Aroused curiosity for a long time, and the announcement was made on Thursday evening via global live broadcast: Swedish stars returned with new songs and a show in their own arena. When it comes to hologram concerts, they are in outstanding company.
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During ABBA’s global live broadcast Thursday night, a few things reminded us of the new songs that the Swedish quartet first announced in 2018: First of all, it was “Please Wait.” After 15 minutes and some live broadcasts to fans around the world, it can be heard: “I Still Have Faith In You,” the first new ABBA song since the band broke up four decades ago. A little later, it also became clear why it took longer to publish. Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus said that the idea born in 2018 to record two or three new songs together has turned into a full-fledged album.
And for the new album, which is due to be released on November 5th, there will be a great show. Not with real band members, but using digital holograms of Agnetha Faltzkog, Benny Anderson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Annie Fred Lingstad. A separate courtyard was built in London for the immediate project with four elaborately constructed abatres. “Abba Voyage” will be presented there from Spring 2022.
“We need each other”
In the new song, the commonalities are evoked: “we need each other”, “we are united in this” and “I still believe in you” is what you say in your typical ABBA voice, with the voices getting darker in the meantime. On stage, the quartet will not age, but, on the contrary, will appear rejuvenated: the band in 1979, at the height of its success, was a model for the company Appatari programmed in motion-capture technology, the producers said.
In a prominent company
The Swedish band is in a prominent company with the idea of a concert show where holograms replace real stars.
A number of hologram appearances have already made headlines in recent years. Amazement and astonishment were mostly balanced. Unlike ABBA, tech providers and real estate officials have typically tried to breathe new digital life into icons that have already died with hologram concerts.
Pop stars as eternal projection surfaces: In the 21st century, this has long been running in 3D and is deceptively real. Amy Winehouse, Frank Zappa, Whitney Houston, Ronnie James Deo, and Maria Callas were posthumously sent on concert tours by American companies such as Base Hologram or Eyellusion, accompanied by live bands or orchestras.
Abbatare at “Abba Voyage” on the occasion of the anniversary
“The music, the dancers, the show, everything is going to be live — except for us,” Benny Anderson said in a 2019 TV interview about plans for ABBA’s hologram show, which also aims to be a journey through time for fans. The Pop Quartets are over 70, and the Abbatars are said to have represented the band in the 1970s. In order for the illusion to succeed onstage, stars patiently posed as models in the studio, Bjorn Ulvaeus said, “We were photographed from countless locations.”
The time to send the four Abbatars in “Abba Voyage” was cleverly chosen not just because of current pop nostalgia: In 2022, ABBA will also celebrate its fiftieth anniversary.