ARRIVAL - an ABBA tribute band

Discussion in 'A Small Circle of Friends: The Music Forum' started by Harry, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    ARRIVAL, a very authentic ABBA tribute band is currently performing a limited two-week run on the East Coast.


    I accidentally stumbled onto a little thread yesterday morning on the Steve Hoffman forum, followed the link ( ) and discovered that ARRIVAL would be closest to my location yesterday (Friday) evening. They were to be in the tiny town of Jim Thorpe, PA, a small rural town in the foothills of the Pocono mountains, playing at a venue called Penn's Peak.

    Looking all of this stuff up on Google Earth and Mapquest, I determined that they were going to be all around me over the next few days, but not dramatically close. They'd be in South Orange, NJ, York, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Ironically too, they're heading to Florida next week and so are we, permanently! But they're going to Coral Springs, down near Ft.Lauderdale/Miami and we're re-locating to Central Florida. So there were lots of opportunities in the schedule, as long as we were willing to take a little road trip.

    Comparing prices of tickets, it turned out that the Friday night show in Jim Thorpe was the most reasonable - only $28 for the most premium seats. So it became a question of whether we wanted to travel that far or not, and whether tickets were even still available. A few phone calls yielded the information that it wasn't sold out, so after printing some maps out, we headed for the car.

    It turns out that this Jim Thorpe town is only 58 miles from our current PA location, and about a 1 hour, 10 minute drive. Add 15 more minutes for rush hour traffic on a Friday evening and we were on our way.


    In the Internet descriptions of ARRIVAL, I learned that they'd been to this particular place before - a year and a half ago - which told me that they must have liked it. It's a medium-sized hall all made out of wooden floors and beams, with padded folding chairs for seating - really attractive. A balcony area around the periphery gave folks up there a good view of the high stage at one end. Food and drink concessions were along the back of the rectangle, opposite the stage. It was all clean and modern, and really well- kept. We managed to get seats in the main floor seating area, in the first row after the break from the "orchestra" section. TV screens above gave everyone a close view, even if they were in the somewhat obstructed-view sections along the sides.


    This group apparently formed around 1998 or so, so that would put it around the time of the first MAMMA MIA phenomenon. Listening to, and watching them, on the videos on their website, I got the idea pretty quickly that they were reasonably authentic-sounding. Since they're Swedish, I reasoned that even their accents would be authentic, too, and I was right about that.

    I'd seen a couple of other ABBA tribute bands over the past decade, one was pretty bad, and one was not too bad. The bad one was a knock-off we'd seen in Disney World playing at EPCOT. They were really OK, but nothing to write home about. And the decent one was "Bjorn Again" and they put on a fun-filled show with some humor to it, and at the time I thought it was as good an "ABBA" performace as I was ever going to see.

    Wrong! This group, ARRIVAL, has it all down pat. The looks of the ladies can even fool you at times, with the Frida-lookalike even facially resembling the lady she's mimicking. The blonde lady emulating Agnetha wasn't quite so authentic in the facial features, but her body, her moves, and her voice were surely the embodiment of a young twenty-something Agnetha.

    The Bjorn character was a bit too tall, and the Benny character a bit too skinny, but overall, they performed their parts well too. They only "guy" tune they really did was "Does Your Mother Know" and it all sounded just like the record.

    They ran through a nearly two-hour set of the most famous ABBA tunes; they brought out the man who drummed for the ABBA tracks back in the '70s and '80s, and they sang and played their hearts out. There were no recorded parts - everything was played and sung live by the twelve members on stage.

    There were three female backup singers who had the overdub backing parts down pat, making things sound just like you remembered them from the records. The costumes, we learned from the Internet, are as authentic as you can get, copied and designed by ABBA's original designer, and the show had the look and feel of a real ABBA concert, the way we've seen and heard portions of in videos and concert footage.

    Every song was a highlight, from the opening "Voulez-Vous" to the main-set closing of "So Long". In between, we were treated to perfect-sounding renditions of things like 'Mamma Mia", "Take A Chance On Me", "The Name Of The Game", "People Need Love", "He Is Your Brother", "Waterloo", "Honey, Honey", "Money, Money, Money", "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", while even throwing in some of the female-lead album tracks like "Kisses Of Fire", "I've Been Waiting For You", and "One Man, One Woman".

    The encore set began with "Summer Night City" and concluded, of course, with a rousing rendition of "Dancing Queen".

    I think I can now in all honesty say that I've seen a "real" ABBA concert - it's just that ABBA wasn't there!

    If you get a chance to see this show, by all means do it.

