The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

ROXETTE
With 1927
Challenge Stadium, Perth
Tuesday 28th February, 2012

 

Words by Shane Pinnegar | Images by Mark Diggins

 

Roxette Perth Australia

 

Say what you will about Roxette’s brand of smooth, radio friendly pop rock – but it sure SELLS, even in this troubling financial climate.

 

Challenge Stadium is bursting at the seams for tonight’s show, the first of a 2 night stop in our fair city for the Swedish hit makers.

 

Waist bands may be tighter and hair far more sensible throughout the crowd than in the band’s heyday, when each successive album brought more and more chart topping hits to radio, but the spirit of what they do so well has not dimmed at all.

 

Earlier, 1927 teased the crowd with a strong set of their old tunes, culminating in a nostalgic and spirited rendition of their biggie – ‘If I Could’ - sounding much like they did in their youth.


Despite a raucous response from the crowd, there was never any doubt who they were here to see, and when Per Gessle and Marie Fredricksson led Roxette onto the darkened stage for a rousing ‘Dressed For Success’, the atmosphere was electric.

 

 

Roxette Perth Australia

 

Singer/guitarist Gessle is trim, stylish and unflaggingly energetic, whilst second guitarist Christoffer Lundquist bounces around like an energiser bunny, dishing out tasty solos and some far-meatier-than-on-the-records riffing.

 

Singer Fredricksson remained mostly centre stage between these two hyper guitarists, and despite appearing somewhat frail and not moving much throughout the whole concert (she is now blind in one eye following a brain tumour in the early 2000’s), proves her voice remains as strong and clear as ever, especially when boosted by backing singer Dea Norberg.

 

 

 

What follows is a pop rock masterclass showing both sides of the second most popular Swedish musical export ever, behind ABBA: there are the irrepressibly bouncy pop rock classics (‘Sleeping In My Car’, ‘Shes Got Nothing On (But The Radio)’, ‘7Twenty7’ - the band having some fun with duelling guitar and keyboard solos and playing up some infectious (albeit well choreographed) hijinks, ‘Dangerous’, ‘Joyride’ etc) and the heartfelt ballads (‘Wish I Could Fly’, ‘Perfect Day’ – touchingly performed by Fredricksson accompanied only by a mournful piano and lap steel guitar, ‘It Must Have Been Love’ – started acoustic then given over to the crowd to sing an entire chorus & verse before being taken up by the full band), all topped off with a minimalist flat packed stage set that would make Ikea proud, and a deceptively simple, classy & striking lightshow.

 


By the time they get to first encore finale ‘The Look’, it’s clear that despite a setlist with a slight over-relience on a few too-slow ballads, Roxette are masters of the pop rock hook, and even this heavy rocking reviewer left happily satisfied after just enough sugary guilty pleasures.

 

Roxetter perth WA

 

SETLIST

Dressed For Success
Sleeping In My Car
Big Love
Wish I Could Fly
Stars
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
Perfect Day
Things Will Never Be The Same
It Must Have Been Love
Opportunity Nox
7Twenty7
Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)
How Do You Do
Dangerous
Joyride

Spending My Time
The Look

Listen To Your Heart
Church Of Your Heart