One of the most difficult truths that I’ve ever had to face is this harsh realization: I will never see ABBA perform live. And I am not ok with that. The original band members have stated that they don’t want to be “ABBA covering ABBA.” So, there’s that…and my dreams have been shattered.
ABBA is one of the true loves of my life. Honestly, what is there not to love about them? They were like the Swedish version of Fleetwood Mac—two divorces within the band, a plethora of drama, lots of funky outfits, all set against the backdrop of international superstardom. Even now, ABBA continues to sell millions of albums every year. I’ll admit that I am slightly obsessed with them. “Mamma Mia” is my ringtone. I relentlessly stalk, I mean, innocently follow with utmost admiration a certain Pittsburgh disco cover band who happen to call themselves “Dancing Queen.” My Barbie dolls used to perform ABBA concerts. I had a goldfish named “Frida.” Given the level of my adoration (or psychotic obsession—but what’s in a name?), I find the fact that I have never had a live ABBA experience totally unacceptable and sad. It was the one missing piece to ultimate fandom.
Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to see ABBAmania. When I received the invitation to attend, I immediately bragged to everyone I knew that I would finally get to experience “ABBA” LIVE. So maybe the original members wouldn’t be performing, but I’ve made my peace with that. If I’m being completely honest with myself, the original members probably wouldn’t sound as amazing as they did in the ‘70s (there are some very precarious notes in “The Winner Takes It All”), and perhaps it’s best to remember them as they were at the height of their superstardom. Having said that, the ABBAmania singers were pretty fantastic. The show had it all: sparkly costumes, a great song selection…even dance motions that looked suspiciously similar to moves I’ve learned in my Zumba class. The next big thing—an ABBA exercise video. Take note.
The singers’ charm was absolutely endearing. I loved them! (The fact that they waved Terrible Towels may have contributed slightly to my adoration.) I greatly appreciate their physical and vocal resemblances to the original band members. It felt like a real ABBA show…or at least, what I would imagine one to have been like. Their encore was, of course, “Dancing Queen.” I couldn’t stop smiling. It was definitely a good old time, and I’ve been listening to ABBA “Gold” nonstop ever since. AND it was just really cool to hear the PSO play ABBA songs.
So…thank you for the music!