There’s no doubt that White Rock – or a large segment of the demographic – likes its ABBA, Elton John and Billy Joel.
An estimated 4,500 people packed into Five Corners Saturday night for a concert in the free White Rock TD Concerts at the Pier series paying tribute to these artists, most closely associated with the 1970s and 1980s.
On the bill were two acts from Peninsula-based Moon Coin Productions, ABRA Cadabra – which has toured the world playing the ABBA songbook – and keyboardist Ryan Langevin’s Piano Man, saluting Joel’s and John’s hits.
Even in spite of a few raindrops during the evening, the majority of the crowd remained – and many were on their feet dancing – until the final high-energy-encore number, Mamma Mia concluded just shy of 10 p.m. And some of them were even in their teens and twenties.
The concert was co-presented by the city and White Rock BIA, in association with Rock.It Boy Entertainment, and – in addition to TD Canada Trust – was sponsored by Forge and Oceana PARC.
“Music is what brings White Rock together,” enthused BIA president Ernie Klassen to Peace Arch News following the concert, as Moon Coin principals Jonas Falle and Jeanette O’Keeffe and their eight-member troupe (which also included Langevin, vocalist Stephanie Standerwick and background singer Sandra Dominelli) posed offstage for pictures and selfies with fans.
Earlier in the evening, BIA executive director Alex Nixon told PAN the estimated number of people was based not only on information from organizers and volunteers but also RCMP in attendance.
On Monday, Nixon said futher information indicated the estimate – which included patrons at the adjacent beer garden – was “pretty solid.”
“It was wonderful to see so many people out and enjoying the concert,” he said. “It was a fantastic crowd and it was great to see them supporting nearby restaurants as well. We’re thrilled so many people enjoyed the night – and we can count on there being a 2019 season.”
Although the TD Concerts at the Pier season was staged away from West Beach this year due to work still in progress for the renovation of Memorial Park, at least one concert of each season is held at Five Corners.
City recreation and culture director Eric Stepura told PAN Saturday that even though the stage had been moved to the top of Buena Vista from the usual spot on the north-east corner of Five Corners “because we were anticipating a lot of people for this one,” response to the Piano Man/ABRA Cadabra concert had exceeded all expectations.
Grand finale of the summer series will be Saturday (Aug. 18), at East Beach, highlighting The Northern Pikes and the environmentally-inspired folk-rock of South Surrey’s own The Wilds (featuring the multiple musical talents of Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright).