ABBA REMIND FANS OF WHAT THEY’VE BEEN MISSING IN LONG-AWAITED VIRTUAL TOUR “ABBA VOYAGE”
After nearly five years of speculation, and 40 years since their unofficial breakup, pop legend ABBA is finally back on the stage — just not in the way fans might expect. Through a technological feat the likes of which have never been utilized before, Agnetha Falkstog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad now perform as ABBAtars that look, act and sound exactly as the band did during their peak in the 1970’s. And if the reaction from the first set of performance is anything to go by, fans are already ecstatic by the idea — and, more importantly, excited to see one of their favorite bands perform “live” again.
Swedish group ABBA reigned during the disco era with their thoughtful lyrics, infectious arrangements and stream of hit singles. Though they never quite broke up officially, it would take until 2016 for the band to reunite and bring new music to the world. And now, with “ABBA Voyage” housed in a custom-built venue in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, it’s easier than ever to hear both the new songs that ABBA have created and the songs that made fans fall in love with them decades ago.
The first concert for “ABBA Voyage” was held on May 27, with celebrities like Kylie Minogue, Keira Knightley, Kate Moss, Zara Larsson and even Swedish royals Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia in attendance. Through the brilliant visual effects of Industrial Light & Magic — who used motion capture to replicate each individual members’ idiosyncrasies — the ABBAtars of ABBA were able to perform a 95-minute set of new music and fan favorites, accompanied by a live band up front.
The goal was to bring ABBA to the 21st century as if they were performing today, complete with choreographers, costumers and lighting technicians who work behind-the-scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly. By all accounts, the premiere was an incredibly fun and emotional night, with a curtain call that brought out the four members of ABBA in-person to massive applause. According to composer Benny Andersson, he couldn’t be prouder of what “”ABBA Voyage” has to offer and what it’s accomplished:
“I thought that everyone who has been working on this project has done a fantastic job. That’s what I felt. It is us up there. It’s ABBA, and so beautifully done. To me, the only question that really mattered was not if it is good enough but how will the audience react when we’re not really there? … Would they be immersed in what we’re trying to achieve here? The audience was fantastic and the preview we had the day before yesterday was a full house. Yes, an incredible reaction. We were there, I promise you. We were actually there. So I’m very happy.
ABBA may be from long ago by today’s standards, but their ability to perform in new, innovative ways through “ABBA Voyage” just proves how the band and their music will always remain timeless. Tickets for ABBA Voyage are available now through May 23, 2023 at https://abbavoyage.com. If you’re interested in how the virtual band looks and sounds, check out a short clip of ABBA’s “SOS” performed in “ABBA Voyage” below!