Concert Reviews: ABBA - (Conv. Ctr., Anaheim). By Kirk

Even with the current slump in the concert market, ABBA has doubtless chosen the optimum moment to make the first American tour. Domestic ears today are far more attuned to the groupís sweet but distant melding of Phil Spector and European disco than they would have been five years ago, when the quartetís first LP was released here.

Having racked up something in the neighborhood of $US100,000,000 in disk sales Ė a disproportionate number of those from outside the U.S. Ė An American tour at this juncture carries more symbolic than financial value to the quartet.

At the Anaheim Convention Center, however, both goals were achieved, as the group delivered a potent, two-hour-plus performance before a youthful, family-oriented capacity house.

Quartet was very successful in recreating its lush but tightly textured recorded sound, especially in the vocal area, where a backing trio supplemented the foursomeís interweaving sounds to good effect.

Nonetheless, there is something quite icy and remote about the groupís approach which makes their performance more a spectator sport than a participator experience.

Perhaps itís the white and silver metallic set. Perhaps itís the overly calculated choreography of the quartetís moves. Perhaps itís the matching costumes. Most probably, however, those visual elements only serve to reinforce the detached precision of their instrumental vocal sound. In ABBAís case, depth does equal distance.

Pre-encores concert closer, Hole In Your Soul, displayed the only novel lighting gimmick of the evening, an oversized ABBA logo, done up in small light bulbs which flushed various patterns in time to the tune.

Group reprised its biggest hits, Dancing Queen and Waterloo, for the encores. Transcribed for ABBA World

Variety (New York) ∑ Wednesday, 3 October 1979 (Page 17)

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