In the sauna with Roxette: Hot rock in Warsaw

WARSAW – Take the marvellous performance by the band from this reporter’s article about the Roxette concert in Berlin…  Now take the part about the audience from the article about the Leipzig concert.  Shake both these excerpts, blend them well and eventually double the result. Double it again. If you like… once more. What will you get? Roxette in Warsaw. But let’s start slowly.

“Torwar” is a sport hall near the city center of Warsaw. Probably not the most impressive sport hall in the world. It’s rather medium-sized and might need a refurbishing quite soon. Perfect for a real rock show? Yes!

With a stage in the middle, this place can hold 8,000 people. And it seems that this hall was sold out almost to the last seat. You could see that the local audience was looking forward to this evening. Roxette is being played on the radio here every couple of hours, looks like the band is very much appreciated here. Funny to see that the Polish audience was way younger than the one in Germany.

The stage was rather low this evening so you could feel to be more on the same level as the band. High stages like in Leipzig may be good for those in the last rows but they surely kill some fun for the more active part of the audience in the front rows.

Alright, let’s make long stories short. Roxette came on stage. And you could see by then already that this evening was going to be special. Rarely have you experienced the whole band playing with such a tremendous power. Even Marie, who was reportedly quite tired this day, danced like a young girl! Maybe she mixed up a few lyrics this evening. And? Did anyone care? Nope! The audience was going wild. Not only during uptempo songs like “Way Out” and “The Look” people stood up, clapped hands and sang along. And this went for the whole hall. Everyone who was still sitting the moment before now stood up and waved along. This reporter, who is nearly 2 meters tall, stood pretty close to the stage and still had problems to see the stage at all! Everywhere there were hands! Poland must have missed a band like Roxette a lot.

Marie and Per were obviously overwhelmed by the lively response. Per at times just stood behind the microphone, shaking his head in disbelief. Marie did dance moves you have rarely seen of her before. Per then started interacting with the audience and the audience gave him back what he had asked for: Happiness. If any of our readers may still remember the more intimate performances during the Gessle over Europe tour, feel invited to revive those feelings. Band and crowd were one unit there and here it was again this evening. The result of that effect was that now the band played with even more power, if possible. The fast tracks practically turned into really good rock songs. Heavy guitar riffs, head banging, jumping musicians on the stage! Everyone started sweating, and thanks to the lacking air conditioning in “Torwar” not only the band. People told this reporter after the concert they felt like being in a sauna. And yes, they were right. Saunas need hot rock(s)! People, if you ever wanted to convince your friends that Roxette is a pretty cool band, show them footage of the Warsaw concert, nothing to be ashamed of there!

What about the usual ceremonies during a typical Roxette concert nowadays? Balloons during Joyride? Yep, many! Band introduction with Magnus talking about local items of interest? Yes. This time even with one of Magnus’ favorite topics: beer. It looked like he did quite a thorough testing that afternoon. Did Christoffer play a local tune? Yes, he did and from now on the children song “Jedzie pociąg z daleka” will be on the top 10 of the Warsaw daycare charts. Worth mentioning also that both Helena (certainly taught by her husband who has Polish blood in him) and Per (did Helena teach him or did the m & g fans do a good job?) spoke some Polish phrases on stage and the audience even understood them. Nothing to be taken for granted if you know the language a little. Well done, everyone!

Roxette, you are so ready to record a brilliant live DVD!


PS: Find a growing selection of videos of this evening here:

This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

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June 22nd, 2011

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