Monday, June 13, 2022

ABBA VOYAGE Concert Review


You arrive from a little unknown station in the East End called Pudding Mill Lane. Straight out of the station and there is the Abba Arena. It seats 3000. And yet it is not an eyesore in the area at all. Maybe it was always there? Seems to have been.

We entered the foyer. Calm, all-wood vaulted structure, bars everywhere with food stalls and shops. It's crowded yet calm, just like a Nordic airport.

I can't remember if at this point I put my sunflower lanyard on.

I certainly had a beer though, and J and I bought a couple of t-shirts.

All the people working there were really happy and polite. Nothing like the feeling you get of being treated like livestock at lots of other venues.

And there's barely any queueing. 

We had a hot dog and did a bit of people-watching, as you do. Some people had dressed up. J was wearing something or other and looked spectacular. The feeling was really friendly. Everyone on earth seemed to be represented here, young and old. And we were all here for one thing.

So we go into the auditorium and there is a large cinema like screen showing an animated forest scene with the occasional will o' wisp  in the background. Snow gently falls. Ambient music plays.

We chat to the people next to us. I'm looking at my watch.


And the concert starts  - everything is pitch black, and the 4 members of Abba rise through the floor. It must be said that the light on the figures is key to the look. It really makes them look as thought they are actual corporeal figures right there in the show. Holograms are translucent and rather washed out. These are NOT HOLOGRAMS, but 2D projections onto glass, created by George Lucas's effects company Industrial Light and Magic (ILM).

The attention to detail is astonishing, and the movement with the lighting is incredible. 

They are there, real, right in front of us.

Frida is wearing a red feathery cape, and Agnetha a blue one. There are big projections to the side of the stage which show them close-up. It must be said Agnetha is the least convincing. Slightly rubbery and not as pretty as she was. Benny is the most convincing as I guess his face isn't as expressive and he has a beard. It kind of distracts from the figures on stage at times, which is where the realness is.

Oddly enough, I didn't cry. The lady to my right did, and Jacqui cried 4 times I think. I guess I'd been through it so many times in my head and built it up so much that I was somehow over it. 

Other things - there's a large animation section in an Anime style which covers 2 songs and didn't seem to fit in to the rest of it. We were all there to see the ABBAtars - not a pop video without the ABBA members in.

However, when all is said and done, none of this detracts from it being a 5 star experience. I'd built it up so much I was expecting perfection, and nothing is of course. This is totally state of the art, with 5 (?) costume changes and a BRILLIANT band who play live to give it that punch of energy you need at a concert. The light show is incredible and the figures dance and move as ABBA because THEY ARE ABBA!

Highlight for me was 'Lay all your Love on Me' which they performed in their Tron outfits. No figures on stage at this point, and shot as if a drone was moving around above them And then from close up it zooms out on Frida and Agnetha and a Tron-like maze of vector graphics starts to appear on the ground beneath them.

Then the whole gigantic display appears to flip 90' back to the horizontal and all 4 members are on stage performing, on another planet. It was jaw-dropping.



It is an incredible experience. I shall be going back AT LEAST TWICE. I need to take more people to see it and experience it with me and wallow together in the wonder of it all.

As they did with their pop music back in the 70s, ABBA have set the bar to an entirely new level. Go and see it. It's ...well, maybe a new word will have to be created to describe it.


  1. Great description. Sounds amazing. I will definitely go and see the show..

    1. Just my opinion of course. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!