Review by Dean Pedley
Currently mid-way through their first global trek since 1994/95 Roxette, Sweden’s second most successful musical export, stopped off at the LG Arena for their first appearance in the second city in some eighteen years. With the average age of the crowd suggesting this was a busy night for babysitters you could have been forgiven for thinking it was 1990 all over again as Roxette rolled back the years. The duo of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle were seemingly ever present on the airwaves and in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic during their golden era of the late 80’s to the mid 90’s and were assured of a warm reception from the Birmingham audience.
Per Gessle, looking as if he has discovered the elixir of youth, is grinning from ear to ear as he leads the band into the opening romp of “Dressed for Success”. Marie has now thankfully overcome her brain tumour of a few years back and, although at times appearing somewhat frail, her voice retains a remarkable energy and sparkle. This is the band who’s Greatest Hits proclaimed Don’t Bore Us Get To The Chorus and what follows is 100 minutes of sing-a-long anthems including all of the memorable moments that are once heard, never forgotten. “It Must Have Been Love” begins as an acoustic duet before the supporting musicians take their places for the full on power ballad experience and “She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)”, “Fading Like A Flower”, “Dangerous” and “Joyride” all receive a huge response. With Marie largely remaining in front of her mic it is left to Gessle and lead guitarist Christoffer Lundqist to charge around the stage, the latter clearly bursting to be let off the leash as he offers a considerable number of top-notch solos. A powerful “Listen To Your Heart” and energetic “The Look” are saved for the encore before they leave with the acoustic swaying of “Church of your Heart”.
Reminiscent of a time when the charts and the radio were all about real bands playing real instruments and writing their own songs, Roxette delivered a quality nights entertainment of fun and nostalgia.