It’s a reunion 40 years in the making. One that comes decades after the band’s unofficial split and the bitter but brave songs of their final album, 1981’s The Visitors, released after the double divorces of band members Agnetha Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
Over those long, ABBA-less decades, the popularity of the group has not waned. Go to a wedding, party or vaguely nostalgic club night and you’ll most probably hear at least one ABBA hit. (If you don’t, tell the host to sack the DJ.) In 1999, the band’s music spawned a West End musical, Mamma Mia!, which today is the seventh longest running show in West End history. From this came the hugely popular film of the same name in 2008, and a decade later its sequel: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
In 2019, the O2 gained Mamma Mia! The Party, an immersive dining experience charged by a soundtrack of the band's greatest hits and rarely played gems. Then just before the pandemic, the O2 remounted the Southbank Centre’s sell-out ABBA: Super Troupers – The Exhibition, giving fans of the Swedish pop group another space to indulge in their favourite songs and learn interesting tit-bits about the band’s journey.
Until now, however, one crucial piece of the ABBA puzzle has remained missing: attending an ABBA concert. In fact, many, if not most, of ABBA’s current fan base will never have heard the group perform live.
The pioneering concert experience, directed by Baillie Walsh, sees digital versions of the band – which the team stresses are avatars, not holograms – perform nightly concerts at the 3,000-capacity arena, accompanied by a 10-piece band.
Crucially, audiences aren’t being fobbed off with old footage: the band recently reunited to be hooked up to the motion sensors – similar to those used to create CGI scenes in movies and on TV – to create the ‘Abbatars’ of themselves.
The experience comes months after the release of the group’s tepidly received 2021 album, Voyage, which featured the Christmas song Little Things as well as the earworm I Still Have Faith in You.
Come along to hear the new album live as well as all the old favorites: Mamma Mia, The Winner Takes It All, Super Trouper – the lot – while shimmying along like a dancing queen.
|What||ABBA Voyage, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park|
|Where||Abba Arena , Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Pudding Mill Lane, London, E15 2PJ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Stratford (underground)|
27 May 22 – 04 Dec 22, 7:45 PM – 10:30 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|