ABC in Concert (1991–1998)

TV Series  -  Documentary | Music
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A revival of its old "Wide World of Entertainment" series from the 70's, this ABC series presented concert performances featuring a different rock or pop performer each week. Musical acts ... See full summary »

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Title: ABC in Concert (1991–1998)

ABC in Concert (1991–1998) on IMDb 7.6/10

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 Hostess (3 episodes, 1993)
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A revival of its old "Wide World of Entertainment" series from the 70's, this ABC series presented concert performances featuring a different rock or pop performer each week. Musical acts ranged from well-known performers like The Rolling Stones and Cher, to newer, up-and-coming acts like New Kids on the Block, Sinead O' Conner and Mariah Carey. These late-night concerts were also simultaneously broadcast on ABC radio. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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In Concert '91/ABC In Concert : The First Review and A Look Back
17 July 2008 | by (Phx. Arizona ("Arizona Smells Funny"!- Homer Simpson)) – See all my reviews

In early 1991 ABC on Friday nights was to say the least,dull. Nightline was not for teens & 20 somethings and Radio DJ Rick Dees's talk show "Into The Night" was far from entertaining.

Thankfully (and in my opinion "mercifully") ABC decided to launch what was then called "In Concert '91". In fact Rick Dees introduced the first show saying that his show would return in a few weeks and to stay tuned for "In Concert '91". His show was yanked! June 7th,1991 the show debuted with "live" performances from Poison,Slaughter and the lesser known Bullet-Boys. A great first outing,despite Mark Slaughter trying to pass off screaming as singing.

Poison's lead singer loudly commenting that "It was about **** time live music came back to TV!" In the weeks that followed many up & coming and also well established acts made appearances. Billy Idol,Cher,DiVinyls,Alice in chains,Neil Young,Phil Collins,Fishbone,Tina Turner,Genesis,David Bowie (In his short lived group Tin Machine) and many others. (Despite what's listed here on IMDb,New Kids On The Block never appeared on this series).

In my own opinion,it was a great thing to have a concert series on Friday nights. The Mtv video rage had long subsided and it was great to let a new generation see that live performing is just as if not more important than the music video format.

When I heard about the debut I decided to record it and any and all shows that would air. I still have these on my old VHS tapes and am transferring them currently to DVDs. (Tapes were so old it's a wonder they played well.)

Update : 7/24/2010 :Tapes were disposed of today.

Now,that's basically the upside and positives of "In Concert '91" , what happened next left me and most likely others going "What the heck is this?!"

Starting in 1992,the show seemed to focus less on live shows and more on "interviewing" these artists. One things for sure,we don't tune in to music acts to hear them talk. Naturally we expect to be entertained. There were still "some" live parts but not full blown concerts.

In typical network fashion,ABC or whoever ran the production,took a good thing that wasn't broken and decided to fix it. I stuck around,hoping it would get back to "show" and dump the "tell". It didn't happen and although I'd tune in now & then,the show had lost it's appeal for me. I also stopped taping it at the end of '92.

It also lost many viewers,due more so later to it's 1am or 2am time slot. It's not that this show didn't catch on (as i read elsewhere online) it's that it shot itself in the foot. What young person's going to stay up to hear these famous people talk?

The fact that,somehow,this show lasted until Sepetember 11th,1998 is nothing short of amazing to me. In the ten years since then,the "live' music on TV has been relegated to mostly the talk shows and award shows & that rare TV concert. Most recently the "Save The Earth or "Green" concert from 2007.

On a personal note in re-watching these tapes I now realize I didn't just tape a late night concert series. What I captured was the last gasps of the 80s glam metal & pop scene before the new "kids" of the 90s took over with rap/hip-hop,grunge and what (at the time) seemed like darker music. (Nirvana & others arrived nationally at the end of '91 to drive in the final nail.)

If any network decides to bring back this format again,learn from ABC In Concert's mistake. Stick to the music and the live shows and leave the talking to the suits behind the scenes.

8 stars for the great live shows that I saw,still have and enjoyed. 2 off for killing the golden goose! (End)


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