March 4, 2022 | LIFE | By Katie Rowley | Illustration by Patil Khakhamian
“GIMME, GIMME, GIMME A MAN AFTER MIDNIGHT” screamed out the crowd, my friends and I included, who gathered on Saturday, Feb. 26, at The Black Sheep, an eclectic, premier music venue in Colorado Springs.
According to The Black Sheep’s website, Gimme Gimme Disco is a “dance party inspired by ABBA.” Founded in 2019, this disco party travels across the United States, primarily playing music from the Swedish pop band ABBA and sometimes venturing into their 1970s and 1980s contemporaries, like Cher, Whitney Houston, and Queen.
Tickets are fairly cheap, about $20 with taxes and fees, and with the promise of dancing with your friends in a sparkly top, Gimme Gimme Disco is making strides in bringing back disco.
They’ve attempted to do just that in Colorado Springs. Visiting The Black Sheep twice in the last month, first on Jan. 29 and most recently on Feb. 26, Gimme Gimme Disco, or “ABBA Night” as it’s become known amongst my friends and our peers on YikYak, was populated with many Colorado College students.
I found out about ABBA night through a post on the Black Sheep’s Instagram. I spent the weeks leading up to Jan. 29 stressing over the perfect disco outfit. When the night finally arrived, and my friends and I were all glammed up (I had settled on a yellow flower shirt and white wide-legged pants for my disco fit), all eight of us squeezed into my five-seat Subaru Outback for the short drive.
We arrived at 8:00 p.m. on the dot (which is the most punctual most of my friends have ever been to anything ever) and had to wait in a short queue before making our way inside.
Government-issued IDs and COVID-19 vaccination cards were and still are required to get through the doors, but that’s as far as COVID-19 restrictions go.
Despite the DJ set not starting until 9:00 p.m., even though the tickets had the start time an hour earlier, the first night of Gimme Gimme Disco was filled with endless dancing, complaining about how much my feet hurt from my white heeled boots, and running into familiar faces from CC. All the best songs were played: “Somebody To Love,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and every ABBA song imaginable. The dance floor was packed, as well as the bar and sitting area. It was the place to be.
The mass of people who showed up in January must have found something else to do on Feb. 26, as the dance floor lacked volume and the entire energy of the night was dull in comparison.
Whether it was the fact that on-campus parties have made their return this block or the event’s lack of novelty, the venue was this time populated with a more middle-aged audience. With the same setlist as last ABBA night, the DJ set lacked luster and excitement.
The crowd seemed to notice this deficiency and tried to liven up the place, 30 or so people jumping onto the stage during “Dancing Queen.” Throughout the crowd gasps of “I wanna go on stage” could be heard from everywhere. But the awe died down when staff started rushing people off as soon as the song ended, and the night lost its momentum.
Around 11:00 p.m., exhausted and bored, I found myself attempting to gather my friends so we could all leave. The crowd had dwindled significantly, and all the best ABBA songs had already been played.
After failed efforts to gather everyone, three of us hopped in an Uber and headed back towards campus. I was asleep before midnight, the perfect ending to a disappointing disco night.
Hopefully, if Gimme Gimme Disco returns to The Black Sheep for a third time, the night will be more exciting, and those who chose to forgo ABBA night this time around will don disco clothes and dance all night long.