Roxette Live In Cape Town
Roxette first made their name in the 80s, they were really big in the 90s and people started talking about the band as “legendary” and “iconic” in the 2000s. Fast forward to 2016, and Roxette is touring the world to celebrate 30 years in the industry. That’s big. I grew up with Joyride, Crash Boom Bang and How Do You Do playing in our house from time to time. I also knew that Marie Fredriksson was a beautiful woman with short, bleached hair. Who doesn’t know that face all too well?
On Sunday, the 7th of February, Marie and Per Gessle played their first Cape Town show to a sold out GrandWest. Watershed was chosen as the opening act after a break from the live scene. They did pretty well and the crowd loved them. They warmed the arena up, as some still took their places high up on the stands. It was the first time I’ve seen the venue so packed.
After Watershed it was time for the icons. Somewhat in the dark I could make out Marie, dressed in a white suit, being helped on stage. The crowd went wild – old and young jumping from their seats. Since I’ve read some reviews beforehand, I knew what was coming and what was waiting for the unsuspecting crowd.
To explain: Marie, the incredibly famous Swedish pop singer, was diagnosed with cancer around 2002. It was a long and hard struggle that left her weak. But she managed to fight it off and continue her career as a performer. She released new albums and toured up until 2013. The illness took its toll, though, and currently she is so weak, she is unable to perform standing up.
Marie is frail, but she looked content and happy to be on stage. After the first two songs, we slipped away for more beer. I walked into a small crowd of women that also just walked out. They were talking about how disappointed they were, how sad and angry they were that they paid to see Roxette in “such a state”. For a moment I was a bit annoyed: It was the first time I’ve seen Roxette live, and even I could hear and see that it wasn’t their finest performance, but it wasn’t awful taken into account the situation.
You see, even if you’re sick, but still have the will and passion to sing, who are we to say you can’t? Writers still write books while they still can, and painters still paint, why can singers then not sing? In my opinion, Marie and the rest of the band are entitled to celebrate 30 years in the industry – even while sitting down. It is Roxette, after all.
Marie’s voice was heavily backed by the band, but they did it so well that the fans could enjoy every hit, while Per brought the energy. Some had tears in their eyes, others just swayed to the familiar songs with their eyes closed. Who cares what you paid for the ticket, you saw Roxette live.
What Big Concerts could have done, in my opinion, was to address the situation before the tickets went on sale. They shouldn’t have created the expectation that Roxette is still the all-jumping, energetic rocker of before. Maybe then people would’ve attended with a different mindset.
I think it was an emotional show for many, rather than a hyped up rock concert. And I think Marie and the band got that right – I just wish that the crowd of fans was informed before they attended…
Even so, thank you Big Concerts for continuously bringing us legendary acts!
Photos by Big Concert.
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