Breathtaking. This was written in an SMS by a colleague who found out I was in London and definitely suggested I watch the ABBA party. Little did he know I had already bought the ticket for half a year now. As a partial fan, and as a longtime worker in the show business, I was looking forward to the day wondering what this weird virtual party might be like.
I admit, I was skeptical about what all this would be, because it’s almost once. I was there 15 years ago when a friend of mine and an ABBA black belt fan, also in London, went to an ABBA tribute party in Hyde Park, where one of the former members, Benny Anderson (keyboard player), also performed. That was more than disappointing.
Here in Central and Eastern Europe (perhaps not by chance) there is a bit of grumbling about such massive productions, or so many farewell parties.
- out of money?
- Do many of your grandchildren need another home?
- What is the reason for another unexpected assortment?
Well, something completely different happened here.
I believed in an illusion
I saw something amazing that I haven’t been able to explain to myself in the nearly 24 hours since the concert. My brain knows what happened, but my eyes saw otherwise. There, in front of my nose, a few meters away from me, I saw live members of ABBA dancing, singing, playing guitar and playing piano at a young age, while I knew they might have been in Stockholm or somewhere in Sweden and might have been having dinner. But those ninety minutes didn’t interest me. I believed in an illusion created with lights, a kind of projection, “avatars”, i.e. hologram-like figures made of ABBA members.
Apparently I’ve read that George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic captured the movement and facial expressions of ABBA members using 160 cameras for five weeks, all dressed in sensor-filled clothing as if they were carrying ECGs all over their bodies.
But even the best tactics won’t suffice if some magic doesn’t happen. The most important thing in the business world is to influence your emotions. She has been in a number of television and now theater productions, but the influence on her has always been real. Actors in performances or actors on stage.
When a character flew in front of our noses in a play, there was already an actor who flew the latest technology. But there were no ABBA members on stage here, we knew we were actually watching some kind of stunt, but from the first minute we thought we were seeing reality. It’s different from CGI, it’s different from the latest Hollywood technology, where we see the end result on the movie screen or screen.
But what is really happening?
The 3,000-seat arena was designed for the occasion (which could be dismantled and rebuilt again in another city) and features a 10-person live band on a massive stage (the sound is perfect, of course) mixed with live music from the 1970s. Recorded original sounds. And on the horizon, Agnetha, Annie Fried, Benny, and Bjorn are truly ahead, with their youthful faces, bodies, and movements. They talk to us, joke around, tell stories, spin, dress, their pigtails flutter, even the mic stand decides almost once, so we have a real prom experience.
There is a touching moment when one truly believes that they see reality.
I try not to spoil it, but perhaps the end of the party can be said to bring viewers the relief that millions of ABBA fans have been waiting for for decades.
Of course, for one to truly experience this, we need to put aside the skepticism that characterizes us as mentioned earlier. It is touching to see people coming into the auditorium filling the arena from different countries of the world on a typical weekday, many of them dressed as ABBA and forgetting about themselves, they seem to care about the outside world to see who they think. This position is enviable. This, of course, requires a different kind of habitus, which is normal there not only during the concert, but also when going to the theater.
While with us, perhaps only the most successful musicals and some extraordinary prose performances, people stand and let the impetus applaud them, in London they live with the performance in a way that makes us smile. Adults are like children in the children’s theater here, they support the good characters, hate the bad ones so much that even at the end of the performance, the actor who plays the negative hero is ignored. It can be strange to bend down after a stellar adaptation so that the audience hates the actor. There is just the opposite in ABBA Voyage. Viewers are so happy to see their favorite “live” again that they forget everything for 90 minutes.
Oppa, but how much should be put into this?
ABBA Voyage premiered on May 27, 2022, and is currently on public view for one year, with an average of 30 shows per month in London. Thus, in the case of a house that has passed in a year, the number of viewers is expected to exceed one million spectators. I bought my ticket to the battlefield half a year ago for £55 (about HUF 25,000 at today’s exchange rate). Seat tickets are a little more expensive. Prices are higher on weekends than on weekdays. The purpose-built ABBA Arena is located near the Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park. ABBA Voyage website By the way, Bjorn himself shows how to get there.
However, this technique is not only amazing, it is also frightening. I consider myself quite realistic, but all along I thought that what I saw was the case. From now on, it’s a move to announce a concert for the Beatles or Elvis Presley, which is a better case of course, but it is clear that this technique can be used for inconvenient purposes. And so, virtual reality no longer happens right in front of our noses, not just in movies, in VR parks, but without any aids, special glasses. But that’s it daddy– Don’t you feel during the party. This is an experience that is perhaps not an exaggeration of life, not only for fans of ABBA but also open to modern technology.
The author is a creative producer at AMC Networks International, television journalist, DJ and leader of the band Midlife Crisis.
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