OK, I admit I am an ABBA fan and this is the second or third time I caught this show. I wanted to share it with my KL girl friends when they were in town. If they were appalled by the price, they didn’t show it, but they did complain about the S$-RM exchange rate. Still, they were here for my birthday celebration and they couldn’t say no to what ever request I made. (Except to climb Bukit Timah Hill at 6.30am the day after the show.)
We attended the concert on a Saturday evening. The diversity of the crowd was apparent. There were many kids, some as young as 4, to the other extreme of an octogenarian sitting in the row in front. Most though were middle-aged like me. There were a good many Westerners mingling among Asians. Some were dressed in the ABBA era fashion, complete with curly wigs, glittering headbands worn across the forehead, sequined tops and satin pants.
As soon as the concert opened 15 mins later than what was printed on the ticket, the crowd cheered. By the third songs, we were all standing and dancing to the tunes of familiar favourites like Mama Mia, SOS, Voulez–Vous. The kids were waving their light sticks, the uncles and aunties were twisting on the spot and we were all singing in unison at the top of voice.
While the band members were introduced by their real names (I gather), the ABBA members remained known by their ABBA stage name. The four personify ABBA, from the hairstyle, to the costumes, right down to their Swedish accents.
The singing was at times drowned by the music. While blond ‘Agnetha’ sang well (she could be a singer in a musical with such a wide octave voice), her voice did not have the honey silkiness that was so special to the real Agnetha. But no one could fault those minute details, for we were all thankful for the chance to once again enjoy ABBA and their music live.
I turned to my friends and remarked, ‘Why can’t anyone write songs that are so wholesome nowadays? We learn history (Waterloo, Fernando), Finance (Money Money Money) and even the most suggestive song, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (…a man after midnight) was because she wants somebody (to) help me chase the shadows away.’
We had a great time. I’ve never seen a much more participating audience and the whole atmosphere was exhilarating. It was ABBA mania all right!