Roxette plays to a full house in São Paulo, and the music never sounded better

SÃO PAULO – Band members told The Daily Roxette that the venue in Porto Alegre a few nights ago made the concert seem like a big club gig… along the lines of what Per was doing with his Party Crasher tour.  However tonight’s concert, at the sophisticated Credicard Hall here in Brazil’s largest city, had a very different feel.

One had a sense of this before even entering the venue, as there is a large, metal modern art sculpture just outside the main entrance surrounded by a pool of water, complete with dramatic lighting.  Once inside, if it hadn’t been for the fact that there were no seats on the main floor (the standing area was divided into front and rear sections), you would have thought you were in concert hall designed for a symphony orchestra, complete with the kind of balconies that reminded this reporter of Lincoln Center in New York or Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

But more remarkable than the setting, was what happened on stage.  First of all, the band sounded really tight. Pelle Alsing on drums did a great job with the ending of “She’s Got Nothing On,” the intro to “Silver Blue,” and the extended drum solo intro for “Way Out” (when he is the first to return to the stage for the encore).  Also having an exceptionally good night was Clarence Öfwerman, whose solo during “7twenty7,” when he’s bathed in white light and everyone gathers around him, was inspired.

Per, of course, is the consumate showman. He’s so good at what he does – and so consistant – that everyone, from fans to the member’s of his band, expects that he will deliver a solid performance each and every time. He didn’t disappoint.

But it was Marie’s performance tonight that had the fans who attended the concert all excited.  She was incredibly good throughout the entire show, displaying confidence, vocal skill and even more mobility on stage that at any of the previous Charm School tour concerts (yes, we’re aware we reported something similar only last week, but the truth is, she has continued to improve). The fact that the stage was deeper allowed for additional room in front of the monitor speakers, and Marie used this “crosswalk” several times.  During “Listen To Your Heart,” she made direct eye contact with a random fan in the front row, while singing “…before you tell him goodbye.”

Both backdrops were used for this show, with the Charm School flowers literally dropped at the beginning of “How Do You Do” to reveal the Joyride-themed background. It’s about the only effect that the stagehands have to worry about on this tour:

Christoffer Lundquist chose to play Walter Azevedo’s choro “Brasileirinho”  (Little Brazilian) just after Per introduced him tonight. Azevedo wrote it in 1947 and it’s been covered by many artists since then, including Carmen Miranda and Yo-Yo Ma.  As usual, the crowd was pleased – and surprised – to hear this familiar tune. 

At the end of “Church of Your Heart,” the final encore song, Per goes to the front of the stage and reaches over the pit to accept two bouquets of flowers which he gives to Marie, who is radiant. She knows she did great this evening. After they take there final bow, the band and Per leave the stage and as he enters the wing, he looks back over his shoulder to see Marie still on stage, basking in the applause and cheers of the audience.  Seeing this, Per stops and smiles broadly. He takes a step back… and Marie quickly joins her friend to celebrate backstage.

Dressed for Success” (fancam) | “Spending My Time” (fancam) | “How Do You Do“/”Dangerous” (fancam) | “Ït Must Have Been Love” (fancam)

Ludov, a local band, scored the position of serving as the opening act.

SET LIST (with some additional reporter’s notes)
1. “Dressed for Success”
2. “Sleeping In My Car”
3. “The Big L.”
4. “Wish I Could Fly”
5. “Only When I Dream”
6. “She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio)”
7. “Perfect Day” [Marie’s solo on this tour]
8. “Things Will Never Be the Same”
9. “It Must Have Been Love”
10. “Opportunity Nox”
11. “7twenty7”
12. “Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave)”
13. “Silver Blue” [Per introduced this as something for hardcore fans]
14. “How Do You Do!” [ends with an immediate seque-type transition to next song]
15. “Dangerous”
Band presentation
16. “Joyride”

17. “Watercolours in the Rain”
18. “Spending My Time”
19. “The Look”

Second Encore
20. “Way Out”
21. “Listen to Your Heart”
22. “Church of Your Heart”

The tour continues on Saturday, April 16 when Roxette plays the sold-out Citibank Hall in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Photos: Lars-Erik Olson/TDR

  • A group of fans near the front of the stage await the start of the concert.
  • A rare sight in these days, a fan waves a lighter during “Silver Blue”.
  • Per joins Christoffer for a little one-on-one guitar action.
  • Per sings lead.
This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

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  ★ Publishing date:

April 14th, 2011

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