I Was There…Thank You For The Music ABBA! (Updated)

It gives me great pleasure to set up another "I Was There" thread! This time, for all those attending the BBC’s Thank You For The Music ABBA celebration in London’s Hyde Park on Sunday. So, please share your thoughts, experiences and links to photos and videos so that everyone can get a flavour of this huge concert.

And if you’re going to be listening on the radio, feel free to join in!

Benny and Björn with Chris Evans and Kylie Minogue

Benny and Björn with Chris Evans and Kylie Minogue – Photo:BBC

More…

Fan pictures – Thanks Mark!
Review: This Is London
The Arts Desk
Kylie Minogue/Benny Andersson – YouTube
Chris Evans – Thank You For The Music blog
OK Magazine – Kylie pics
Listen to the whole show as broadcast – BBC iPlayer
Monsters and Critics – Images from Thank You For The Music
Times online

Scenes from Hyde Park

Scenes from Hyde Park – thanks to Jos Willems

BBC Radio 2 events – Thank You For The Music

112 thoughts on “I Was There…Thank You For The Music ABBA! (Updated)”

  1. Ok – I’ve given it a few days space since being there to assess my feelings about Sunday’s show. On the whole it was great fun with lots of love in the air for one of the World’s most popular groups. That can’t be denied.

    Having accepted that I left the park feeling a little bit despondant. Perhaps it was my real disappointment that what we actually got was, I suspect, rather less exciting than what we were first led to believe we might get (indeed, Benny’s plea that Annie Lennox sings TDBYC showed that even humble he might have hoped for a little more glitter than could ever be provided by VV Brown and Jodie Prenger, much as I love her). ABBA rank in the top three in terms of record sales so, I think, and it was telling that the response from other big name artists was practically nil.

    Why? A friend wondered if their legacy has , in fact, been somwhat tainted by the Mammai Mia! money making bandwagon. Any ‘cool’ ABBA may have managed to recover over the years could well have been lost forever by the repeated display of fluorescent spandex and silly hair in clips from (an admittedly fun) musical. Even Chris Evans on Sunday chose the cleverly original route of wearing tacky, cliched clothes and a wonkily donned wig. Well done, Chris. All we needed now was a mimmicking of the Alan Partridge line Knowing Me, Knowing You.. A-Ha!! What? Oh, really, he did.

    So I actually believe that, though the general suburban public lapped it all up, ABBA standing in terms of the whole hasn’t been improved by the media saturation. Any credible show of appreciation of such great music should always look beyond the Waterloo outfits and platforms.

    Perhaps Agnetha and Frida’s decision not to appear indicates they are as sick of it all as I am.

  2. Another thing I forgot to post is with regards to the fans….
    It makes me smile even more now.When the event opened the first 3000(guessing the amount)were allowed into the enclosure with the people behind blocked off for safety to allow the queues to go down.Some of the first fans ran down the gentle bank just like on ABBA the movie shouting "we want ABBA"…wonderful.
    Also the guys with the ipod blasting out ABBA tunes while we waited in the queue…thank you.

  3. As a Swedish listener I don´t think we Swedes quite realize how big ABBA are outside Sweden and I read in the swedish newspapers that Björn & Benny were totally unprepared for the amount of people at concert and the reception they received.

    I only wish peolple outside Sweden would also try and listen to the music which Benny and Björn have co written (Mostly Benny the music and Björn the lyrics)after ABBA which shows how they both have moved since ABBA.

    The beautiful instrumnental peace and "Klinga mina klockor" (now Rowing on The Serpentine)at the concert is one example but there is plenty more. Listen to Bennys solo albums and the BAO albums and of course Kristina which I hope will get the credit it deserves at the concert at Carnegie Hall later this month and in my opinion shows what a great composer Benny Andersson is.

    In my opinion the highlights of the concert was the post ABBA music maybe having to do with many out of tune singers (not beeing negative but it´s a fact) and which really shows what great singers Agnetha and Frida are. They should have got more credit at the concert. None of the four would have been anything without the other in my opinion. Best wishes from Misse Sweden

  4. What a fantastic show. I was there and agree that Kylie and Benny stole the show.The atmosphere was the best I have ever encountered at any concert and I even found myself hugging complete strangers!

    As well as some wonderful performances I also think Chris Evans did a great job ( it was also fun to hear others around me say "yes" when Chris was doing his "did you know …" introductions).

    The Chess numbers were all superb and a great plug for the Chess In Concert DVD and CD (Which I bought on Oxford Street on Monday just before returning to Nottingham)

    Thanks to Benny and Bjorn for being there, The BBC for staging this and AGNETHA & FRIDA for making these song so memorable that 35 years on 36,000 people had the "time of their lives" in Hyde Park last Sunday.

  5. I was there – traveling from Denmark to see Björn and Benny for real and to say THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC which I have enjoyed for decades. To me it was also "a dream come true". Fantastic concert, fantastic show, fantastic fireworks.

