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Roxette in Berlin

XXX Tour: The Roxette Staple – a setlist analysis


Roxette has many staples – songs that “must” be performed, at least that’s what Per claims. Is his statement true or not?


All bigger bands have staples, or should if they are any good, Roxette has their fair share of staples; songs that must be performed live.

So what are Roxette’s staples? After thoroughly analyzing all the setlists from 1988 to 2014 (no one remembers 1987, including Per) here’s my conclusion:

Roxette has 12 staples, these 12 tracks have been performed on all tours, or on every tour since they were released:

“Listen to Your Heart,” since 1988.
“The Look,” since 1988
“Dressed for Success,” since 1988
“It Must Have Been Love,” since 1991
“The Big L.,” since 1991
“Fading Like a Flower,” since 1991
“Joyride,” since 1991
“Spending My Time,” since 1991 but not in 2010/2011
“Sleeping in My Car,” since 1994
“Crash! Boom! Bang!,” since 1994
“Things Will Never Be the Same,” 1991, 1992, 2010-2012

Roxette’s number one staple is: “Dangerous!” “Dangerous” has been performed on all tours, including the 1987 Rock Runt Riket. You didn’t see that one coming, did you? I certainly didn’t.

The most diverse Roxette setlists, and also longest, were 1994 and 2001 followed by 1992.

So what does this mean? Well, if Roxette has to play these 12 tracks, there isn’t much room for “fillers,” is there? If a normal Roxette concert has an average of 20 songs, (has been as short as 15 and as long as 22,) that leaves eight songs… 1994, 1995 there were a few covers added to the setlist, and again in 2010 but that’s not very common. 1987 there was a ’60s soul medley for instance. The usual songs Roxette uses to fill these some of these eight spots are:

“How Do You Do!”
“Stars”
“She’s Got Nothing On”
“7Twenty7”
“Opportunity Nox”

That makes 17. That leave a mere three to elaborate with, like I said – not a lot of space. Of course there have been some unexpected songs, “Silver Blue” or Per’s own “Do You Wanna Be My Baby?” in 2010 for instance. Also when there has been a single release during a tour Roxette has been rather quick picking that up. “Way Out” and “She’s Got Nothing On” and even “It’s Possible” in 2011 and also “Run To You” in 1995. On the other hand there have been many singles that never have been played live, like “June Afternoon,” “Salvation” and “A Thing About You” to mention but a few.

What about the closer? Roxette closes a concert 99 times out of 100 with a ballad. “Listen to Your Heart” has been a solid closer, as well as “Queen of Rain” and “Perfect Day.” 1994/1995 ended with “Love is All” and “Go to Sleep” and 2010-2012 with “Church of Your Heart.”

And finally it’s worth noting that “The Look” always ends up at the end of the set, while “Sleeping in My Car” always ends up at the beginning (except in 2001.) We’ve intentionally left out the 2000 US promo tour and 2009 Night of the Proms as they were totally different.

Which songs would you like to hear live this tour? Which songs would you leave out?

 

  ★ The author:
Thomas Evensson


  ★ Publishing date:

February 4th, 2015


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This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:

