Roxette at 3Arena, Dublin, 1 June 2015

A darkened stage… a curtain is drawn, two figures emerge, one shakily leaning on the other. Marie Fredriksson, the lead female singer with Roxette makes her way to a seat in the middle of the stage accompanied by a stage hand who offers support. Followed in quick succession by Per Gessle, the other half of the eighties pop rock duo, and the rest of the musical entourage.

Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2002, as a result of this and her subsequent treatment, her balance is impaired and she performs the entire concert from her seat. While Gessle and the rest of the group energetically entertain the masses around her.

It’s a concert of two halves; the first a rather timid affair. It opens with Sleeping in My Car and The Big L moving swiftly through some of their lesser known tracks such as Spending My Time, The Heart Shaped Sea and Crash! Boom! Bang! the title track from their 1994 album.

The second half is a nostalgic cheese-fest where even the coolest kid on the block is carried away by songs first heard on the radio twenty years ago. Power ballad follows upbeat pop song follows power ballad, and the audience laps up every minute of it.

From the pared down introduction and beautiful vocal of It Must Have Been Love to the encore of Listen to Your Heart and The Look, the night brought this reviewer right back to angst ridden teenage heartache and evenings spent singing and dancing around a bedroom listening to the Top 20!

Gessle is in great voice, looks ten years younger than his 56 years and adores being in front of this appreciative crowd. Fredriksson is sensational; her voice has a gorgeous timbre switching between her delicate head voice and her lower belt voice. Too often throughout the evening her voice is lost in the mix and simply cannot be heard, with her upper belt seemingly having disappeared. During her solo moments, there are elements of dodgy intonation which may indicate why her voice is a bit lower in the mix. But make no mistake, she is a sensation, and you cannot possibly take your eyes off of her. Her tiny frame swells and fills the stage as she commands the audience’s attention.

The duo take a final bow alone as Gessle becomes Fredriksson’s support and the two slowly exit the stage, a nearly thirty year partnership that’s seen its share of trials but shows no sign of slowing down.

8 responses to “Roxette at 3Arena | Review”

  1. Ted says:

    Bizarre review. Rubbish night clouded by rose tinted glasses. People left in droves while Frederikson needed a backing singer to disguise her weak vocals. Also, how many people would have gone if they’d known she would be chair bound?

  2. MsRoxetteFan says:

    You are clearly a deluded sick person. Read Marie’s history, how she survived a brain tumour that nearly killed her. Whilst she survived she was left with mobility problems and severe sight loss in one eye. She also lost the ability to speak and read Swedish, let alone remember lyrics to Roxette songs in English. Perhaps you should check out Marie’s solo album she wrote in English some years after her diagnosis. As for the backing singer, Roxette have always had a backing singer on tour… check out 1989, 91, 92, 94 and 95 concerts.

  3. Daniel says:

    I think people should remember that Fredriksson
    being on the stage and singing in front of a crown is actually a MIRACLE.
    Brain cancer is devastating for the patient. Surviving is almost
    impossible and those who do survive have many impeding consequences derived
    from the very aggressive medical treatment. That’s absolutely the case for
    Roxette’s lead singer. Literally, part of this poor woman’s brain needed to
    be removed in order for her to overcome the disease. I am not a big Roxette fan
    but attending to some of their concerts represents a true inspirational experience
    to me as I am able to witness someone who fought against all odds and now is
    still doing what she loves best: performing. Marie fredriksson: you are
    a real hero!

    BTW: doesn’t Elton John also perform on a chair?

  4. MsRoxetteFan says:

    Very well said. I think some people expect Roxette to perform like they did in the 90’s forgetting how time and illness can age people. People who don’t wish to see Marie sitting down performing, well take your money elsewhere instead of moaning.

  5. Small Chapters says:

    She’s only chair bound because she is unstable on her feet due to a life threatening brain tumour that nearly killed her in 2002. She was also standing and moving about at concerts until last Winter after a nasty fall on stage during ‘The Big L’ in Russia, it seems since then she prefers to sit down.

  6. iphigenia Tsimbiropoulos says:

    What a nice answer you gave! I have been 2 times last month to a ROX-concert (Amsterdam and Antwerp ) I’ve traveled 2 times to Sweden to see them preform . For me this is a goodbye-tour .Hope they will do some small show or something in the future. We will see. I’m so glad I can see them perform live and enjoying themselves. They are the best.Last concert for me in Cologne next month and looking forward to it.
    Also with mixed feelings maybe the last time I can see them.:(

  7. Anadica says:

    I like photo where Marie shows to someone fuck finger :-)))

  8. len hoare says:

    I was at the concert and ted is a idiot and must have been on drugs definitely not normal,the show was WONDERFUL and the crowd loved every minute of it

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