  6. I must admit, as much as I admire B&B and they have given us an amazing body of work, this was a celebration of ABBA. I really expected Abba songs only, so the insertion of their musicals was a little weird. Also why was nothing done to celebrate the voice of Abba, the voices of Agnetha and Frida. The songs were amazing but would not have been what they were without the girls beautiful voices and hard work. The image of Abba centred a lot on the girls. So Im glad the concert was enjoyed by so many but I don’t understand why the girls were not at least represented on big screens. Abba were 4 people not just 2.
    I did listen to a little of the concert on radio 2 but to be honest, the singing was at times just too painful to listen to. Some of these singers would not even get through the first round of X-factor. So a giant karaoke was enjoyed by all. Can’t wait for the Abba in Japan DVD to see Abba in their glory.

  7. The size and mix of the audience, was what really made the night special, the music of ABBA is carried down through the generations and still stands the test of time, ABBA have become embedded in the Britih music psyhce as much as the Beatles, the songs seem to be timeless.

  8. Interesting new interview with Benny and Bjorn in the sunday express UK paper(13sep).The review section has a new picture of Benny and Bjorn and the article mentions Agnetha and Frida hadn’t actually been invited to Hyde Park although they would have been welcomed with open arms.
    "They know they are welcome anytime"says Bjorn.

  9. Having been one of the Real Lucky ones that was at ABBA’s second show at The Royal Albert Hall in 77 and again at Wembley in 79 I Thought the show at Hyde Park was Fantastic and so well worth the wait. Agnetha & Frida’s Voices Together were Very Special which gave the ABBA sound its Magical Touch. The Show on Sunday took their Music to new heights and for me Kylies solo and Duet Benny along with Jamie Cullums Brilliant version of My Love My Life were the Highlights. I did enjoy the Chess segment of the show too and felt it was a good song choice of the Massive Benny & Bjorn Anthology.

    I do hope this does make it to DVD it Really was a Brilliant Show.

  10. I was allready at Hyde Park at 7:30 AM ,because there was a rumour that Kylie Minogue fans were staying overnight at Hyde Park.But that wasn’t the case.There was nobody too see.Because I never saw Hyde Park I went for a walk.My son (8 years old) asked for photo’s of the statue of Peter Pan,and so I did.Also made photo’s of the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial.When coming back at Hyde Park at 10:00 after a nice walk there were 2 people standing at the entrance.When I saw people at the ticketboxes I went to pick up my ticket.So now the waiting began.I came in touch with a nice fellow from England and A belgium couple (so now I could easily speak Dutch).The soundcheck began so we could all hear bits of different ABBA songs.At 14:00 hours the public started really to come.It didn’t seem that it would become 35,000 visitors.On saturday the wheather in London was nice,but on Sunday it was sometimes chilly,but we kept it dry.Then the entrance was opened and all the people that were on the front of the stage must have run there lungs out of their body because it was still a long way to run from the entrance to the stage.But there I was right in the front,and let the music begin.!!The concert was great,Chris Evans of the BBC did a great job hosting the show in his 70 ties glitter suit.Highlights of the show for me are.Defenitly on nr 1 is Kerry Ellis with You have to be there.I also loved the version of My love my life by Jamie Cullum.Anthem of Christian Jon Billett was awesome.I never heard of him,but what a performance he gave.Sorry ICE,but as many people on this forum,I also have to say that the performance of Chaka Khan was really bad.She didn’t even know the lirics and The winner takes it all was to hard for her to sing it propely.Kylie together with Benny on the piano was heavenly.Beth Nielsen Chapman created a nice atmosphere with her version of Fernando with really 35,000 people singing.Also nice to hear was the catchy lirics on klinga mina klockor (Rowing on the Serpentine).Off course I was really thrilled to see Benny play with The Orsa Fiddlers.Marti Pellow,Elaine & Siobhan and Capital voices were also great.I also have to admit that the singing of some artists wasn’t allways that good.It was a pity that the T-shirts that were made for this event were very soon sold out.After the show I thought to see London by night.But then I thought why not check out the V.I.P. lounge.I was just arriving,and there came BJORN.I shook hands with him,and told him it was a good show.A few minutes later Benny also arrived,and got his autograph.So I missed Bjorns autograph,but Gorel was so nice,and went with mine souvenire book of the event into the V.I.P. room and came back with now also included Bjorns autograph.So this event was really worth the travelling from Holland.To see Benny and Bjorn from first row,and after the show been able to shake hands with them,WHO COULD IMAGINE THAT.On monday morning I went into London to buy Chess in Concert on 2 cd and also the Chess in concert on dvd.Hopefully they will release this event also on dvd.I was there and it was MAGIC.
    Chris, Holland.

  11. Is there any news that the tribute concert will be either screened by the BBC or released on DVD at any point?
    This would be great Christmas or New Year TV in my opinion.

  12. Any news of the BBC releasing this on DVD, would have made a good show for Christmas release. But now that ABBAWorld is in the news, now would be a good time as well.

    Or do we have to put up those really bad youtube ones ??

    thanks
    Steve

Please leave a comment...