A gorgeous summer night Sunday night saw a sell-out crowd at the Sun Valley Pavilion, all there to dance, tap their feet and sing along to the music of ABBA as performed by Arrival. Billed as the “Greatest ABBA Show Ever,” Arrival did not disappoint, playing all of the legendary group’s biggest hits well into the night. It was a time warp of the most entertaining kind — they looked like ABBA, they sounded like ABBA, they dressed like ABBA, for all intents and purposes, they were ABBA.
Sweden’s Arrival is the only group sanctioned by ABBA to perform their music and has played to rave reviews throughout the world. As they worked through hits like “Honey, Honey,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” “The Winner Takes it All,” and the band’s other universally known and loved songs, audience members inside the Pavilion were compelled to get up and dance. Once the playlist got to “Mama Mia,” and “Dancing Queen,” no one remained in their seats. The huge crowd on the Pavilion lawn was also on their feet and privy to all the action on stage via a Jumbotron monitor.
Fronted by lead singers dressed in gold go-go boots and 70s-inspired white dresses, made under license from ABBA’s original designer, the large Arrival band, complete with sequined back-up singers and a male keyboardist sporting high-heeled silver boots, was backed by the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra. The 270-member Salt Lake City-based ensemble lent an incredible depth and richness to the sound of the production under the artistic direction of conductor Dr. Craig Jessop. A heartfelt tribute to Sun Valley Resort owners Earl and Carol Holding was given at the beginning of the evening. Mr. Holding passed away in April and in his honor, the orchestra played a few of his favorite songs, accompanied by the chorus’ spectacular voices. The event was sponsored by the Sun Valley Opera and truly offered something for every age.
The long Fourth of July weekend proved a big music weekend in the Wood River Valley as the MASSV Music Festival also played Friday and Saturday. Bringing art, live music, laser light shows, great truck food and some pretty creative costumes along for the ride, the festival was a spectacle for the senses.
There is nothing like enjoying live music on a Sun Valley summer evening. There are many great upcoming events at the Pavilion (including the Sun Valley Summer Symphony season) and at the base of River Run. Be sure to get out there. These are nights you’ll never forget!