  2. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I guess it's my fault for not checking in regularly around here, that concert sounded awesome Harry. In fact now that I just heard them on that link to their site they sound pretty darn good. What a bummer because that CS show is not that far from me and I would have attended had I known. I will have to catch them next time.

    Thanks for the review. I wonder if they have a CD to buy of their concert? Their merchandise link takes me to a 404 page.

    Congrats to re-locating, will you miss the snow? :)
  3. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    Just like I'd miss a toothache...

  4. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Harry, you wouldn't have a spare room to rent to an illegal alien, would you? :wink: :D

    ...who would risk sneaking across the border if it meant never having to see another snowflake!
  5. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    I think the neighborhood might notice that since you're an alien, :oneeye: you're a bit different!


  6. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    It's been two years, but ARRIVAL, the ABBA tribute group is again touring the US. Their current schedule:e

    Current 2012 Dates

    January 5 TARRYTOWN MUSIC HALL, Tarrytown, NY, USA
    January 6 Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Providence, RI, USA
    January 7 The Hanover Theatre For The Performing Arts, Worcester, MA, USA
    January 8 The F.M. Kirby center for the performing arts, Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
    January 10 Rams Head, Annapolis, MD, USA
    January 12 Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT, USA
    January 14 Tydings Auditorium, Hobbs, NM, USA
    January 16 Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek, CO, USA
    January 19 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Biloxi, MS, USA
    January 20 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Biloxi, MS, USA
    January 21 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Biloxi, MS, USA
    January 24 D&R Theatre, Aberdeen, WA, USA
    January 25 Bank of America Performing Arts Center, Wenatchee, WA, USA
    January 26 Snoqualmie Casino, Snoqualmie, WA, USA
    January 27 Oregon Symphony Orchestra
    January 28 Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ, USA
    January 28 Corporate gig, Helsingfors, Finland
    February 2 VAN SINGEL FINE ARTS CENTER, Byron Center, MI, USA
    February 3 North Shore Ctr. For The Performing Arts, Skokie, IL, USA
    February 4 Cedarburg Performing Arts Center, Cedarburg, WI, USA
    February 9 Renaissance Performing Arts, Mansfield, OH, USA
    February 10 Glen Ellyn, IL, USA (TBA)
    February 11 Dearborn, MI, USA (TBA)
    February 12 Macomb Center for the performing arts Clinton Township, MI, USA
    February 14 Yoshi's SF, San Francisco, CA, USA
    February 15 Yoshi's SF, San Francisco, CA, USA
    February 16 Bankhead Theater, Livermore, CA, USA
    February 17 Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
    February 18 San Diego, CA, USA
    March 28 Edgerton Center, Fairfield, CT, USA
    March 30 Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center, North Tonawanda, NY, USA
    April 3 Dallas TX, USA (TBA)
    April 5 Coral Springs Center For The Arts, Coral Springs, FL, USA
    June 28 Chicago, IL, USA (Corporate show)
    July 11 Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY, USA
    July 13 Jim Thorpe, Penn´s Peak, PA, USA
    July 21 Milwaukee, WI, USA (TBA)
    July 22 Milwaukee, WI, USA (TBA)
    July 23 J. Dan Talbott Amphitheatre, Bardstown, KY, USA
    July 27 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO, USA
    July 28 Sandy Amphitheatre, Sandy, UT
    August 1 Costa Mesa, CA, USA (TBA)
    August 3 Smoky Mountain Center For The Performing Arts, Franklin, NC, USA
    August 4 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, GA, USA
    August 11 Cannery Casino, Las Vegas, NV, USA
    August 15 Sätila, Sweden (TBA)
    August 16 Sätila, Sweden (TBA)

    Unfortunately for us, the closest is Coral Springs, FL, and that's about a four-hour drive one way. So we'll have to pass on it this time. But it was a fabulous show. I highly recommend it to any ABBA fan.

  7. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the heads up Harry, I just booked my tickets for the Coral Springs show this should be very cool. I checked out their website and videos, pretty impressive from the looks, clothes, original abba musicians in the band and of course their sound very authentic, would be cool to finally meet you if you change your mind.
  8. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    Great Chris. You'll love the show. I wish it were closer.

    As it is, I'm going over to the other coast in April to see Sergio Mendes in Sarasota. But that's only half the distance.

  9. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I wanted to follow up on my 1st ever Abba concert that I attended last Thursday. I never saw the original group in concert but this was as close as it will ever come for me and let me tell you it was amazing!!

