ARRIVAL from Sweden, performing Saturday in Troy, closes in on 30 years of ABBA music



It’s hard to believe ABBA was only active for a decade during its initial run. By contrast, ARRIVAL from Sweden: The Music of ABBA, the internationally touring tribute performing at Arbogast Performing Arts Center in Troy on Saturday, Sept. 23, is closing in on 30 years of recreating the Swedish pop band’s international hits.

When the single “Waterloo” broke in the United States in 1974 and peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, ABBA had already released a handful of singles. The group enjoyed international success with “Ring, Ring,” which didn’t chart in the U.S. but was No. 1 in its native Sweden, No. 2 in Austria and Norway, and Top 10 in Australia and the Netherlands.

“Waterloo” was so catchy it became ABBA’s breakthrough song. It peaked at No. 2 in Sweden and Austria but hit No. 1 in Germany, England, Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway.

Between 1974 and 1982 ABBA placed 20 singles on the Hot 100, with 14 of those going Top 40. The biggest U.S. success was the No. 1 smash, “Dancing Queen,” in 1976. The only other ABBA songs to reach the Top 10 in the U.S. were “Take A Chance on Me” at No. 3 in 1978 and “The Winner Takes It All” at No. 8 in 1980.

ABBA, consisting of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, took an indefinite hiatus in 1982 but interest in the group remained. The music returned to mainstream consciousness following the success of the hit 2008 film, “Mamma Mia!” A sequel followed in 2018.

In 2021, ABBA released “Voyage,” its Grammy-nominated ninth studio album and first new collection of songs since “The Visitors” (1981). Last year, the band presented a digital ABBA experience, a unique seven-month residency at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England.



Vicky Norbäck-Zetterberg, the founder of ARRIVAL from Sweden, recently answered some questions about the internationally touring tribute via e-mail. The responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Q: You’ve said you started ARRIVAL after seeing a bad Australian tribute band. Where and when did you see this group and what made you think at that time that you could do it better?

A: I saw an ABBA band from Australia in Sweden in 1994, and I can tell you it was very bad. They talked fake Swedish, had clogs, did singback and was only six people on stage. We all have to remember that ABBA are top notch musicians and singers, and to do them justice there has to be talent. To do it like ABBA, it has to be professional singers and musicians. ABBA sounds easy to do, but it is not. ABBA is perfection in every single detail. ABBA used the very best musicians in Sweden on all the recordings and also on stage.

Q: What sets ARRIVAL from Sweden apart from other ABBA tributes?

A: We are almost the only ABBA showband doing concerts 100 percent live, and we also work very close with ABBA original musicians. The ABBA original musicians also work with us on stage at some concerts. And most important, we are all professional musicians and singers, top notch artists from Sweden. And to do an ABBA show proper you need to be from Sweden, just like ABBA, and have the very best musicians and singers to do ABBA justice as they were on stage.



Q: Once you decided you were going to take on this tribute project, what did it take to go from concept to live band?

A: I started my group ARRIVAL from Sweden together with ABBA original musician Rutger Gunnarsson. He worked with ABBA for over 10 years and also did all their string arrangements. He has also worked with Björn and Benny of ABBA with their musicals and also with other international acts like Celine Dion and Adam and the Ants. Rutger has done our musical arrangements together with us in ARRIVAL from Sweden and the world famous arranger Tommy Hansson, after ABBA original arrangements. We also sing some songs in Swedish, just like ABBA did. I decided to really do the best ABBA show ever and to study ABBA.

Q: ARRIVAL appears more active this year in the United States than anywhere else. How has the group been received here?

A: We have been touring in the U.S.A. since 2005, 18 years. We do four to seven U.S.A. tours every year and have done over 100 U.S.A. tours. The American market is our biggest market since 2005. We have a fantastic agency there, Love Productions in New York, working day and night for us, to book and sell our show. We have sold out Red Rocks Arena in Denver 10 times since 2007. We have played with the biggest symphony orchestras in the U.S.A. since 2007 (such as) Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony and Houston Symphony to name a few. We sell out arenas in the U.S.A. seated up to 30,000 people. And (around) the world, we sell out arenas seated up to 50,000 people. The ABBA fan club consider us: “As close as you ever can get to ABBA.”

Q: You’ve been doing this show much longer than ABBA was originally together. How has your live show changed since the early years?

A: The show has changed over the years, of course, but the main idea is the same: to do ABBA as ABBA. It’s the same manuscript almost since I started the show in 1995. But, of course, we develop the show and take in some new songs, change small ideas. We always listen to the audience and what they want. We try to adjust the show to what country we play in since different songs were popular in different countries. But the major songs were hits in all countries. ABBA has done over 100 songs, so we try to take in as much as we can. But, of course, we cannot have 100 songs in a show, so we have to concentrate on the most important songs. We have exact copies of ABBA stage clothes, and there are so many dresses, so we change them from tour to tour. For next year, we have some fantastic big news. We will go out and present that in the beginning of 2024 to even get closer to ABBA!

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or


Who: ARRIVAL from Sweden: The Music of ABBA

Where: Arbogast Performing Arts Center, 500 S. Dorset Road, Troy

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23

Cost: $25-$65

More info: 937-418-8392 or

Artist info:

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