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Blip.054: A Virtual Voyage
Is real always better?
Here’s a trivia question for you. How many records would you say the band ABBA has sold? 50 million? 100? Try nearly 400 million! In 2021, after a 40-year hiatus, they reformed to record their ninth (and last) album, Voyage. But along with the record, they worked with a team to design a one-of-a-kind “virtual concert residency” that combines motion capture, digital avatars, a live backing band, and a massively theatrical light show by Kinetic Lights to create an experience that, frankly, looks pretty incredible. The show opened on May 27th, 2022 at the ABBA Voyage Arena, which was purpose-built for the show. Reviews have been fantastic, they’ve sold more than a million tickets, and are in the planing stages to take the show on the road. CBS Sunday Morning did a feature with the band, talking about their history, how the new Voyage show came together, and where it’s going.
Given the success, I wonder who might be next in line for a virtual concert tour. Who would you like to see?
Check out the terrific interview with ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus Rick Beato released on his YouTube channel about a month ago. I love what Rick is doing and have been following him for years. In addition to interviews with musicians like Sting, Dominic Miller, Steve Lukather, Derek Trucks, he also does a fantastic series called “What Makes This Song Great” and a bunch of top 20 countdowns of things like guitar solos, vocal intros, and one hit wonders. If you dig music, Rick should definitely be on your radar.
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