserved a lot of respect – something I’ve said all along. She was quickly won over by Marie’s performance and knew a lot more songs than she thought.
It was great to hear “Crush On You” live for the first time. I wasn’t a massive fan of the song, but understand why it was chosen. It was bloody brilliant! Likewise, “The Heart Shaped Sea” and the haunting “Watercolours In The Rain / Paint” medley. Marie truly shone here. I did miss “Almost Unreal” and was surprised it wasn’t played during the encore as it was a big hit here in the UK.
Onto the hits-ville ending. I kept looking back at the Arena and remember feeling proud and amazed that Roxette managed to not only have a sell out at The O2, but that all these people were up on their feet singing their hearts out to not only the pop classics, but the lesser known songs too.
I enjoyed the XXX experience for sure, but do have to say I preferred my first ever Roxette show back on the Charm School outing at Wembley, but that’s certainly not saying this show wasn’t as good. In fact, the stage was great, the Arena was huge and it was all magical. I managed to catch two plectrums that have quickly been added to my Roxette Collection. That reminds me, I should really blow up my Roxette Joyride Ball too from the Charm School Tour!
Per, Marie and co. – all at the height of their powers. Pure entertainment and 100 % live as it should be. I just hope they can continue with Roxette a little bit longer because I’m greedy like that.