Per Gessle – Unplugged #4
HALMSTAD – When Per Gessle decided to do this series of concerts, I would imagine it was a major relief for him.
His European tour had been postponed, and with that his totally fresh power-pop album. Per needs to be busy, always has been and likely always will be. This is usually good, but Roxette’s US business manager, his name eludes me right now, did say “how can we miss you when you never go away…?” This time however, it is good. The band is cracking, Per is happier than I’ve seen him in years. He even talks! Yes he has his little monologues. Scripted yes, but he talks! And no, you aren’t really supposed to see more than one show…
Once again we got the picnic bag with the shrimp wrap spiced with basil and lime in a beet flavored tortilla, with that potato chips from Halmstad and a lovely bottle of Gancia prosecco and something sweet for dessert.
Before the show Mr. BoJo came on stage telling everyone the rules for the concert and the concert area. No standing and drinking, no walking around. Try to get the bar to deliver the drinks to the table. Keep your distance, but not to the urinals… You know, the usual. He says this is a must to be able to keep doing things like these. These are special times indeed.
So gig #4, how was that? The weather was again splendid, almost too hot for a concert, not that I’m complaining. This time we couldn’t take photos with our cannons, since Anders Roos was there and did all the shooting (and videoing too). Not a bad thing either, since taking time to actually enjoy the show is rare for someone like me, who shoot most of the shows I attend. But I digress. The band was still hungry, and even if Christoffer didn’t wear any socks much to Per’s chagrin, he did play the steel guitar and mandolin like a champion. As a matter of fact, Chris had lent Per his socks, but couldn’t remember if he had washed them or not. Clarence of course didn’t talk, he doesn’t even have a microphone… Magnus had yet again time to attend a concert. He has such a busy schedule that man. The audience was very thankful indeed. Last and definitely not least was our lovely Helena Josefsson. She sings like no other. I met Helena earlier that day, in the hotel lobby. She said that she loves singing with Per, which we already knew of course.
There were also hundreds of people who couldn’t get tickets, outside on the beach.
Another positive thing is that these concerts get longer and longer, not the usual Per thing to cut out songs and make the gigs shorter. The first concert was 17 songs, while this last was 20, who knows how many there will be in August. These last two concerts added Gyllene Tider’s “Juni, juli, augusti” and his own solo song “Pappa”. On Tuesday “Honung och guld” disappeared but came back as an encore on Wednesday. The set list consists of just about half Gyllene Tider and half solo, with two Roxette songs thrown in for good measure (and they are terrific of course).
The sound, managed by no other than MP Persson, is sublime. MP knows his stuff. I asked him before the show if he wanted to be up on the stage with the others. MP, the man who doesn’t kill ones ears with yapping said “No.” Åsa Gessle has designed the set, which is built around the barn the record sleeve was shot in. It looks very nice, and is quite the opposite of Gyllene Tider’s and Roxette’s huge stages!
If I may complain about one thing, it’s the audience. The audience can’t decide if they are at an after work thing, an after beach thing, or in a mountain cabin watching a troubadour. And then there’s people who are there just to eat and drink. And talk on their cell phones… “I’m at a concert, I can’t hear you!! Whaaaat…?”
Apart from that, I had two awesome nights. (Photos are from gig #3.)
1. Kung av sand
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
5. Tycker om när du tar på mej
6. Det hjärta som brinner
7. Tuffa tider (för en drömmare)
8. Juni, juli, augusti
10. It Must Have Been Love
12. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång)
13. Min hälsning
14. Vandrar i ett sommarregn
15. Listen to Your Heart
17. När alla vännerna gått hem
18. Vid hennes sida
19. Honung & guld
20. Om du bara vill