ABBA’s Comeback Concert Features Band Members in their 70s Heyday

Dancing queens (and kings, and kweens!)—rejoice! Swedish pop legend ABBA returns to the stage, four decades after their last performance in an innovative digital concert called ABBA Voyage.

The past and future collide as the 70s supergroup appeared as digital avatars of their younger selves at the purpose-built, 3,000-seater ABBA Arena during the show’s premier on May 26. The show was opened to the public on Friday, May 27, following the star-studded red carpet premiere attended by celebrities, superfans and the king and queen of Sweden King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.


The VVIPs of the show were the members of ABBA themselves—only this time, they were in the audience and not onstage. This was the first time all four members of ABBA were seen together in public in a long time.

Performing onstage at the ABBA Arena were the “ABBA-tars,” created using motion capture among other technology, along with a 10-piece live backing band. The voices and movements were of the real Agnetha Faltskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, as choreographed by Britain’s Wayne McGregor. But the performers, the ABBA digital avatars, were made by Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects firm established by Star Wars director George Lucas.


In astonishingly realistic detail, the ABBA-tars depict the iconic popstars as they looked in their 1970s heyday—mullets, electric blue eyeshadow, velour pantsuits and all. The result is a high camp, glittery explosion of stupefying technology, nostalgia and music genius.


The 90-minute show takes audiences to a surreal trip down memory lane, as ABBA performs favorites such as “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,”and “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” The set also includes songs from the band’s reunion album, “Voyage,” which they released last year.


It may be a bit strange for some to watch their younger selves perform, but band members, who are now in their 70s, found the show amusing.

Ulvaeus said: “I never knew I had such amazing moves.”

“I thought I was quite good, but I’m even better,” Lyngstad agreed.

Ulvaeus added that the most gratifying part of the experience is seeing how the audience reacted. He said: “There’s an emotional connection between the avatars and the audience. That’s the fantastic thing.”


“ABBA Voyage” will be running in London until May 2023. A world tour is in the works after that.

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