Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Hitkrant, November 1979: ABBA more than satisfies the fans!

Edmonton, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Concord, Anaheim, San Diego: every evening a different concert hall, every evening a new stage, every evening a different audience. ABBA on their world tour; will it be the last one? Although it is being strongly denied in press conferences and statements from Stockholm that the Swedish hit factory is about to split up, the rumours keep persisting.

For that matter, on stage it doesn’t look as if the quartet is about to split up. An enormous amount of enthusiasm, tempo and especially craftsmanship is being shown there! Although several songs are being performed that Agnetha, Frida, Benny and Bj√∂rn must have sung a hundred (thousand?) times by now, there are no signs of fatigue or going through the motions. Not in Gothenburg (the nineteenth show), not in Rotterdam (the twenty-third show). No, ABBA doesn’t exactly disappoint their fans. Everything that the group has to offer when it comes to musicality, show and personality is being displayed.
On the other hand, the fans don’t disappoint ABBA either: an ecstatic audience, sold out venues and sometimes distinguished guests, for instance during the performance at the ice hockey stadium in Stockholm, where the Swedish royal family was in attendance, cheering the group on just as enthusiastically as the rest of the audience!
Speaking of ice hockey: Anni-Frid had the idea to put on an ice hockey shirt at every performance during a couple of songs, in the team colours of the city where ABBA was performing at that moment. Especially in Canada and Sweden (where ice hockey is just as popular as soccer is here) this caused waves of enthusiasm. These same waves of enthusiasm arised in Stockholm during the song ‘I Have A Dream’, when the audience spotted Agnetha’s little daughter Linda in the children’s choir that joins ABBA in that song.
Apart from that, there is also a less pleasant incident to be mentioned: the stage design behind ABBA mainly consists of the same pyramids that you’ll probably recognize from the ‘Voulez-Vous’ album cover. The construction of that stage design started without notifying the designer of the album sleeve and he won’t put up with that: the man flew into a rage and now he demands a huge amount of money for the use of his design.
But that’s about the only dissonance in the two month long tour, wherein ABBA proved and proves their class yet again!


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