Saturday, September 15, 2012
Special guest: Sonic DJ
Charm School Tour
Songs Performed: Dressed for Success, Sleeping in My Car, The Big L., Spending My Time, Stars, She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio), Perfect Day, Things Will Never Be the Same, It Must Have Been Love, 7Twenty7, Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave), Crash Boom Bang, How Do You Do!, Dangerous, Joyride, Listen to Your Heart, The Look, Church of Your Heart
Comments: Late 80’s-early 90’s Swedish hitmakers Roxette returned to the stage in the US for the first time in 20 years. And based on the reaction from their fans, it has been way too long! They had the crowd standing for most of the 1 hour and 45 minute show. This was definitely their chance to reconnect with their fans.
Roxette are a duo consisting of Marie Fredriksson on vocals and Per Gessle on vocals and guitar. You are probably saying to yourself, I didn’t know they were still around. You are not alone. After the “Crash Boom Bang” album in 1994, they pretty much disappeared from the US music scene. They continued to be popular in Europe. But then Marie was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002, from which she recovered. The tumor left her partially blind in one eye. So she has balance issues now and doesn’t move around on stage like she used to. They have also released successful solo albums in Europe as well as performed solo or together on different occasions.
Their current tour is their first in 15 years, and was preceded by the release of their 9th studio album “Traveling” back in March. The tour started in February 2011 in Russia and is expected to play 130 dates (800,000+ people in 2011 alone) ending in October of this year. So yes, there will be a lot of traveling going on.
A little backgound is needed here. I actually won these tickets from a local radio station (KOST 103.5 in Los Angeles). I wasn’t aware of the tour otherwise. I remember seeing the band back in 1992 on their “Enjoy the Joyride” Tour. I was very impressed with them live, especially Marie. I pulled out my old CDs and started listening to their songs again. And as the date for the show was approaching, I found myself getting more and more excited about seeing them live again.
I guess I was not alone. There was a crowd of approx. 5000 people out to see Roxette take the stage again at the Gibson (it was the Universal in 1992). And their songs still hold up pretty well too. Marie’s vocals may not have been as strong as they were 20 years ago, but she was still good (despite her lack of movement). Per was full of energy and you could tell how much they were both enjoying performing for their fans again.
The 2 sides of Roxette are the fun, danceable pop-rock side (The Look, Joyride), and the tender ballad side (It Must Have Been Love, Listen to Your Heart). Both were on full display that night. I knew most of the songs they performed, but not all (as I didn’t keep up with all of their releases.) It was nice that they included some of the tender album cuts from the “Joyride” album like “Spending My Time” and “Things Will Never Be the Same.” Their songs are still fun to sing along and dance to, with memorable choruses. They even had large bouncing beach balls during the “Joyride” number, something similar to what they did back in the 90’s. I noticed that people were grabbing them as souvenirs from the show.
Thanks to Marie, Per and the band for reminding me how great Roxette was and still is. Let’s hope you don’t stay away so long!
The show was opened by Sonic DJ from KROQ. He played mostly 80’s tunes to get the crowd pumped including favorites from Frankie Goes to Hollywood (“Relax”), Dead or Alive (“You Spin Me Round”), Depeche Mode (“Strange Love”), New Order (“Blue Monday”) and more.
Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Hiking in the Spirit and Real Kilt Men Wear Speedos. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.