The 2021 Fall ABBA MANIA tour was very successful and packed with great times, spectacular performances, lots of stories, and loads of laughs. The short month we were out on tour supplied us with memories that will remain with us for some time to come.
With the encouragement of others and my curiosity, I decided to write a tour blog while on the road. I knew it would be an undertaking, but I was willing to try it. It was very time-consuming, just like I thought, and I did fall behind a time or two. I enjoyed it, however, and it could turn into a lovely coffee table book if given more time. (Don't hold me to that)
Below are all the blogs from our performances on our Fall 2021 tour. It covers 25 days, so I would not recommend you read it all in one sitting! I do hope you finish it, though, and I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and suggestions once you are through. Thank you for being part of my journey.
On The Road with Abba Mania - 10-26-21
Day #1 - Abba Mania Fall 2021 Tour - 10-28-21
Day #2 - The Raue Center - Crystal Lake, Illinois - 10-29-21
Day #3 - The Grand Theater - Wausau, Wisconsin - 10-30-21
Day #4 - The Mendel Center - Benton Harbor, Michigan - 10-31-21
Day #5 - Day Off
Day #6 - The Grand Theater - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - 11-02-21
Day #7 - The Grand Theater - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - 11-03-21
Day #8 - The Arcada Theater - St. Charles, Illinois - 11-04-21
Day #9 - The Genesee Theatre - Waukegan, Illinois - 11-05-21
Day #10 - The Capitol Theater Civic Center - Manitowoc, Wisconsin - 11-06-21
Day #11 - The Historic Ironwood Theater - Ironwood, Michigan - 11-07-21
Day #12 - Day Off - The Bus and The Holiday Inn - DeForest, Wisconsin - 11-08-21
Day #13 - Day Off - The Bus and The Holiday Inn - Shipshewana, Indiana - 11-09-21
Day #14 - The Blue Gate Performing Arts Center - Shipshewana, Indiana - 11-10-21
Day #15 - The Des Plaines Theater - Des Plaines, Illinois - 11-11-21
Day #16 - The Paramount Theater - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - 11-12-21
Day #17 - The Orpheum Theater - Wichita, Kansas - 11-13-21
Day #18 - The Uptown Theater - Kansas City, Missouri - 11-14-21
Day #19 - Day Off - On The Road - The Bus - 11-15-21
Day #20 - The Robins Theatre - Warren, Ohio - 11-16-21
Day #21 - The Akron Civic Theatre - Akron, Ohio - 11-17-21
Day #22 - Elevation 27 - Virginia Beach, Virginia - 11-18-21
Day #23 - The Grand Opera House and Alison's Birthday - Wilmington, Delaware - 11-19-21
Day #24 - Bally's - Atlantic City, New Jersey - 11-20-21
Day #25 - The Scottish Rite Auditorium - Collingswood, New Jersey - 11-21-21
November 21, 2021
Collingswood, New Jersey
The Scottish Rite Auditorium
Check out the TOUR page for all venue and ticket information for upcoming dates.
I feel I can speak for everyone in the band when I say that the last gig of every ABBA MANIA tour is always filled with mixed emotions. We are treated very well, and the ABBA MANIA train rolls like a large, well-oiled machine from town to town year after year. We work very hard out here. There are a lot of one-nighters packed into our annual two to three-month runs. Of course, it helps that we love what we do, and everyone gets along extraordinarily well. So much, in fact, that I can honestly say that there is never any drama. Seriously, I am not kidding. I am honored to share the stage night after night with some of the best musicians I have ever played with. Every day is another adventure. Yet every adventure has to come to an end. Life on the road is kind of like living in a suspended state of reality, so as much as we want it to carry on, we also have a deep need to get back home and take care of the other responsibilities and projects in our lives. We all had a wonderful time on this run, and the time we spent together, as always, is loaded with great memories. I am glad that we had a successful final show and sent this tour out with a bang.
This evening's performance was at a venue we have played a few times before. It is a unique and mysterious-looking auditorium with over a 100-year history. Started and run by the Masons for many years, the Scottish Rite Auditorium now has a regular concert series that brings us to town once a year. The crowds here have always been delightful and energetic, and the staff never fails to bestow honest, quality attention towards us. We also look forward to playing here because the catering is stupendously delicious and we are always very well fed.
Since this was the last gig of the tour, I made it a point to get out of the bus early, to take a walk around town and once more around the auditorium. I always enjoy watching the local crew set up our show, so I sat inside for a while and watched them put together our stage. Doing so never fails to leave me with a lot of gratitude for everyone involved and for being able to do what I do for a living. I do not take this for granted.
As a rule, we all usually eat on our own different schedules when dinner arrives. But tonight, we all ate together. Amidst stuffing our faces with delicious food, we laughed and reminisced about all that had happened to us in the short month we had been out here. Time is not the same on the road as it is at home. It stretches, it slows down, it speeds up. What happened last week can seem like it happened a month ago. You can cram six months of life into a month on the road. It is quite fascinating. The tour can go fast, or it can drag on forever. It isn't very easy to describe. It affects your body and your emotions. Thankfully, tonight everyone was in good spirits, in good health, and ready to make this last show one to remember.
We had quite a full house, and the audience, as always, was excited, responsive, and energetic. When the last notes of 'Dancing Queen' had faded away, and I had whisked 'my wife' off the stage, we all felt elated and jubilant. Afterward, we took some cast pictures and then changed quickly into our clothes and headed back to the bus. This time I did not dash for my bunk. I let my Meat Loaf jersey wait for me while I joined everyone upfront, where we proceeded to share some more good laughs and fill everyone in on what we would be doing until the tour reconvened in late January 2022.
I love everyone in this band. We are like one crazy circus family, and I love it - we all do. The show never gets old, and I have a joyous time onstage every night, even when we have an occasional problem. The amount of talent I get to witness on stage every night is incredible. I am so blessed to call these breathtaking musicians my bandmates and friends. Scratch that, circus family. I like that better. Ever since I was a boy, I always wanted to run away and join the circus, so 'circus family' feels more comforting.
Well, it is time for this Circus boy to turn out the light in my bunk one last time before rolling my way back to Atlanta and my 'reality' which awaits me there. I realize that nothing lasts forever, but God willing, we will be back in the Disco Saddle and ready to hit the road again in late January of 2022 for a jam-packed tour that will take us through the middle of March all across the country.
I sincerely want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my tour blog. This is the first one I have ever undertaken, and while it was very time-consuming, it has been an enlightening experience. Perhaps one day I will write the big book. Who knows? But for now, I remain out here, living my life like a song. There is still a lot of music left to make and miles to go before I sleep. Thank you for being part of my journey.