Arrival from Sweden the Music of ABBA concert review
I’ve seen Mamma Mia (the musical) three times and the movie once (though I skipped to the part where Alison Janney sings “Does Your Mother Know”). I have the Definitive Collection (2-disc set) and a couple of records on vinyl—Album and Arrival. I also have Arrival on cassette.
But I’d never seen an ABBA cover band until now.
So when I heard Arrival from Sweden the Music of ABBA was coming to the Snoqualmie Casino in Washington State I knew what I was putting on my Christmas wishlist. But my girlfriend couldn’t take the time off work for a trip down south mid-week.
Instead, she bought us two tickets to see ABBA: Arrival from Sweden in Vancouver, where the Swedish cover band performed last night at the Orpheum Theatre with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
After a shaky start – a version of “Ring Ring” sung in Swedish and with limp drumming – the concert got progressively better. Things really took off somewhere in the middle with “Mamma Mia”, and by the end of the nearly two-hour show everyone in the audience – a mix of mothers and daughters who’d loved Mamma Mia (musical and/or movie), VSO season ticketholders and latent homosexuals like myself – was feeling the ABBA love.
Arrival from Sweden the Music of ABBA gets bonus points for the following: having one of the original session musicians, a bassist, playing with them; for having ’70s disco/Logan’s Run outfits that were based on those worn by the original band; and for a setlist that was a mix of ABBA standards and some not-so-familiar tracks (“I Wonder”, “I Am the Tiger”, “Summer Night City” – but no “Dum Dum Diddle” or “When All is Said and Done”).
Also, the girl doing Frida (the auburn-haired one) wore a high-cut dress that drew a few catcalls (and not from me) when she turned around. The four main Arrivals were augmented by three backup singers and a sax player, along with the rhythm section. The VSO gave a dramatic boost to many of the songs.
All in all Arrival from Sweden the Music of ABBA confirmed my love for the Swedish pop stars whose eight-year run of hits hasn’t been topped, in my opinion, for sheer volume of great songs. ABBA forever!