Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again: ABBA’s Virtual Return

ABBA is back! After nearly 40 years one of the most iconic bands of the 70s has returned with a brand-new album Voyage, generating excitement for fans for what is ahead. The band has announced a new album and songs as well as a “revolutionary concert,” that sees ABBA preforming via avatars. This has also ignited a discussion as to whether this new type of concert will be as enjoyable as seeing your favourite bands and singers live? It also begs the question; will this start a new wave of virtual concerts and music in our future? 

I and many others were incredibly excited when we heard the amazing news that ABBA would not only be releasing new music for their fans but also that a concert was in their future as well. This, however, was shortly followed by a feeling of disappointment. Although the band will be live: Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Björn and Benny will actually be performing digitally.  

When I was in my early teens, I watched an ABBA Tribute band. It was unquestionably good; the outfits, the singers and the atmosphere were incredibly similar in likeness to the real band. Despite how fantastic the concert was, it wasn’t the real ABBA. Although the concert will have live music, it still feels as if the audience will be missing out on seeing their favourite singers live in action. It could be the greatest concert you’ve ever been to in your life: incredible music, an amazing atmosphere, and a night to remember, but nothing beats seeing the real thing. 

While looking at concert tickets online for the ABBA concert in London, the cheapest ticket I found with unrestricted, standing view was over £700, some tickets reaching £1000 for one. With such a hefty price, concert goers deserve to see and hear the music live.  

What does this mean for music of the future? After seeing this new concept of concerts, it does make me wonder if the world of live music is about to change. Yes, digital concerts would make it easier for people to see their favourite bands and singers as they could “perform” much more often. There wouldn’t be any getting tired, sick, or losing their voices. The music could also be played to many more venues, providing they have the equipment needed without the need to travel. I also think that this could potentially be a great way to bring back singers who have passed for special showings to celebrate their memory and keep their music alive. 

However, do we want this as our future? Personally, no. It takes away the human and unique element of every concert. There would be no witty banter or conversation with the audience, there would be no individual experience from each show and some of the best parts of concerts are when the singers put little spins on their songs and change them up. Yes, there would be less errors and it would be safer for the singers/bands themselves not being on the actual stage, however, not only would we miss out on the chance to see our idols, they would miss out on seeing their fans. 

Concerts are not only a way to socialise with people by having a shared and unique experience but also gets you that step closer to meeting your idols; with the digital concerts this may be a thing of the past. 

Here are my favourite ABBA songs to enjoy: 

  1. ‘Does Your Mother Know’ 
  1. ‘Dancing Queen’ 
  1. ‘The Winner Takes It All’ 
  1. ‘Voulez-Vous’ 
  1. ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ 
  1. ‘Honey, Honey’ 

Niamh Kemp

Featured Image Source: Still via Youtube // ABBA – ABBA Voyage – Album and Concert Trailer

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