Roxette at The Gong Show!

WOLLONGONG - Good things come in small packages.

About an hour and fifteen minutes drive south of Sydney’s CBD is the seaside city of Wollongong. Often overlooked by the big touring bands when they come to Australia but tonight, this coastal town got a real treat when Roxette’s mammoth XXX World Tour popped by to say “G’day”.

In fact, this is the first time ever that Roxette have visited “The Gong”. The city’s 5,000 seated WIN Entertainment Centre played host to Roxette’s sixth Aussie show and is the smallest venue on the Australian leg, but the intimate setting packed a punch.

This was a concert of two halves. Through no fault of the band, the atmosphere in the first half felt slightly flat compared to the Melbourne shows. The Wollongong fans love a good sit down and they got one tonight! Good news for local chair makers, there’s plenty of business to be had in Wollongong – but bad news for any local chiropractors hoping to make a quick buck from concert goers who might have injured themselves from jumping up and down. These guys were firmly holding on to their chairs for dear life.

It was until “Fading Like A Flower” and “How Do You Do” popped up did things start to take a turn and full credit to Per Gessle tonight. Understandably there’s been a lot of focus on Marie lately, but Per was in a determined mood and boy has this bloke got some serious heart and energy on stage. Per was not going to tolerate a half baked rock show, he had a point to prove with the crowd and he was going to make every one who bought a ticket sweat and bounce up and down if it killed him! He worked them with all the vitality and classic swinging rock star moves that any good front man needs and it paid off – the crowd started singing along, clapping and moving! Per’s enthusiasm is infectious and it was finally seeping through to this audience.

By the time “Joyride” was taking off, the venue was thundering in applause. Predictably, “The Look” nearly brought the roof down and was probably the highlight tonight.

Fans of “The Heart Shaped Sea” should be pleased as the acoustic track made a return and once again, that “Watercolours in the Rain/Paint” combo with Dea and Marie is the “goosebumps” moment of the evening!

Christoffer was on another planet tonight, punishing those pulsating guitars and running around the stage like a man possessed, his intense playing, along with the tight band, helped raise the energy levels before the mighty Magnus took an almighty tumble at the end of “The Look” from the calamity on stage… but that’s rock ‘n’ roll folks… and we’re still no closer to confirming Magnus’ favourite Roxette album – but we’re working on it! Promise!

The Setlist:

01. Sleeping in My Car
02. The Big L
03. Stars
04. Spending My Time
05. Crash! Boom! Bang!
06. Crush On You
07. She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio)
08. The Heart Shaped Sea
09. Watercolours in the Rain/Paint
10. Fading Like A Flower
11. How Do You Do!
12. It Must Have Been Love
13. Dressed For Success
14. Dangerous
15. Joyride
16. Almost Unreal
17. Listen To Your Heart
18. The Look

Next stop: Sydney Opera House – Wednesday 25th February

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  ★ Publishing date:

February 23rd, 2015

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