By Savannah Higley
Credit: ABBA Voyage
September 2, 2021, Hit Swedish pop/disco group “ABBA” announced a new album coming early November, their first album in 40 years. “ABBA Voyage” is the title of the new album and it’s set to release November 5. ABBA also released two new songs titled “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down.”
ABBA’s approach to concerts is somewhat futuristic. According to NME, the new Voyage shows will feature a digital version of ABBA, their “ABBAtars,” performing alongside a 10-piece band. Over many weeks, the members of ABBA performed a whole, perfect show in motion-capture suits, which can record their likenesses and movements to recreate digitally. Although ABBA won’t make any comments on it, they have stated that it is not a hologram show, and the technology is different. This could possibly allow more than one ABBA concert at the same time, which could revolutionize concerts.
ABBA has an extensive history. The Swedish band formed in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The name ABBA is an acronym with the first letter of all their names. They won Eurovision in 1974. A lot of their songs were featured in the “Mamma Mia” franchise and they’ve been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They never officially announced a breakup, but stopped working together in 1982. In 2013, Faltskog said “an ABBA reunion will never occur” but as of September 2021, 8 years later, he’s eating his words.
Bellbrook’s very own Rock and Roll History teacher, Mr. Parks, weighs in on the situation. Mr. Parks started off the interview by saying that he didn’t care for ABBA in his youth, and that over the years he’s still indifferent. In the time in his life when ABBA was huge, disco was generally hated with a passion. Despite not being fond of ABBA, he said that the new technology was very interesting. The Mocap technology could be used for great creative things when used right. He expressed disdain for hologram shows of deceased artists but like the idea of more of a theatrical performance. Just watching a recording of performers or impersonators is boring and uninspiring, but accompanied with some form of live performance, such as ABAA’s 10-piece accompanying band, it could be something new and fresh and can be a good use of modern technology. This new technology could be used to make even more interesting concert and could be a great advancement in live performance.