European & Australian Tour (ABBA)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
European & Australian Tour
77prog.jpg
Souvenir Program for ABBA's European & Australian Tour
Tour by ABBA
Associated album Arrival
The Album
Start date January 28, 1977 (1977-01-28)
End date March 12, 1977 (1977-03-12)
Legs 2
Shows 17 in Europe
11 in Australia
28 Total
ABBA concert chronology
European Tour
(1975)
European & Australian Tour
(1977)
ABBA: The Tour
(1979-80)

European & Australian Tour was the second concert tour by Swedish pop group ABBA. Beginning on January 28 in Oslo (Norway) through March 12, 1977 (Perth, Australia), it was the first time the Scandinavian quartet performed their hits to massive audiences outside Europe. The Australian leg was to be the most memorable, with fan-frenzy scenes later immortalized in Lasse Halstrom's ABBA: The Movie, released in 1978.

Background[edit]

Ever since the beginning of their career, the members of ABBA rarely agreed to leave the safety of their home and recording sessions in Sweden to perform in concert. But after the release of the mega-successful "Greatest Hits" compilation and the album "Arrival", their status changed dramatically and were clearly regarded as superstars around the globe.

In December 1976, the group began rehearsing their stage act in the Konserthuset in Stockholm (By January 1977, they moved to Europa Studios). The new tour meant an innovation and a preview peek into ABBA's future, showcasing a pop opera called "The Girl With The Golden Hair" - a mini-musical in 4 scenes - with Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad sharing the lead role in blonde wigs.

The girls worked with their choreographer Graham Tainton and prepared several dance numbers for some of the songs. Meanwhile, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson were engaged in the preparations even if they would not dance on stage. The memorable white and gold costumes they wore during the entire tour were designed by Owe Sandström.

European leg[edit]

The tour officially took off in Oslo (Norway), on January 28, 1977, performing in front of 5.300 screaming fans, including Prince Harald and Princess Sonja. They later gave concerts in Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Berlin, Cologne, Essen, Hannover, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Antwerp.

The last European country of the tour was Great Britain, where ABBA enjoyed an impressive chart success. They played in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and two sold-out gigs at London's Royal Albert Hall, on February 14. Tickets for these shows were available only by mail application and it was later revealed that the box-office received 3.5 million requests for tickets, enough to fill the venue 580 times. Bjorn said that the Royal Albert Hall concerts were a very special moment and a milestone in ABBA's career. "The thousands of fans packed in displayed their enjoyment so much. They showed how much they liked our music. It was electric, vibrant. I never thought I would see it happen".

Australian leg[edit]

After the UK shows, the group returned to Stockholm to prepare for the Australian leg of the tour. With great anticipation from media and fans, Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny, Frida and an entourage of 117 people arrived in Sydney on February 27. In the Boeing 727 hired to transport them, were manager Stig Andersson and their frequent video director Lasse Hallström, who was travelling with them in order to do a whole film about the tour with a little storyline.

Their first concerts in Australia took place at the Sydney Showgrounds on March 3 and 4, where 20.000 fans battled with a violent rainstorm, one that had Frida slip on stage with little harm. Despite the circumstances, the show went on. In Melbourne, the group was greeted on the Town Hall's balcony by a large crowd, a scene included in Hallström's project. The concerts were staged at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

After playing in Adelaide's Football Park, ABBA stayed for 3 days in Perth for the tour's final concerts at the Entertainment Centre. During the first of the five shows, an anonymous phone call advised that there was a bomb somewhere at the venue. At the time Benny was alone on stage playing the instrumental piece "Intermezzo No 1", but when the rest of the band didn't appear for several minutes Benny consulted with a stagehand, and shortly thereafter an announcement was made of a 15 minute interval and everyone was evacuated. There was no bomb though and both the audience and ABBA later returned to the stage and continued the concert. As a result, the second concert due to start at 9pm was delayed by 15 minutes.

The last Australian concert was on March 12, and ABBA went back to Stockholm to continue the recording of The Album and finishing other scenes from The Movie. All in all, the group played 11 dates in Australia before a total of 160,000 people. The frenzy behind their appearance down under was especially stressful on Agnetha Fältskog, who recalled that "sometimes it was awful. I felt as if they would get hold of me and I’d never get away again".

Setlist[edit]

  1. "Tiger"
  2. "That's Me"
  3. "Waterloo"
  4. "S.O.S."
  5. "Sitting In the Palmtree"
  6. "Money, Money, Money"
  7. "He Is Your Brother"
  8. "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do"
  9. "Dum Dum Diddle"
  10. "When I Kissed The Teacher"
  11. "Knowing Me, Knowing You"
  12. "Rock Me"
  13. "I Am An A"
  14. "I've Been Waiting for You"
  15. "Mamma Mia"
  16. "Fernando"
  17. "Why Did It Have To Be Me"
  18. "Intermezzo no 1"
  19. "The Girl With The Golden Hair" - a mini-musical in 4 scenes -
  1. "So Long" (with short excerpt from 'In The Mood' by Glenn Miller)
Encore
  1. "Dancing Queen"
  2. Thank You For The Music (reprise)

Additional notes[edit]

  • Some songs sung by Björn were dropped for some of the concerts in Melbourne, due to his suffering food poisoning.
  • ‘So Long’ was not performed at the first concert in Sydney.

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
Europe
January 28, 1977 Oslo Norway Ekeberghallen
January 29, 1977 Gothenburg Sweden Scandinavium
January 30, 1977
January 31, 1977 Copenhagen Denmark Brøndby Hall
February 1, 1977
February 2, 1977 Berlin Germany Deutschlandhalle
February 3, 1977 Cologne Sporthalle
February 4, 1977 Amsterdam Netherlands Jaap Edenhal
February 5, 1977 Antwerp Belgium Arena Hal
February 6, 1977 Essen Germany Grugahalle
February 7, 1977 Hanover Eilenriedehalle
February 8, 1977 Hamburg Congress Center Hamburg
February 10, 1977 Birmingham England Odeon
February 11, 1977 Manchester Free Trade Hall
February 12, 1977 Glasgow Scotland Apollo Theatre
February 13, 1977 London England Royal Albert Hall
February 14, 1977
Australia
March 3, 1977 Sydney Australia Sydney Showground
March 4, 1977
March 5, 1977 Melbourne Sidney Myer Music Bowl
March 6, 1977
March 6, 1977
March 8, 1977 Adelaide Football Park
March 10, 1977 Perth Perth Entertainment Centre
March 10, 1977
March 11, 1977
March 12, 1977
March 12, 1977

Musicians[edit]