Marie sings herself back into the hearts of German fans
HAMBURG - The first thing this reporter notices, when I arrive at the Color Line Arena in Hamburg the day before the Bravo gala on Saturday, is a group of Tokio Hotel fans.
"For whom did you come?” asks one of the girls. She isn’t much older than 15 and fixes her makeup every three minutes. "Roxette,” I say and her reply is clear: “Who?”
It continues like that the whole day, as fans hope to for a chance to see the various groups arrive for soundcheck and technical rehearsals. Nobody's there for Roxette.
It's the same thing on Saturday. About four hours before the show starts, the Tokio Hotel fans are screaming their lungs out and waiting for their heros to appear on the red carpet. At first I too am waiting behind a barrier with my friends before planning to enter the arena through the press entrance. There's no possibility to actually see the red carpet, but we do see the black Bravo cars labeled "Cars for Stars." The crowd of people outside – more than 75% are younger than 16 – are simply hysterical, even though hardly anyone can see anything happening on the red carpet. You couldn’t even see that there's somebody in a car. But luck is with us this time. My friends do see Marie before the show starts.
At about 5:45 pm Roxette step onto the red carpet. Per, Marie and the band… far away from us. But for Marie, it was only to make her entrance, as only ten minutes later she is sitting in a small car, driving back to the hotel again with manager Marie Dimberg at her side (only to drive back to the venue again two hours later). It’s luck because they need to stop right behind a big barricade to get on the street. Marie sees one of the posters my friend had made, which greets her with the words “Welcome back Marie”. She looks at it for quite a long time, smiles and then she's gone.
At 8:45 pm the show has already been going for about two hours. In the press area, everybody's talking about Marie… not Tokio Hotel. It's obvious that in the eyes of the press, she is THE star of the evening, and it's a foretaste of what one of the biggest German Sunday newspapers, Bild am Sonntag, will be writing the next day about her: "Roxette star sings herself back into [people's] hearts."
Working meticulously, the photographers sort through the pictures they took of Roxette on the red carpet and are waiting for the performance and asking wondering amongst themselves how it will be. As a press reporter myself, I had the schedule and knew that it won’t be too much longer, so I quickly decide to go back to my seat in the hall. I know that they will play on the left stage and I too wait with anticipation. Afterwards my friends – who are sitting everywhere and nowhere in the hall – tell me that they could see when Marie and Per stepped on the stage and thought that they recognized that both of them were quite nervous. The only thing I notice after host Kai Pflaume has welcomed Roxette, is that the audience is suddenly getting louder.
The audience jumps to their feet only a few seconds after the intro of "The Look" has started. Everyone seems to begin clapping to the beat and the performance becomes one of the few highlights of the evening. Now the mood is much better than it was all through the last two hours. It's amazing! And Marie especially seems to notice it. Boldly, she finally conquers the whole stage. Even the celebrities in the front rows stand up as the music fades away and they too are clapping their hands.
Directly after the Roxette performance I leave the hall. In front of the entrance, I meet the Tokio Hotel girl that I had met the day before. She runs over to me happily and says "Marie is her name, right? The female singer of Roxette? I DO know her. She has short blonde hair and an amazing voice." Somehow she's had this epiphany even though she didn’t have a ticket for the show and therefore missed seeing the fabulous live comeback of Roxette.
Having now watched a recording of the program, I must say that the performance in the hall was a lot better than what was shown on TV. They showed a mix of both the live and pre-recorded (the day before) performances. The worst mistake they made was when Marie was saying "Thank you very much. I love you really. Very very much. See you soon again," the video portion showed her on stage saying nothing. The same for Per, when he said "Danke schön."
That looked, in this reporter's opinion, very bad.
Technical errors may occur.
October 23rd, 2006
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