warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

ABBA Fest Serenades Hollywood Bowl With Aca-Awesome Performances

Alexa Schwartz |
September 9, 2013 | 9:59 p.m. PDT


This past Sunday was ABBA Fest at the Hollywood Bowl, featured an a capella competition and a performance by Waterloo, which hold the title of the United States’s No. 1 ABBA tribute band.

The concert was hosted by Sarah Horn, the Riverside voice teacher who recently sang with Kristin Chenoweth at the Hollywood Bowl two weeks ago. The video of their duet has since gone viral.

Sarah was a warm host, and pumped us up for the “Abba-capella” contest between three collegiate regional and national powerhouses. After the first round, she sang an ABBA song herself and soared through the pitches like a Disney princess - and by comparison I mean that I wanted to be her.  

Concertgoers were delighted by the dueling a cappella groups. (Photo by Alexa Schwartz)
Concertgoers were delighted by the dueling a cappella groups. (Photo by Alexa Schwartz)
USC’s own SoCal Vocals performed “Voulez-vous” with energy. The SoCals definitely capitalize on their own hotness, and each member has such fabulous hair that I almost forgot to listen. But then Nathan Fertig sang “Does Your Mother Know” and sounded downright radio-worthy. I was sad when the performance was over, to say the least.

Chapman University’s Soundcheck started with “Winner Takes it All.” I was really feelin’ a love song, so their sultry and soothing singing was very well-received. Their featured singer has definite star quality, with a warm and tender voice. They featured another female singer on “Take a Chance on Me,” and she sang beautifully as well.

When the UCLA Scattertones began “Money Money Money,” I was terrified. I thought I was in one of my nightmares in which the cast of Glee surprises me by jumping out at me in the locker room. Their bright tone quality was on point, as was their key change. Their other song, "SOS," had such strong beat-boxing that it sounded like the fourth of July at the end. The audience erupted, and Scattertones ended up winning. Whatever.

Then was Sarah's reprise of “For Good" from Wicked, as a shout-out to Kristin, with the a capella groups singing behind her. The final harmonies gave me chills. It was a stage full of talent making for another memorable night at the Hollywood Bowl.  

Read more of NT's show reviews here.

Reach Contributor Alexa Schwartz here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.