After more than 40 years since ABBA’s first live performance in Australia, Swedish supergroup ABBA has hinted that they may make a return to the land down under.
During a recent interview with BBC Newsnight, band members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson discussed bringing the revolutionary tour experience ABBA Voyage to Australia.
“I have to say I’d like to take the show to Australia,” Andersson said.
“It would feel good to go back there and say thank you to Australians for supporting us from day one.”
The groundbreaking tour features de-aged digital avatars of the four-piece and took place for the first time in front of a live audience in a purpose-built ABBA Arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on May 27th, 2022.
The digital avatars of the band members were created after months of motion-capture and performance techniques by an 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic.
Commenting on the revolutionary concert, Andersson said that the band “achieved more than we could ever hope for, seeing this happening after four or five years of work and realising that the audience actually connected to what was on stage.”
“Not like watching a movie but as if we were actually there,” he said.
A little behind the scenes look at our @vicderbyshire @BBCNewsnight interview with Abba.
Benny spontaneously played ‘Money Money Money’ while we were setting up ???? pic.twitter.com/o5LyndSLRk
— Michael Cowan (@mrmikecowan) May 25, 2023
A great deal of time and effort was put into making the ABBA-tars with Andersson recently explaining to Rolling Stone magazine that the four members of the band “met from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, for four and half weeks straight, performing for 200 cameras and a crew of nearly 40 people while wearing motion-capture suits.”
As the band members worked with the Swedish Film Institute to capture the movements for each of the carefully curated songs, back in London, younger body doubles emulated their performances to add younger energy.
“We are sort of merged together with our body doubles. Don’t ask me how it works because I can’t explain that,” Andersson said.
“If you’re 75, you don’t jump around like you did when you were 34, so this is why this happened.”
The inaugural performance saw the digital versions of the band perform crowd favourites such as Mamma Mia! and Dancing Queen. The ABBA-tars performed a truly jaw-dropping show with many attendees claiming it was near impossible to tell you weren’t actually watching the real, human version of the band.
Considered one of the greatest musical groups of all time, ABBA became one of the most successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1983. They have achieved 48 hit singles. In 2015, their song Dancing Queen was inducted into the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame.