We found the ultimate technique so that the artists do not arrive late for their own concerts: use their avatar on stage. This is the technique used by the four members of the ABBA group as part of their show ABBA Travel.
It takes place in a 3,000-seat theater specially designed for this purpose in London and features four “ABBAtars”, broadcast in hologram, interpreting the hits of the 1970s and 1980s but also songs released last year, when the septuagenarians got together to record a new album, Travel.
“One of the boldest projects in the music industry”
If it is indeed the current voices of Anni-Frid, Björn, Benny, and Agnetha that we hear, their digital avatars represent the members of the group with their faces from 1979. The ambitious show, scheduled seven days a week until at the beginning of October, is an extremely expensive project, the Times reporting that ABBA must recover 165 million euros to cover the costs.
Bjorn Ulvaeus, 77, a member of the band, told AFP ahead of the premiere: “I know this is one of the boldest projects anyone has ever undertaken in the music industry.” Spectators attend an hour and a half show, with a dozen musicians on stage who accompany the avatars.
Movements captured in the studio
The holograms are the result of a multi-year project, designed in partnership with a special effects company founded by the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas. The movements of the septuagenarians were captured in the studio to reproduce them on stage.
After other mixed experiences of shows “resurrecting” deceased artists, shunned for their lack of realism and their creepiness, this new show has delighted critics. This time there was “nothing macabre”, wrote The Times. the Guardian said the digital effects were a “triumph” and “the effect is truly breathtaking”. With this new technology, there is no doubt that the members of the group hope to have found the hen with the golden eggs. Money, money, money…