Rox in Drammen, part 1
DRAMMEN – When you write a review about a concert which closes a tour it is easy to get a bit nostalgic, but I don’t want mine to be so, and I prefer to fill my words just with positivity, gratefulness and passion, which is what I honestly feel at the end of Roxette’s European tour.
I would like to dedicate the first lines of my review to the place, yes, it is important to me to describe it because I think it somehow influences my mood and my impressions when I attend a concert. Don’t ask me why, but I have a tendency to merge all I have around and all vibrations I get. I’m talking about stunning Drammen, located in an amazing country I had never visited before: Norway with its rich forests, fjords and lakes, a breathtaking nature which makes you feel blessed to be there. At least it was for me. The atmosphere in that city was so pleasant and joyful! The concert took place during a summer festival, and Drammen was so full of life and people in very relaxed and “ready to party” mood. Plus, we were extremely lucky with the weather: sunny and warm all the time. I know that going to Scandinavia in august might be a risk, but it seems Mother Nature smiled at us this time.
Needless to say for a hardcore fan, our group started to gather in front of main entrance since early morning, from about 7:00, and we also immediately started to get attention for that. I don’t think in Drammen it happens every day to see a group of people coming from all European corners sitting and laying, waiting for a concert. Local media took advantage of this opportunity and we were interviewed by a newspaper called Drammens Tidende. I would call this interview a multi-media one because, besides the questions and the pic we were asked… to sing!!! We sang “How Do You Do!,” “It Must Have Been Love” and “The Look” choruses, I hope no evil mind will dare to upload it on youtube! Just joking, meeting and talking to the journalist was really fun.
One thing I really want to mention about all the “waiting and lining” stuff was the amazing cooperation we got from Elvefestivalen staff. I found them not only nice and kind towards us, but also very professional. We explained them what we normally do the day of the concerts, our numbering system and how important for us is to try to line up and enter once the doors of the venues are opened in a fair and correct way (well, there are always rare exceptions of not so pleasant behavior, we had an example yesterday, but I think they don’t deserve to be mentioned much). They totally understood us and, thanks to them, all was very smooth and we all got the great spots we deserved. One thing which impressed me in a really positive way was something said by a lady (I have to say, lady as woman and as behavior) who worked there: she said “you are customers”. Well, when you’re normally treated like someone who is simply checked and let inside venues by people who do not always understand what we have been trying to arrange and organize for the entire day, it really makes you feel admiration for the sensitivity she showed towards us. The manager of that place treated us with much respect too, so hats off to Elvefestivalen staff!
The concert took place in a really nice square called Gamle Kirkeplass (The Old Church Place) and, except us dedicated fans, people started to enter slowly, sitting and relaxing on the grass, like normal people do during a bright august Saturday evening after all ha ha! Before Roxette entered the stage, we saw a performance by a Norwegian band formed by four girls and two boys called Razika. I have to admit that I found them really interesting, entertaining and talented. A positive aspect of going to festivals and not to “regular” concerts is that you can have a look at a musical reality you have not access to in you everyday life, and you might have really pleasant surprises, because sometimes local music made by very young girls can be much more appealing and amusing than “mainstream” music you listen all the time at the radio.
While we were waiting for Roxette to enter the stage I realized that I had the same feeling in common with other fans around me: it was the last concert of the tour, but we felt excited as if it was our first one! Maybe it was due to the fact that we were so eager to see them for this “summer goodbye” that we just couldn’t wait to see them appear in front of us. I honestly can tell you that our impatience was not disappointed at all, because as soon as they arrived and started to play the first notes of “Sleeping In My Car,” we immediately realized it would be an unforgettable night. They made us enjoy something really special, and it was like taking part to an incredible and extraordinary party, despite some problems I seemed to notice sometimes in their microphones. Both Per and Marie were so energetic and they had such an intense interaction with the audience that I almost felt moved by such a positive vibe. You could tell they wanted to fully dedicate themselves to us, and give their 100 % to the audience. I saw them smiling, and trying to connect themselves to the fans more than usual and, needless to say it, we loved it and we are deeply grateful for that.
There were two moments that I consider the headlines of that concert: the first one was soon after the usual band presentation. When Per finished to introduce the musicians that I will never stop thanking for the amazing support they give, he invited BoJo, their tour coordinator, onstage to sing happy birthday to him. We fans are used to see people belonging to their “inner circle” without fully understand the really hard work which is behind what we superficially see with our eyes. I can only imagine the dedication, the effort, and the high professionalism it takes to make things work perfectly, and the fact that Roxette wanted to show in front of thousands of people their affection towards him, and wanted to make him feel “the heart of the scene” for once, makes me think that they must really be like a big family and that they can give the right recognition to someone who fully deserves it.
The second one was during the last songs: “Joyride,” “Listen to Your Heart” and the legendary “The Look.” During the previous days we decided to make something special to show them how thankful we are to them for the amazing concerts we saw, and we decided to let blue and yellow balloons give life to the “Joyride” party. During “Listen to Your Heart” and “The Look” we raised papers with messages for them. We have to thank Basia from Poland for this idea. I have to say that there was a moment who really touched my heart: when we were showing them the messages written on yellow and blue paper, and most of them were a simple but deep “tack”, due to my lucky position Marie looked at me for a moment and she did one of the sweetest smiles I ever saw in my life and said “thank you”. I could not believe what I had just seen, because I can guarantee you guys that her expression was so genuine, and deeply thankful that it will stay impressed in my memory forever.
I still get emotional now that I am writing about it.
Sorry, I was forgetting the funniest highlight: a special mention for los Poshos, the funny chicken shaped hats the Spanish fans bring with them everywhere!
Summarizing the experiences I had during these months, I can only say positive things as I mentioned at the beginning of my report. I feel lucky and thankful for what I saw, and full of great and positive memories of my trips. I want to use the last lines of my reports first of all to thank not only Per and Marie, but all people involved on this European tour, the band once again, and the international fans group who made all these long hours of waiting so funny and pleasant. I could mention names and countries, but the list would be so long that I would risk to miss someone and I don’t want to.
Having an optimist attitude by nature, I want to believe that “see you soon again” repeated by Per will be a reality in the future…well, I mean in Europe of course, because we all know the tour is going on in other continents next year. Drammen concert made us want more dear Per and Marie, know it!