ABBA is back, baby

You don’t have to be a kid who grew up in the ’70s to enjoy ABBA. The Swedish group famous for such hits as SOS, Dancing Queen and Take A Chance on Me may have broken up in 1982, but they live on in Mamma Mia! and in a look- and soundalike band called Waterloo.

We caught up with Christian Fast, the music director for the dopplegangers, who will play the Fillmore at 8 p.m. Friday.

For the uninitiated: The members are Martin Håkansson as Benny Andersson, Marika Lindé as Frida Lyngstad, Matilda Lindell as Agnetha Faltskog and Patrik Lundstrom as Bjorn Ulvaeus.

What is your favorite ABBA song?

When All Is Said and Done is a beautiful song, great harmonies and melody, and it builds up in a good way. Just a great pop song.

Were you all friends when you started?

We always have been very good friends as well as work buddies. The band was formed in Stockholm in 1996 but has taken different shapes and personnel changes over the years. The band as it is today has toured together for the past five years.

What is the best song to perform live?

All songs are fun in their own little way. Of course Dancing Queen is special, especially for being ABBA’s only Billboard Hot 100 number one. Audiences always go wild when we play that.

Have you met the real ABBA?

No, unfortunately we haven’t, but they know we exist, and former original rhythm section musicians that used to tour with the real band back in the day have worked with ABBA members the past years during recordings of the Mamma Mia! Soundtrack, and they have only told Björn and Benny good things about us. They seem happy that we’re doing justice to their music.

How do fans treat you?

Most of the time they’re true ABBA fans, and they come to our concerts because they know it’s the closest to the real thing they’ll ever get. It’s also fantastic to reach new audiences, even though they don’t know the music yet.

Do you have a favorite concert experience?

If I need to pick one, I got to say Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles: 17,000 people and it was a beautiful evening, and when I walked out on that stage I actually got goosebumps. Absolutely amazing to have played a classic arena like that – an institution in American popular history.

Tickets: $45, $38.50 and $28.50; on sale at or 800-745-3000 and the Fillmore box office.


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