ABBA: Sydney, Showground. By Miha

The 20,000 who paid $9.80 a head for unreserved seating turned out in constant rain and wind-gusts March 3rd, 1977 to see the first Australian performance of Sweden’s charismatic pop singers who are on a tightly-skedded 11 concert tour of four capital cities. The group staged a spectacular show more akin to cabaret than pop concert despite daunting weather that required the constant mopping of water from the sodden and slippery stage. So bad was it that femme vocalists Frida fell on her face during, of all things, S.O.S.

Keeping promoter Paul Dainty’s promise (“We play rain or shine.”), ABBA commenced on sked with a couple of lesser-known numbers and brought a quiescent audience to life with Waterloo, their Eurovision Song Contest winner of 1974.

For just under two hours, though it poured, they rained hits on the cheering audience trotting out hits like Dancing Queen, Money, Money, Money and Rock Me, as well as presenting a mini opera complete with a 30-piece black-tie orchestra, and written especially for their current world tour.

Many younger fans of the close-up-TV-generation found the singers somewhat diminished because of the distance of the stage and they were thus doubly disappointed when the intended use of a large Eidophor screen was abandoned because of possible collapse in the wind gusts. But along with the audience’s bravos, kudos should go to ABBA who, despite some slight sound distortion from rain-soaked speakers, nonetheless excellently managed to reproduce the orchestration and sound quality which has made their disks so hot. Transcribed for ABBA World

Variety (New York) · 16 March 1977 (Page 58)


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