My First Gig
The first concert I went to was…
Not bad for a rock n’ roller, eh. It was at the Perth Entertainment Centre, 10 March, 1977 – their first of five shows in Perth over three days.
The concert started at 6pm, and another was scheduled for 9pm. Those were the days!
At some point in the show Benny Andersson announced that there had been a bomb threat made to the venue, and their kids were in the venue, so they were taking it seriously and everyone needed to evacuate.
I remember being crushed (emotionally, not physically – the evacuation was extremely orderly) – I was ten, and I wanted to hear Dancing Queen. It didn’t matter that we were right up in the gods, and the band were tiny figures far below us. The excitement was something close to what Beatlemania must have felt like.
We were hustled and bustled outside, where I stood in my ultra tight sickly yellow ABBA t-shirt, and I think my parents wanted to give up and go home. I insisted we stay. Dancing Queen, man – come on! No way was I going to miss that!
It seemed we waited an eternity – forty years ago a half hour probably was an eternity, now it’s never long enough.
Eventually we were allowed back to our seats, the show resumed, and yes – they played Dancing Queen. I danced (well, shuffled awkwardly – some things never change) in the aisle.
I believe the second show started about fifteen minutes behind schedule, then a few days later they flew out of Perth and never visited Australia again. Apparently a lot of the concert footage used in the film – released later that year – ABBA: The Movie was from Perth.
Now, decades later, I’ve come back to ABBA after many years being ‘too cool’ to admit their importance in my musical education. Lady Boomboom is a huge fan, and she reminded me that their melodic songwriting gifts are second-to-none. Now Tiger is a huge fan as well. I’m going to buy ABBA: The Movie and watch it with her so she can vicariously share the thrill, 40+ years later.
An article in The West Australian about ABBA’s visit to Perth – https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/thank-you-for-the-music-abba-ng-b88406997z
Some info about the tech gear for the tour, plus photos of the Melbourne leg – http://www.jpjaudio.com.au/1977/03/12/abba-tour-1977/
A retrospective tour diary of the Australian tour – http://abbaphenomenon.abbaomnibus.net/tour/mem2.htm