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  • James Crompton

    Well I love the album tracks simply for that reason that you don’t hear them that often so it makes it more special when you do. Too many to mention!!! From Pearls Of Passion I’d love to hear Voices or Surrender or Call Of The Wild, From Look Sharp I’d love to hear Cry Paint or Shadow Of A Doubt From Joyride I’d love to hear Physical Fascination or Hotblooded perhaps from Tourism Cinnamon Street, Keep Me Waiting, The Rain, Fingertips, The Heart Shaped Sea, Never Is A Long TIme, Here Comes The Weekend and yes Queen of Rain, from Crash Boom Bang The First Girl On The Moon, Place Your Love, Im Sorry, Whats She LIke, Love Is All, Fireworks, Harleys and Indians, Lies even and yes Go To Sleep, from Have A Nice Day itd be Cooper Waiting For The Rain or Anyone, From Room Service LIttle Girl or The Centre Of The Heart, It Takes You No TIme To Get There, From Charm School Way Out, No One Makes it On Her Own, Dream On, From Travelling See Me. But then it would be a four hour concert because I’d kinda like to hear most of the hits as well and songs like Perfect Day Silver Blue and June Afternoon, She Doesnt Live Here Anymore, But out of the list above I’d probably leave off Sleeping On My Car, She’s Got Nothing On and Opportunity Nox. And out of all of them my biggest wish would be Cinnamon Street as that song has a special place in my heart. If Per had even more super super energy he could be the warm up act before as well and sing from Son Of A PLumber Party Crasher and The World According To Gessle just to make the evening even more brilliant. Ultimately just to be there though is going to be a thrill!!!

    • Daniela

      Great idea, Per as opening act! The only question is how one can convince him about this necesity, haha!

      • James Crompton

        Indeed!!! And a stamina thing perhaps too!

        • James Crompton

          Although 30 minutes more might be possible? Who knows. But it does take a lot of energy I imagine to do a 2 hour concert.

  • Daniela

    Well, unfortunately Things will never be the same wasn’t played in 2001 and Crash! Boom! Bang! wasn’t played in summer of 2011, it only made the setlist in autumn. However, I love both songs and miss them a lot when they are not performed! Regarding the other “must” songs, I could do without the three number one hits The Look, Joyride and It must have been love, but I think most other people have a different opinion about this. Regarding the other songs which I have already heard at concerts, I’d really love to hear Only when I dream, Church of your heart and Anyone, from the songs which I have never heard live Come back (before you leave), Keep me waiting, June afternoon (especially in summer!) and What’s she like.
    Apart from that, a revival of Fireworks and Harleys and Indians and a first try of In my own way and Speak to me could be nice. And of course I’d love to have some more songs added because for me Roxette concerts are always much too short! If this is too exhausting for Marie, Per could sing some more. He shouldn’t have a problem with this quantity as during solo or Gyllene Tider concerts he is singing all the time alone! Generally my favourite setlists were in autumn of 2001 and 2011 as a lot of my favourite songs were performed live then.

  • Paul Belben

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – I would love Paint to join the setlist. Possibly Neverending Love as well – would be interesting to hear this live with the ‘power-pop’ (as Per refers) band!

  • Nathan

    Yeah, definitely true – any band with hits has to play them. Everyone loves to hear their favourite songs by the band that aren’t their biggest hits (I like the rockier Keep My Waiting, and I Remember You)…but the hit songs should always take priority. Always love the way Per strums “Paint” though – inspired me to take up acoustic guitar all those years ago…

  • Kathie Winn

    So many songs so little time 🙂 Opportunity Nox is sensational live.

  • honky_tonk

    “Spending my time” was played in the 2011 tour.

  • Tavo

    First of all, I’d love the concert to be a little longer. 20 songs is not enough. Of course I understand that it might be too exhausting for Marie. But as mentioned below, Per might take over. In addition, I’ve always wondered why they don’t play WICF anymore. I think it might be because Marie cannot remember the lyrics, but Per might sing the verses as she sings the chorus only, similar to what they do with CBB. // There are basically three songs that I would like them to play: Paint, Do you get excited? and Crush on you (as the opener if possible).

    • Ellen Gush

      I thought they played WICF last tour in Brisbane – If I remember correctly (and I could very well be wrong) Marie did struggle with it.

  • Barry Mieny

    I’d say skip 7Twenty7 and She’s Got Nothing On, mostly due to the fact that Chris’ solos have gotten way out of hand. Especially on 7Twenty7. Not a fan, at all.

    • Tavo

      Couldn’t agree more. But I don’t think they’ll skip 7twenty7 since Per loves it. Probably he’s the only one on Earth who does. I can’t stand She’s Got Nothing On either. How I wish they played Paint or Crush on You instead.

