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Sunday, April 17, 2011

It Must Have Been Love (But It’s Over Now): Notes from the Roxette Concert in Montevideo

Last April 2, a Saturday, after a thorough self reflection lent-style, I decided to watch the Roxette concert here in Montevideo. The pros: I know some of their songs by heart. Thanks to a cassette tape that my brother has left us when he was in college. I remember vividly one of their songs in “Pretty Woman” OST. The cons: I haven’t gone in a night-out alone here in Montevideo. We survive here by cab and I was expecting a hefty competition with the concertgoers.

Anyhow, some notes:

1. The venue is called Velodromo. Its facade can be mistaken for our very own Rizal Stadium in Vito Cruz only a little orangey. Our manager here (where I got a tip on the best way to go there) described it as a place for cyclists. It’s an open field with a capacity comparable to Araneta Coliseum;

2. It took me less than 15 minutes to reach the place. The cab hailing took more time as a juelga from the operators was ongoing during that godly hour. I thought I was late for the 9pm schedule but the front act was still performing;

3. My estimate for the attendance was 5,000 to 6,000 (could be more). I got the cheapest ticket and for me it’s a good thing as I had freedom where to enjoy the concert. First, I can take any seat at the back of the venue which serves as a grandstand. The other option was to go past that crowd and join the others in the area that forms a U adjacent to the stage. Those inside the U were, of course, those with more expensive tickets and they got seat numbers;

4. Stage set is not that a stranger to our concert scene. Except for some makeshift dividers beside the stage, everything felt like home (the lighting, the atmosphere, etc.). They’ve got two or three booths selling shirts but I didn’t find anything cute. I noticed, too, that some were selling those glow sticks but I was guessing they’re not legit;

5. I was pretty sure that I smelled a hint of marijuana in one or two spots. Hey, I was in the Netherlands for almost the entire 2006;

6. Thanks to the video walls, I can at least figure out from a far that Marie Fredikkson is getting a bit old (but not tired). She’s turning 53 this May if Wikipedia is right. She can’t hit the high notes anymore but she did her best to ad lib (and the unusual output was still enjoyable audio-wise). As for Per Gessle, good as the cassette tape;

7. Happiness was listening to the familiar tunes. The concert opened with “Dressed for Success” and ended with (surprise, surprise) “Listen to Your Heart”. Right before singing “Dangerous”, Per said “Welcome to Hollywood!” It must have been love that I sang along with the locals in songs that I can sing without being reminded that 80’s was so centuries ago;

8. Before the encore, the crowd was cheering “Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! Roxette!” My football fanatic friends would love to hear that; and

9. No, I didn’t have a hard time getting a cab after the concert (after walking two or three blocks, I guess).

The rest of the pics here.

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