-November 14, 2021
Kansas City, Missourri
The Uptown Theater
Check out the TOUR page for all venue and ticket information for upcoming dates.
I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City, here I come. Well, friends, neighbors, and ABBA MANIA fans, I am here. It is not my first time in Kansas City, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it will not be my last. We are here once again to play a theater that I am quite fond of. Built-in 1926, The Uptown Theater has a dark and broody atmosphere. Its mood reminds me of the floorshow theater in 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show,' and I adore it. A perfect venue for rock and roll, and ABBA MANIA has always done well here.
I have looked forward to this stop on our tour, for I will be seeing a dear special friend who I have not seen in a very long time, Suzey House. Suezy has the distinct honor of being the first person I ever talked to and became friends with online. The year was 1994, and I had just gotten my first computer, powered with a 14.4 dial-up modem and an 8.5 gig hard drive. Boy, was I in the big leagues. Once I installed my new AOL software, I immediately looked for music websites and music forums. I met Suezy in an 'Angel' forum Classic Rock music room on AOL Chat. (FYI- Angel the 70's classic rock band, not Angel as in coming to watch over you as you sleep.) After quickly discovering that we had the same passion and taste in rock and roll, we became instant internet friends. Believe it or not, tonight will only be the second time we have ever met face to face, so it is quite a special occasion. Making today even more remarkable is that today is her sister, Mary Janes, 71st Birthday. Furthermore, in an odd coincidence, Mary Jane is also a singer and has been in several stage productions of Mama Mia. How perfect and wild is that? Along for the party were Suezy's nieces, Barbara and Debra. Getting the party started, we met up after soundcheck and headed off in search of food. Mary Jane, Barbara, and Debra were just as cool as Suezy, and we had a lovely time at dinner, laughing, telling stories, stuffing our faces, breaking crab legs, and hanging out before the show. Suezy bought us dinner at this fantastic seafood restaurant called King Crabs. It looked like a dive, but it had the best seafood I may have ever tasted. I could not believe it. The next time I am in Kansas City, I will definitely be going back.
Suezy had bought tickets very early, and her proactiveness paid off, for she scored some great seats directly in front of me about four rows back. They had a fantastic time, took many pictures, and sang their hearts out, especially Mary Jane. It was a real treat to be a large part of her 70th Birthday and to help make it as special as it turned out to be. When the show was over, they came over to the side of the stage in order to get some more pictures and give me their review of the show. They were delighted and blown away, which of course, pleased Benny (me). :-) Some other fans noticed what was going on and followed them. I always enjoy talking to people before or after the show. I feel as an entertainer it is my job, my duty to give of myself as much as I can within reason to the people who listen to our music and pay good money to come to our shows. Too many artists forget that if it were not for the audience, they would have no job. I have always prided myself in going the extra mile to ensure everyone gets all the pictures, autographs, discussions, and time they need, regardless of how I feel physically or emotionally. It really does make a difference.
I was thrilled the band was on fire tonight and that we all gave a brilliant performance. I had no reason to worry about the audience, for every time we have played The Uptown Theater, the crowd has been enthusiastic and appreciative, and tonight was no exception. Winding the evening down, the girls and I hung out as long as we could before they had to leave. It was a drag to say goodbye, for they were all wonderful and fun, and it was fantastic to see Suezy again. Bringing it all back to the beginning, before she left, we promised to attend an 'Angel' concert together sometime next year, a historical event that would officially cement our rock and roll friendship and bring everything full circle.
Speaking of circles, it is time for the big ones beneath me to start rolling on to the next town and for my head to hit the pillow. As I reflect on this evening's festivities, a lyric by Jimmy Buffett comes to mind, so I will close the curtain now and leave you with this.
"I enjoy this life as a jester...seems to keep me moving around. Like the wind that blows, tides that flow. I have my ups and downs." - Jimmy Buffett