      • James Crompton

        I like 727 lol

        • James Crompton

          but could do without shes got nothing on

      • Adam

        I like both, my daughter is a big fan of She’s got nothing on.

    • Jana Zejmanová

      Agree. Would love Paint, Crush on You or Speak To Me instead.

  • Skyrider

    My most wanted songs are Almost Unreal, Love Is All, She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore or an uptempo song from CBB and at least on the summer tour June Afternoon.
    And of course, they can never play enough NEW songs!

  • Hotweasel

    Generally I love the uptempo ones. Almost Unreal I would love to hear. Ofcourse I am a fan and there are not many songs that I don’t like. Watercolours in the rain….mwah…..June afternoon is nice also!!!! God….difficult…..I went to the 1994 Crash Boom Bang tour in Rotterdam….that was a cool setlist also! LOVE IS ALL!!!!! Joyride, The Look, Hotblooded…..aaargrhghrhrghgrhgr…….

  • With the upcoming tour in Australia I’d like to see more album cuts from LS and Joyride. These were their biggest albums down under whereas subsequent albums didn’t chart all that well. This was obvious on their last tour when they played songs from later albums and hardly anyone knew them, it made for a few dead spots. I’d particularly like to hear chances and paint as well as I remember you.

    • James Crompton

      Given there’s about 6 from Joyride in the setlist and four from Look Sharp, which makes up half the setlist, I’m kinda the opposite. For those fans from downunder that have stuck with Roxette after their “heyday”, some of their most beautiful songs come from Tourism and Crash Boom Bang and the later albums have their fair share of goodness too. One thing that pissed me off through 90s is that radio in New Zealand would never play any of their new stuff. I’d try and request one of the singles from Tourism of Crash Boom Bang and they just wouldn’t play it, instead they’d revert to The Look or Listen To Your Heart. So Look Sharp and Joyride are the only albums most kiwis know except those who made an effort to follow them after Nirvana came round. I think Roxette play a fair share of their big hits (from those early albums) which should make the casual fans happy. I think for the obsessed fans it’d be nice to hear some of the rarer numbers and for those who don’t know the rest of their music, well you can always look it up. The internet is a huge resource these days and their setlist (on setlist fm) is pretty much cut and dried with all the songs on youtube.

  • Chris

    I don’t like the “new” dressed for success version. It sounds boring and has nothing to do with the song we all know. So this could be easily replaced by run to you, fireworks, almost unreal or another single that was released back in the day. Maybe a less known single as salvation would also be very cool. On the other hand I hope that for the non singles they will play “crush on you” as this is a fans favourite.

    Per always mention that they will play a best of set because it isn’t a concert for the hardcore fans only. But to be honest, most of the people that are not hardcore fans are coming for The Look, Joyride, Listen to your heart and It must have been love. They should give it a try with a different setlist. I think it will work!

    • Johan

      Agree – for none hardcore fans there are less than 10 songs that have to be played.
      To fill the rest of the show? I could easily pick a list of 50 songs !

  • jojo

    One wish

  • Eleanor

    I would LOVE Sleeping Single, Come Back Before You Leave, Fingertips and Always Breaking My Heart (gasp!)

    • Ellen Gush

      OMG! Always Breaking My Heart! That’s the one Per wrote for someone else right?

  • Zaharie Ilijev

    What about idea not to leave out, but last 5-7 of ‘must be’ songs to be preformed shortly, like ‘medley” in 10 minutes. Then we can enjoy (original): “So far away”, “What’s she like”, “I’m sorry”, “A thing about you”, “Happy on the other side”, “Keep me waiting”, “Lies”, “Neverending love”, “Cooper”, “Crush on u”, “Hotblooded” and for the end “Sweet hello” and “Happy together”

  • Johan

    I would love to hear “It must have been love” like the live version from 1991 – the ending where Per also sings is Roxettes finest moment

    “Paint” would be great. And why not “Waiting for the rain”? To my own surprise I loved this song when it was played live in 2001
    “Half o woman, half a shadow” – I think this was played in 1988, am I right ? Does anyone know ?