    The show started at 7:30, I had been to this venue before so I was familar with the stage. It is a rather intimate setting, not too large, anything in the first 15 rows are super close to the stage. They had played this venue before in the past, as Harry mentioned in his original post, Agnetha also mentioned that they were glad to finally be back at this venue.

    I ended up 6 rows from the front almost center stage so I had perfect view, no need for specs, I could see everything. When the girls came out at one point in the show with their short outfits I could see they were wearing fit nets, their legs were hot!!! :) They were about 5 mins late starting but the lights went down and the helicopter sounds started then the fish lights panned all around the audience, the sounds of the copter getting louder and louder preparing to land. I immediately thought of the Arrival cover album. It was after all Abba Arrival. I managed to grab a few cell phone pics but didn't turn out, I could have hit myself for not bringing my better camera. Although camera were not really going off during the concert they did start toward the end and everyone started taking pics at the end.

    In any case, the stage had this huge orange almost like a mural that read The Music of Abba, then the word Arrival with the outlines of the 4 members very cool looking. The first song began to play, "That's Me" and the guys came out then the girls. I was smiling ear to ear, Benny was a bit too thin but his hair was pretty close and he wore those white high shoes they wore back then Ha, he mentioned these shoes are not made for walking. Ha. Bjorn looked a bit more like the real one but he was also a bit thin looking . I will say though they were very talented, Bjorn played an jam session on guitar and he was amazing. The clothes were all exactly as they wore then the girls changed several times, including the animal print outfit and several others. At one point they came out with those short outfits with gold boots and they looked exactly like the original girls.

    The audience loved them and everyone was singing along with them. In between songs, the girls talked about the careers of ABBA and who married who, when they divorced, etc... It was so authentic that they spoke and they sounded like ABBA. Agnetha at one point asked the audience if we wanted to learn a bit of swedish, she taught us how to say thank you. There was a 15 min intermission. At one point in the concert while the guys were waiting for the girls to change outfits they played the song, Intermezzo No 1. It was so incredible to hear that live. There was one song that I will never forget it was just so 70's and the tune was so rock, hearing it live was so special, the drummer, the beat, so loud and they continued to sing the chorus over and over toward the end. It was "Hole in Your Soul" I loved it!! I swear it sounded exactly like them. When Agnetha sang, You feel bad let me tell ya, we all get the blues, sometimes like is a burden way down in your shoes, and she pointed to her shoes, just these little things made me think to myself WOW I have heard this song so many times on CD and now I am hearing it live and seeing it performed and it just makes it more special and I realize how much I love these songs and identify with the lyrics, it's why I love their music, the lyrics, the beat, the harmonies. I can't put into words how it made me feel but I was smiling and singing to every song. I looked around me and others knew all the words and people were moving their heads and body to the beat of these amazing songs.

    Even with the 15 min break, the concert lasted a full 2 hours. They sang so many songs it was amazing, they did include some medleys because Agnetha said they wanted us to feel as many songs as possible because they made so many great songs that if they didn't they could be singing their songs for over a week here, they audience yelled yes, lol Agnetha said oh I don't think so lol. It was funny.

    The girls voices were so close to the original it was amazing. I was a bit let down that the guys did not sing more. I feel that had I been to a real ABBA concert that I would have heard more of the blending of their voices between the 4 of them. The only time I could really get to hear Bjorn was during the song "Does Your Mother Know" it sounded great and made me think why he wasn't singing more back up during other parts of the concert, he played guitar with limited vocals. He had a decent voice though.

    When the encore came, the audience knew they had missed a song and we were chanting, Dancing Queen, What about Dancing Queen. Benny came on and said, you didn't think we would forget that did you? The audience was on their feet, people dancing it was very cool.

    It was a very memorable evening indeed!!! I didn't want it to end....
  10. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    That's the way I felt about it. These folks just nailed it, making you feel as if you just saw the real ABBA in concert. In fact, I'd venture to say that if Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Frida ever DID re-unite, they'd have a tough time sounding as good as ARRIVAl. And that because these folks rehearse and rehearse to sound just like ABBA records, whereas the real people would just perform as themselves, ad-lib, and deviate from the way that the records sounded somewhat.

    I'm glad you got to see this group, Chris. I just knew you'd love the show.

  11. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    I've reopened this old thread to note that the group "Arrival" from Sweden is currently performing at Busch Gardens in the Tampa area. They're also heading for Coral Springs again next week. I won't be going, but Rick, you might be interested.

    Tour/Tickets | Arrival from Sweden
  12. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Ahh, I missed the re-opening of this thread and indeed missed the concert yesterday. If I had known I probably would have got a ticket, the show was worth seeing a 2nd time for sure.

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