Last night, the world premiere for the 2007 production of ABBA The Show took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I was there, and for about two hours, I think I was surrounded by the happiest people on the planet. There have been a few people in my life who are big ABBA fans, but I didn’t realize how hardcore their fan base was until last night at the sold out show.
This was the first time that I had been to the Royal Albert Hall. It’s amazing how intimate and yet large the historical venue is. Beautiful as well. I’ve seen many concerts at the Royal Albert Hall on TV, but I don’t remember seeing an audience quite like the one at the ABBA show. Let me just put it this way – if you’re thinking about buying tickets to one of the shows when they go on tour next year, be prepared for a party atmosphere – and to dance. If you don’t, then you will feel out of place!
The show seemed so authentic, and there were times that I felt like I was in a working wax museum. The costumes, the way that the singers and musicians from Sweden’s Waterloo playing Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Frida moved, the songs, the audience reaction – it was as if I was transported in time, back to when ABBA was on tour in the 70’s. This seemed even more surreal when original band members including Ulf Andersson (sax) and Lasse Wellander (guitar) came on stage to play.
There was narration by Matthew Freeman, who was also conducting The National Symphony Orchestra of London. In between sets, he would introduce each era of the ABBA phenomenon – through song and music, periods of when they formed, were on tour, divorce and their 1974 Eurovision win with the infamous, “Waterloo”, costumes and all.
Of course all of the popular ABBA songs were there: “Mamma Mia”, “Dancing Queen”, “Money Money Money”, “Knowing Me Knowing You”, “Take A Chance On Me”, “Voulez Vous”, “Chiquitita”, “Fernando”, “SOS” and more.
Camilla Hedren as Agnetha and Katja Nord as Anni-Frid (Frida) looked and sounded great. The band was top notch as were the backup singers. I’m sure it will be their performance that I’ll remember for a long time whenever I hear ABBA’s music.
If you’re an ABBA fan, not to be missed. Highly recommended.
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