Per Gessle’s Roxette, the Zürich experience
Italian fans Valeria Felluca (text) and Jessica Verta (photos) saw Per Gessle's Roxette in Zürich, Switzerland. Here's their report.
If I had to describe my experience in Zürich last night I would use the title of a Roxette song: almost unreal.
During the day it seemed a really relaxed fans gathering, more than usual because there were less people lining before a concert: the always nice Swiss fans, Germans fans and some fellow Italians like me spending some hours together. We thought our entrance would be smooth and we would all get good spots with minimum struggle but…the most unexpected situation happened.
At first we were told by a someone working for venue’s security that all areas would be seated. We had all bought standing area tickets of course and we were surprised not to have received any info from venue or the event organizer.
Then, at the moment of the entrance, staff were probably eager to keep suspence…because when we entered we were stopped for a few minutes in front of closed doors and later, when they opened and we started to run towards seats near the stage (our original area), surprise! We could not! Seats near the stage were for original numbered seats which were at the bottom of concert area! Originally standing tickets had an area behind these, instead of being in the front. You can easily imagine the complain staff received by local and German speaking people, it was unbelievable. Luckily for some fans, some standing tickets were changed into seating tickets and some of them managed to finally get a really good spot, not for me, I enjoyed concert from the front row of the back area, if it makes sense.
I don’t exactly know who is to blame: if it was the venue Halle 622 or the event organizer, but I find one million reasons to be upset: first of all, it is deeply unprofessional: if you are a serious organizer, you make sure your customers are well informed before the event in case of such major changes, it could not be a last minute decision, come on. If we had been told before the event, maybe we would have tried to change our tickets in advance, or maybe they would have proposed a solution, so I fund it really disrespectful towards people who spent money which fill their pockets. Then, as a fan can easily imagine, when you go to a concert of an artist you love, hoping to get a good spot and they do not think about how delusional it would be for us, not even for a second, shame on you, whoever had this sad idea! Customers have to be respected, learn!
Probably, it was a matter of sales which lead to this rearrangement, but again, I did not see a professional attitude in managing this situation. I also asked a guy for the staff to let me know in case there were some wide seats soon before the concert started, but when I got up and was going to ask him again five minutes before the start, he went away and remained in the other side of the venue for the rest of the concert, never seen anything like this before.
Anyway, after the negative part, I want to focus on the positive side as always, because I really liked the concert. I know there are so many mixed feelings towards a tour with Roxette songs without Marie, we have already read too many comments about it, some of them not nice at all, said in a polite way, but let me tell you that, after having seen a concert, in my personal opinion Helena is doing a great job . Unexpectedly for some fans, I think having her is a winning and smart choice and I explain you why: just because she is totally different from Marie. Now many if you, reading this would think that it is not a positive side but think for a second: if Per goes on tour with Roxette songs, what would you like to see? Some singer poorly imitating Marie, with a voice similar to hers, or an artist who can create something totally different and unexpected from what we have been listening for 30 years or so? I would choose the second option without any doubt, I don’t want to see a caricature on stage. What I see is absolutely NOT a replacement of Marie, or worse, her imitation, what I see is an artist who has her style, identity, her world, and she wants to present Roxette songs with the greatest respect, but with her personal way to sing them. He needs a feminine voice, and if it has to be someone else, I want to hear these songs in a different version, it is much more artistically interesting.
Let’s talk in details with examples: my jaws dropped when I listened to Spending my Time, Queen of Rain and Listen to Your Heart, because I saw a performer on stage who gave those songs a totally different interpretation, coherent with her artistic nature, something I had never heard before.
Talking about jaw dropping moments, a special mention is for Christoffer and his voice to be exact. When he started signing his part in Small Town Talk there was obviously an ovation, what a voice! I went to the show he did with Helena in Malmö last april, he sang a lot of songs there and I was surprised by how amazing his voice is. Chris, if you are reading this, your voice rocks, let us hear it more please.
Besides this, my ears rejoiced when I heard I Have a party In My Head, I song I adore and my legs jumped as if I was a 15 year old girl during Opportunity Nox, Dressed for Success and She’s Got Nothing On.
I also have to say that the two additions in the band they had since last year are an absolutely winning choice, they bring a pleasant fresh air to the band.
If you are wondering what response general audience near me had, I can tell you it was great, they all had a lot of fun and they only did positive comments
If you haven’t bought it yet, grab a ticket, with the hope you have not a surprise like the one we had of course.
Thanks to Jessica Verta for the pictures.