Sunday, 18 September 2011

Hitkrant, February 1977: Ovations for ABBA - First concert in Holland

The Jaap Eden hall in Amsterdam has room for an awful lot of people. And indeed, there were an awful lot of people: all of them enthusiastic concert attendants who came to see and hear how ABBA - for the first time in their existence - performed live in Holland. And they certainly weren't disappointed!

ABBA gave a dazzling and perfect show and in the meantime they proved that we can regard them as a mature pop group by now. The four Scandinavian superstars managed to deliver on stage what they have been promising on their records up till now. And these days that's quite an accomplishment when you see and hear how some pop stars can't live up to expectations when they have to do without the technical facilities of the studio.

But we have to admit that ABBA didn't do it all by themselves: behind the group there was a selection of terrific musicians that were always present but never dominant. It was all about Agnetha, Frida, Björn and Benny...

'Tiger' opened the concert and it made sure that the mood was set immediately. The reaction of the audience was enthusiastic and this clearly motivated the ABBA members. 'That's Me' was followed by 'Waterloo' and the first bars of this song stirred up the Jaap Eden hall considerably. There seemed to be no end to the cheers of the audience and the same could obviously be said for 'SOS': a feast of recognition!

Indeed, this could be said for almost the entire show: the hits kept on coming at full speed and almost without interruption. 'Money, Money, Money' made the audience burst out in loud applause and the same went for 'I Do, I Do, I Do', 'Mamma Mia' and of course 'Fernando', of which the chorus was even repeated twice to give the audience the opportunity to sing along. And they certainly made good use of that...

Two very unusual songs caught our attention: an instrumental piece that showcased Benny's best keyboard work and resulted in a surprising piece of swinging pop music. Furthermore, the penultimate performance in musical style in which - helped by a narrator dressed in tails and the ABBA ladies wearing identical dresses and wigs - the story was told of a young girl that gets caught in the show business. Despite the long duration of the piece, it remained an entertaining performance, not least thanks to Agnetha and Frida's dance and show work.

An endless stream of ABBA work was poured out over the audience, varying from the old Hep Stars success 'He Is Your Brother', via 'Dum Dum Diddle', the soon to be released new single 'Knowing Me, Knowing You', the humorous 'A-B-B-A' wherein the members of the group introduce themselves and of course 'Dancing Queen', that made the audience get up on their chairs. But that was also the finale of the ABBA party. A party that drew thousands of people to Amsterdam and that ended far too soon for many of them...

But the party wasn't over yet for Suzan and Marion, the two Hitkrant readers about whom we already wrote in issue number 5 that they had been so disappointed that they hadn't been able to get tickets for the concert.
Record company Polydor managed to get hold of two more tickets and this enabled us to take both ABBA fans along. They were listening and watching without taking a breath! And the icing on the cake came when - after a lot of fussing - we still managed to bring Suzan and Marion in contact with the members of ABBA. This happened at the Amstel Hotel, where the group stayed. And despite the fact that Agnetha, Frida, Björn and Benny were obviously very tired after their concert, it still wasn't too much for them to pay a little attention to their young fans.

Indeed, a wonderful evening, not least for the two girls from Hoorn who hadn't even hoped for being able to attend the concert and now they could even meet their idols in person. The pictures prove how well this was received.

6 comments:

Monica said...

This is a very nice story and wonderful never-seen-before pictures. Thank you Michel.

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo's! I had them in my file too. I just posted them. I saw you printed one in reverse though. Love you blog! Best regatds, Philippe from AgnethAnnifridBlog

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo's! I had them in my file too. I just posted them. I saw you printed one in reverse though. Love your blog! Best regards, Philippe from AgnethAnnifridBlog

Alice said...

Thank you very much, Michel, for your great job here :)

Anonymous said...

Great stuff again, Michel! Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

"AgnethAnnifridBlog" isn't a respectful blog towards Frida.

Clare