The Philly Pops and Rajaton Dazzle the Crowd with Era of Abba

Many folks who are new to Rock On Philly assume that we only cover rock music. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Rock On Philly’s mission is to make music of all genres more accessible and this includes coverage of classical music.

I had the great fortune of attending Era of Abba with the Philly Pops last month and had a fantastic time. The Philly Pops opened up with a string of 70s tunes that included Carole King, John, Denver, and Paul Simon. The conductor, Michael Krajewski, is quite the performer in his own right. He warmed up the audience immediately with onstage antics that included dancing to “YMCA” and entering the stage to the tune of “The Rocky Theme.”

The second half of the show was all about Abba. Rajaton, a Finnish vocal ensemble, joined The Philly Pops onstage to perform the tunes. Rajaton got off to a shaky start with “Dancing Queen.” While it is arguably the most popular Abba song, this particular rendition had a few vocals out of the fray, most notably the bass. By the next song, however, everything was pitch perfect. From “Thank You For the Music” to “Money, Money, Money,” the audience was whisked through the Abba’s infectious catalog with sparkle and pizazz.

My favorite Abba song performed that evening was “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” I didn’t realize Madonna had sampled it for her song, “Hung Up” but I have to say, I think I prefer the original! This is the beauty of expanding horizons. You never know what you’ll learn.

On that note, if you haven’t been to the Kimmel Center yet, I highly recommend attending concerts there whenever possible. A common misconception about classical music is that it’s reserved for the older crowd. It doesn’t need to be. Another misconception is that tickets are too expensive. They’re actually not, especially if you’re a student as there are normally discounts available.

As for musicians, there’s nothing better than experiencing new genres for fresh sonic perspectives. While Era of Abba has finished its run, there are many more opportunities to hear The Philly Pops this year, including The Christmas Spectacular that begins in December.


Jennifer Logue of Rock On Philly with Heather Cole and Katie McNulty at the Kimmel Center

Jennifer Logue of Rock On Philly with Heather Cole and Katie McNulty at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Logue

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