Talking Points: A review, preview and more!
It’s been an amazing 15 shows thus far and despite it being a short opening leg to the tour, there has already been an incredible amount of stuff to discuss, review and preview!
First thing is first, it is fair to say that Per (via Facebook), The Daily Roxette and other outlets have already covered the mighty warrior that is Marie Fredriksson and her inspired strength; she’s doing just fine, so let’s move on to other topics.
One of the many interesting discussions that surfaced online immediately following the first few Russian shows was with regards to the current set list. A lot of fans felt that the opening leg was more of an extension of the previous Neverending Charm School/Travelling World Tour and not necessarily a brand new one due to the fact that most of the same songs that were played live in the 2011/12 shows had re-appeared once again in 2014.
It’s always interesting and fun to read the fans’ wish lists – but the reality is, with over 150 songs to pick from, you simply cannot please everyone and the chance of having your personal favorite track played is slim at best!
Also, it’s overwhelmingly agreed that the classic hits absolutely need to make up the majority of the songs played. It would be unforgivable for Roxette to charge people a ticket to see them in concert and not hear “Listen To Your Heart” or “It Must Have Been Love”. Not a wise move. But it seemed what surprised some Roxers were the band’s choice of album tracks or lesser known singles that were played. “7Twenty7,” “Perfect Day,” “She’s Got Nothing On” and “Stars” for example are all amazing songs and it’s great fun hearing the band perform these tracks with such incredible energy – but some fans felt that these songs have all had their time in the sun on the previous tour. Is it time to shake things up maybe?
Admittedly, the bulk of the people attending the concerts are casual fans who want to hear the popular classics and they’ll definitely get their fix of “It Must Have Been Love,” “Joyride” and “The Look”. But as for the traveling, front-row fighting, tattoo-toting, die-hard Roxers, let’s just hope that there are a few more surprises and overlooked album tracks waiting in the wings for them!
And to be fair, this time around, fans do get “The Heart Shaped Sea,” “Real Sugar” and “Queen of Rain” but because it’s a brand new tour, it seems some hardcore fans were hoping for a few more gems?
Or perhaps a simple re-visit of some of the 2011/12 arrangements would do the trick? Take “Joyride” for instance. Some chat amongst the fans noted that the 1991 chart-topper has had the same stripped back sound since the 2009 Party Crasher Tour – is it time to get whistling again? Remember, no two Roxette World Tours have ever sounded the same. For example, “Fading Like a Flower” on The Room Service Tour sounded nothing like it did on the Crash! Boom! Bang! tour!exclusively discussed with The Daily Roxette in October, Per confirmed that the band will be rehearsing yet again in the new year in preparation for the 2015 leg of the tour – could this mean potential changes or surprises? We wait and see.
However one thing that is certain, is that in 2015 there will be an all-new stage design for the XXX Tour. The set is currently being built in the UK and the folks behind the new look stage are Patrick Woodroffe and Stufis, the same creative team behind recent tours for Lady Gaga and the Rolling Stones. Thankfully Roxette’s live shows have never been about theatrics, but a brand new modern stage design would definitely help to set this tour apart from others.
The other major talking point is the excitement building for some of the world’s most long-suffering Roxette fans – the New Zealanders. The eyes of the world will turn to Auckland on the 7th of February as Roxette kick off their first show for their new look 2015/16 XXX World Tour. Not only will this performance be their first for the year, but this concert will prove to be a significant one in Roxette’s history as it marks the very first time that the band has ever performed in the land of the long white cloud! As some may recall, three years ago, Roxette were scheduled to perform in New Zealand in February 2012 but during the flight to Auckland, Per became ill and the band had to cancel their one and only New Zealand concert. Fortunately, as promised, Roxette and Live Nation have worked hard to make it up to those devastated fans and now New Zealand will kick off the new-look tour! Auckland’s 12,000 seat Vector Arena will play host to Roxette’s launch and the popular venue has seen many other international acts perform there in the recent past including Katy Perry, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Usher and Beyonce!
All in all, 2015 is shaping up to be yet another massive year for Roxette and their loyal followers – and let’s put it all in perspective. When whispers of a reunion were bubbling away in 2009, Roxette fans would have been happy enough to see Per and Marie perform playback on a tacky TV show in front of 12 people! Who would have ever imagined the mega commercial and critical success that awaited them? And not only are we grateful when you consider Marie’s story of survival but also, as history has shown many times, most bands simply do not last. Very few acts that topped the charts in 1990 are still touring arenas, releasing new studio material and are as active as Roxette, especially for a band that was firmly entrenched in the fickle world of mainstream pop, Top 40 charts and FM Radio.
And there’s new material on its way! We are a spoiled bunch indeed! See you on the road somewhere in 2015!