November 4, 2021
The Arcada Theater
St. Charles, Illinois
Check out the TOUR page for all venue and ticket information for upcoming dates.
For me, one of the most fulfilling aspects of touring with such an incredible show like ABBA MANIA is all of the remarkable and historical stages I get to perform on. From intimidatingly large Performing Arts Centers to 100-year-old historical theaters and very hip rock clubs. I love to spend time going over a venue's history to see whose feet have graced the stage before me and whose music has filled the space that ours will soon occupy. I wanted this life probably before I was even too old to realize it, and as I get older, I feel that, unfortunately, I have spent more time being a "fan" than I have put into being a musician. :-(
Tonight's venue is a small theater in St. Charles, Illinois, which dates back to 1926. It has a very long history as a theater and even has a mystical hidden speakeasy that still exists on the second floor. Like many of the venues we perform in, countless numbers of my heroes have graced the stage. I spend a lot of time thinking about these things when I am in the venue, especially when I walk out on stage to perform - every night - every time - every venue.
The walls of the dressing rooms are littered and crammed with autographs of entertainers who have played here before. It is very cool. The first couple of times I played here, I took a LOT of photos of the autographs. Thinking back now about all of the pictures I have taken on ABBA MANIA tours over the past seven years, I deeply regret not doing these blogs all along. Perhaps if I can find the time, I will dig back and try and find a lot of old photos to add to my blogs on venues like The Arcada Theater. They are all well worth seeing.
So back to the present. Well, as we all know, nothing lasts forever. When I entered the downstairs dressing room area, the first thing I noticed was that they had upgraded and made some significant improvements. I was very excited until I went up and entered the main lobby area, where countless historical autographed photos and artifacts once hung on the wall. I was shocked to discover that they are in the middle of remodeling and painting over everything to make it more 'modern.' I was very disappointed to see what I thought was a great part of the history of the theater now being glossed over. They even gutted some of the rooms and were adding on to make things a little bigger. All of this made me very sad, but the addition of Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and AC/DC pinball machines did make the changes a little easier to swallow. :-)
Anyway, the staff there are absolutely incredible. Everyone at The Arcada treats us very well, feeds us like Kings and Queens, and we always hate to leave. On top of that, the audiences are consistently off the chain and excited to see us. Then closing out the night at the speakeasy upstairs is the perfect treat, right before we make our way out in the cold to the excitement and anticipation of what the next town and venue have to offer us. I look forward to returning...so I can play the KISS pinball machine. :-) :-)