“If you come from Sweden, you have ABBA in your blood. It’s part of our identity and self-concept!”
By Simon Melhus
In 2024, THE SHOW – A Tribute to ABBA celebrates 50 years since the Swedish pop group’s breakthrough in 1974, when they won The Eurovision Song Contest with their hit song Waterloo. The singers Camilla Dahlin and Katja Nord*, who lead THE SHOW as Agnetha and Frida, are not just celebrating ABBA’s breakthrough. The year 2024 also marks 50 years since they – and the rest of the world – first noticed the four Swedish musicians who have since taken the world by storm with hits such as Money Money Money, Dancing Queen, and Mamma Mia. We spoke to the two singers about ABBA’s breakthrough, why the group is something very special, and why THE SHOW – A Tribute to ABBA is the most authentic ABBA show on the market.
“ABBA was my first big idol as a kid,” says Katja Nord excitedly when we talk to her and Camilla Dahlin shortly after they together with Waterloo – their band – performed the song Dancing Queen in front of 11,000 people at the Arena di Verona.
“I wanted to be Frida, and Camilla wanted to be Agnetha. I think that many Swedish girls felt like that in 1974, when ABBA won The Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo. It was huge. Suddenly the whole world was talking about Sweden.”
Why do you think ABBA and their music took the world by storm?
“Because they were just four ordinary people that we can all relate to. There was no drama around them, they were sweet and nice, and happy to share their lives with the press,” says Camilla Dahlin, to which Katja Nord adds:
“They were easy to trust, they were someone to rely on. And then of course there’s the music, which reflects the same as their personalities. It’s uncomplicated, straightforward and incredibly well composed.”
Camilla Dahlin: “But uncomplicated in no way means that the music is simple!”
Katja Nord: “It requires a minimum of ten musicians on stage if the music is to sound like it does on the album.”
The year 2024 marks 50 years since ABBA’s breakthrough, which THE SHOW – A Tribute to ABBA celebrates with a very special ’50 Years Celebration’ show. Swedish Waterloo is joined by the original ABBA musician Lasse Jonsson* on guitar – he plays on ABBA’s latest album Voyage, and he has also worked on the two ABBA musicals (Chess and Mamma Mia) with Björn and Benny. The music is brought to new heights again with the acclaimed London Symphonic Rock Orchestra and the British chief conductor Matthew Freeman, who has previously performed with Elvis Costello, Robbie Williams and Sir Cliff Richard, among others:
“There are no compromises or cheap shortcuts on THE SHOW!” says Camilla Dahlin and Katja Nord.
THE SHOW – A Tribute to ABBA originates at CSB Island Entertainment in 2001, and Katja Nord and Camilla Dahlin have been involved from the start:
Katja Nord: We started our ABBA band Waterloo in 1996, and in 1999 we won the talent show ‘Sikta mot stjärnorna‘. After that we were contacted by CSB, who wanted to make the world’s biggest and best tribute to ABBA.”
Camilla Dahlin: In the first half of 2001 we wrote and prepared the show, after which we went on our first tour in the second half of the year. It was a huge success with great reviews from the first year!”
Since 2001, THE SHOW – A Tribute to ABBA has performed in 51 countries on 5 continents, selling more than 2 million tickets:
Camilla Dahlin: “We have visited a lot of fantastic places with THE SHOW. There are so many ABBA fans all over the world, and each country has its very own vibe. For me, some of the greatest experiences have been at The Hollywood Bowl or The Royal Albert Hall, both of which are iconic stages.”
Katja Nord: “But the next tour will also be special to that extent. It is not only 50 years since ABBA’s breakthrough, but also our own personal anniversary with ABBA. In 2024, it will be 50 years since we discovered the world’s best pop group!”
“It’s part of our identity and self-concept!”
Although THE SHOW has been touring the world since 2001, there is a new experience to be had every time:
Katja Nord: “We always work hard to make THE SHOW the biggest, best and most authentic show on the market, and next year will be no exception.”
Camilla Dahlin: “The ’50 Years Celebration’ show will be a kind of musical review of almost their entire career, from when they won The Eurovision Song Contest until they stopped in 1982. There will be songs from their tour in Australia in 1977, and their performance at Wembley Arena in 1979.”
What sets THE SHOW – A Tribute to ABBA apart from other ABBA shows?
Katja Nord: “We have previously been named ‘The best ABBA since ABBA’, and we are incredibly proud of that. And to be completely honest, we both sound and look more like ABBA than anyone else.”
Camilla Dahlin: “Just the fact that we actually come from Sweden makes a world of difference. We sing the English songs with the same pronunciation and in the same way as ABBA. No one else can claim that. If you come from Sweden, you have ABBA in the blood. It’s part of our identity and self-concept!”
What can audiences expect when seeing THE SHOW – A Tribute to ABBA ’50 Years Celebration’ Show?
Katja Nord: “They can expect the feeling of the original ABBA. When they leave the concert, it will have been like watching the real ABBA.”
Camilla Dahlin: “In addition, there will of course be a surprise or two that we won’t reveal here.”
THE SHOW – A Tribute to ABBA starts with a Danish tour from the 2nd to the 18th of April, and then the tour goes to Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Brazil.
Read more about the show – and buy your ticket – at www.the-show.com.
*We reserve the right to change the cast.