MANIA - The ABBA Tribute (Formerly ABBA MANIA)
November 16, 2022
The Harrison Opera House
The last time we performed in Virginia was in 2021 in Virginia Beach at a fantastic, small rock club whose name escapes me. I have friends and fans in Virginia, so we had a great time then, and I was anticipating a great time tonight, also.
I am an enormous American and European history buff, and Norfolk, Virginia, had a lot to offer. Again, if you have been reading all my blogs, you are starting to see a trend, I was fatigued, and it was extremely cold. Thus, I again decided to stay in, take a nap, and rest before the show. I apologize for starting to be a little less interesting, but I encourage you to please read on and stay with me.
I want to add something here about remaining in the theatre and not venturing out into the day. I do not take what I am able to do for granted. To have the opportunity to perform in many of the country's most beautiful theaters, performing arts centers, and concert halls is a dream come true. I am a loner at heart and by nature (though many would seriously fight me on that), and I always enjoy spending time walking about and discovering more about the venues where we perform.
On this tour, I have had an added pleasure. My brother and I have had years of long conversations about how important the music played over the sound system before and after a concert is critical. It has the ability to set and enhance the mood of the audience considerably before the concert begins. We both firmly believe it is part of the show itself when done correctly. Sadly, this has become a lost art to most newer generations. As an avid concertgoer, I often feel saddened when I see the many wasted opportunities. So on one of the early shows of this tour, I was out in the hall by myself after soundcheck, and Jake, our exceptional soundman, was playing a playlist he put together just for this tour. It completely caught me off guard. It comprised many classic and beautiful songs and hits from the 1970s. All of them being close to my heart and many I had not heard in years. Some of the most emotional moments for me on this tour revolved around hearing the playlist before and after the show. I spent time alone onstage or in the audience on many days just listening to Jake's masterful playlist and losing myself in time. It brought back a flood of memories and filled me with an ocean of waving emotion. Naturally, I thanked Jake profusely time and time again.
I should add here that by this time on the tour, everyone is feeling road weary, tired, and worn out. Granted, some more than others. But being the senior member, I assume I start to feel the aches and pains before the rest. Although, I do take great pains to care for myself out here, even if I fail more than succeed. So now that I have all that out of the way let us move on.
The Harrison Opera house is a very grand and elegant music hall. I was impressed, grateful, and humbled to be performing here, and looking forward to our evening performance. Once a World War II USO theater, this historic venue was lavishly renovated in 1993. With 1,632 seats, the stunning Edythe C. and Stanley L. Harrison Opera House retains an intimate ambiance, but one adorned by the beauty of glittering chandeliers, sweeping staircases, and bistro tables where you can sip champagne and drink in the glamour.
I was thrilled when the curtains rose, and the house was almost full. I received a message from my friends, and they were all set in their seats and ready to have a good time. I was looking forward to meeting up with Mary Glenn and her friends after the show. The crowd was fantastic, and we gave an excellent performance. Afterward, I posed for pictures and caught up with Mary Glenn and her friends for a while before heading back to my dressing room. I love it when my friends and fans across the country come to the show. It is a running joke in the band how I have people, friends, and fans in every state. That is a joke I will be happy to be the brunt of. I enjoy making people happy and helping them forget their troubles for a while. Life is too short, not too.
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