MANIA - The ABBA Tribute (Formerly ABBA MANIA)
November 19, 2022
The Lyric Theatre
Over the years, I have performed many private functions in Birmingham, Alabama, for friends and fans I met through performing with A1A. Still, I have never had the opportunity to perform at two venues where I have always wanted to play. These venues are The Alabama Theatre and The Lyric Theatre.
My first experience with The Alabama Theatre dates back to 1999 when my Mother and I drove here from Atlanta to see Gino Vannelli perform. I fell in love immediately upon entering, for it reminds me deeply of The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. FYI - The Fox is #1 in my heart as venues go. My Mother and I also traveled here to see Jackson Browne, and I later had the pleasure of seeing Jethro Tull perform at The Alabama a couple of years later. I have yet to make it to the Alabama Theatre stage, but we have now performed at her sister theatre directly across the street, The beautiful Lyric Theatre, so I am getting closer.
We pulled in this morning, and it was freezing outside, so I opted to stay in for the day. Everyone was in good spirits and looking forward to this evening's performance. Not only because it was the next to last show of the tour but because it was officially Alison's Birthday and the hometown for Keith and our soundman Jake. Keith was incredibly excited, for he had been going to great lengths to hide from all his friends and family in Birmingham that he was even on this tour! His Mother was the only one in on the plan, and it was her job to get everyone to the theatre.
Todd was very kind to send Alison a surprise Birthday cake, which we presented to her at soundcheck with hugs, kisses, and a round of Happy Birthday. I had the pleasure of meeting Jake's lovely family, and we also played a hilarious practical joke on Keith. We announced that we would be doing the short set instead of the long one, which would cut his solo out of the show. He bought it, and it was a hilarious moment. But since we all love Keith, we didn't let it drag on too long.
The audience tonight was entirely off the chain, and the response was overwhelming. The surprise Keith had in store for his family and friends was a big success, and he was delighted. We had a fantastic time, and we were all happy to see that the last shows of the tour were going over so well. Ultimately, the two Alabama shows and our Atlanta show probably had the best audiences on tour. This in no way takes away from all the other incredible venues we have played and the fantastic audiences we have played for. It just shows that we are very well-loved in Alabama and Atlanta.
Afterward, Keith took off with his entourage to hit the town while Alison, Kirbi, Chris, Wayne, and I went down the street to a cozy, dark little sushi bar. I was pretty tired and did not want to stay too long, so I returned to the bus to turn in early. Tomorrow was Atlanta and the last night of the tour, and I knew I needed to be rested and on top of my game. Ahhh...I do love sweet home Alabama. :-)