    • Andrés Alcañiz

      “It must…” was sang in a very similar way during their last tour, at least in Argentina, with Marie on the piano at the beginning… excellent, excellent, excellent!!!!

  • Roxkat

    I would love to hear June Afternoon Live!

  • Fernanda Reis Campaña Inojosa

    I’d love to hear “Run to you” and I would leave out 727.

  • Dr. Watson Scott Swail

    Sleeping Single…

  • Denny

    I’d love to hear Surrender, Paint and Crush On You. Also I enjoyed Only When I Dream at my one and only ever Rox concert in 2011. It was so good live! 🙂 I could totally skip hearing Dressed for Success, It Must Have Been Love, Crash! Boom! Bang!, Church Of Your Heart, Run To You and Perfect Day. Especially the last two. Nevertheless, I’m sure I’m gonna enjoy this year’s list too at HOPEFULLY my 2nd Rox concert ever. 😀

  • Ray Summers

    Please play “speak to me” at the Sydney opera house concert,,,, it’s a great song,

  • RobS

    When this tour was announced I put together a setlist that I thought they’d perform and came to a similar conclusion – got about 80% right. Didn’t expect COYH though.
    Problem for fans like us is that we’d love to hear almost anything outside of the big songs. Setlist possibilities are endless. For the AU/NZ tour I think they need to add Almost Unreal, great rocky ballad that did well in the charts, along with HDYD.
    The suggestion of a medley is a great idea. Have about 5 songs with 1 verse/chorus each. While not as good a full songs, I think for the fans it’s a nice nod to say “yeah we know you want more!”

  • Emph

    I wonder if I’ll have the chance to enjoy my fave “Silver Blue” live… :/

  • Maria Besedina

    Keep Me Waiting, Silver Blue, June Afternoon, Almost Unreal – it would be great to hear them live. Instead of Dangerous or Watercolours.

  • Adam

    Neverending Love.
    And for covers, Here Comes The Sun.
    I missed the last tour, I love It’s Possible and 7Twenty7 and Stars and Watercolours so I hope they remain.

  • Adam

    I doubt we’ll ever hear Almost Unreal as the band never cared for it, but I think Big L is more cheesy.

  • I think it would be ridiculous to have nothing from Pearls Of Passion on the setlist of their 30th anniversary tour… Roxette was born in 1986 with Neverending Love so that should definitely be a staple! Even if only 1% of the audience knows it. Oh, and Surrender as well. But that is just my personal POP favourite.

  • KAT

    Run to you, Church of your heart and Perfect Day.

  • dimitris

    thigs will never be the same(the original version)would be great also shadow of a doubt maybe…here comes the weekend is one of my favourites but i’d like it more played as the demo version,there are many songs though more groovy the could be played like lover lover lover,paint and many more that the could fit perfectly in a medley so i guess there would be more space for more songs on the setlist!

  • Ellen Gush

    The one song I REALLY hope they play is Silver Blue. They played it at the 2nd Brisbane show last tour, but of course, I was at the first 🙁
    There were certainly some dead spots during the last tour – 7twenty7 and Opportunity Nox were the main two I noticed. I was in the 6th row from the stage and there were a heap of people that had no idea! I had people looking at me strangely because I was the only one around them that was singing!
    I hope they play all of the staples! And Hotblooded – love the guitar in that one, and so many others but they won’t play Harleys or ILTSOCG.

  • Andrés Alcañiz

    In 2012, at least in Argentina, Marie sang “Watercolours…” almost a-capella, with a broken voice that made all cry… Would love to listen it again! And “The Rain”, that song is amazing

  • RoseateSpoonbill676
  • Wild3rramaReturns

    I’m flabbergasted for the lack of love for “The First Girl On The Moon” 🙁

  • Ettexor

    fantastic world tour 😉




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