ON THIS Day – 8th March 1977
ABBA Live In Australia !
Westlakes Football Stadium – Football Park
Turner Drive, Westlakes
Sound Rehearsal: 4.00pm
ABBA arrived in Adelaide, South Australia, in the morning on Tuesday 8th March after their much needed day off in Melbourne.
They were greeted by fans and reporters – with photos taken at the airport.
One thing I find a little amusing about ABBA’s arrival is that they were coming to perform at a stadium called Football Park, in Adelaide – and Frida arrived in Adelaide wearing a football jersey from a Melbourne team – Carlton. Someone in Adelaide should have thought to give them jerseys for their team lol
Arriving In Adelaide:
Arriving In Adelaide:
Tonight at 8.30pm the concert would be held at Football Park – now commercially known as AAMI Stadium - located in the western suburbs of Adelaide.
The stadium was set up the same as Sydney, with the huge custom stage, billowing pillow roof and massive speaker towers – and unreserved seating.
This was another sold out concert, with 21,000 tickets sold.
However, as with the Melbourne shows, the audience wasn’t only inside the stadium.
A further 10,000 fans enjoyed the concert from the carpark outside !
This was becoming a recurring scene with the ABBA concerts.
I can almost picture the scene – the carpark full of cars with people kicking back on the bonnet, the roof – and listening to the music that would have come booming out of that stadium.
For this concert, I am going to hand over to someone who was actually there. This guy was a journalist for the Adelaide Advertiser – a daily newspaper in Adelaide.
He attended the concert on 8th March and as you will see from his review, before the concert he was not a major fan of ABBA. By the end of the show however, he was a believer.
I bet this happened with a lot with non-believers at the time – they always seem shocked that ABBA were good as a Live act.
Anyway, without further ado, here is Ian Meikle from Adelaide 1977, explaining how he became an ABBA fan J
9 March 1977
Abba-solutely the finest staged pop show in the world.
Flaming red-haired Frida is a real rager, blonde Agnetha a stunner, and the whole heaving Abba machire behind, above and on stage is nothing short of brilliant.
But strangely, unaccountably. the 20,000 fans sharing the beautifully mild night at Football Park didn't seem to be falling about with hysteria. Not like the telly, eh? Can't just sit back and watch 'em belt them out between commercials all pre-packed, plastic and sterile.
Still, for me an Abba-basher from way back - it was an exciting surprise. Here was the Swedish phenomenon in the flesh, at last having to justify its appeal as the biggest thing since the Beatles. And, if only for sheer effect, they went a good deal of the way last night in proving their popular worth.
This show is the result of a year's planning, six months' rehearsing and the work of the largest entourage to cross Australia. The finished article, though strung together by bits of you've seen-it-all-before, is quite simply magnificent. Between two huge stacks of speakers, which they rightly call their wall of sound, Abba swirls and swings aboard the biggest, deepest stage thepromoters have had to build. Looming high above the dazzling white set is an enormous pillow-like canopy, flown in especially from Sweden. Below, the show gallops on as Abba bounds from hit to hit. Initially, from where I was sitting on the lawn area, the sound was tinny and thin, especially on "I Am a Tiger, "SOS" and "Waterloo.
The group seemed cold, and wooden, each taking a turn to mouth a platitude or two, and then on to the next number. But once the four - Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus - and the backing group got warm, the performance skyrocketed in appeal.
Whether clawing their way through "I Am a Tiger" or playing coy school girls in "When I Kissed the Teacher", Agnetha and Frida are the ones the binoculars follow.
Frida, especially, in her sexy shorts, hardly stopped dancing during the two-hour set and positively stole the show with her solo on "Why Did it Have to Be Me."
And the hits tumbled on..."Fernando" - complete with fireside lighting and stars, "Mamma Mia", "Rock Me" and on to something new, a mini-rock opera. Tee-hee. Abba attempts rock opera but no, they pulled it off with real rocky style. Called "The Girl With the Golden Hair", it's the heart~tugging tale of naive Goldilocks who finds stardom at the hands of an unscrupulous manager. Corny, eh? The execution wasn't. Punchy, fast, and from a better spot in the stands, it sounded absolutely superb.
Tops for the night was the finale, a rousing rendition of rocker "So Long," then after a round of salutory applause, into a bobby-dazzling encore of "Dancing Queen" complete with orchestra, brass and band.
All that was left was to take the kids and go home, but wait, what's this? Ye gods, a fireworks display! Well, there was something, to celebrate - Abba's Arrival as live performers.
Experienced by and written by Ian Meikle 1977
Join me tomorrow when ABBA take off to Perth !