Alyssa Nielsen has been an ABBA fan since she was a young child.
She can remember her parents holding house parties in their large Willoughby home back in the 1970s, and fondly recalls hearing S.O.S. drifting down the hall to her room.
"I loved it," said the 43-year-old singer. "And I still do today."
Nielsen plays the character of Agnetha Faltskog, "or the 'blonde' ABBA singer as many people like to say," with a tribute band called Abra Cadabra, which is performing in her hometown of Langley this Saturday, Sept. 28 at Cascades Casino.
It's always extra exciting to perform shows at home, said Nielsen, who's sharing that stage with fellow Langleyite, Ryan Langevin.
While she's been singing with Abra Cadabra for a decade, Langevin has only been part of the group for the past six and a half years. He stepped in to the role of Benny Andersson - the piano player in the original ABBA, a Swedish super group known for their bubbly lyric songs and flashy costumes.
The north Willoughby father of two said he's always appreciated ABBA's music, but admitted it wasn't until he joined the group and began working on the lyrics, melodies, and chord progressions - that he became a devoted fan.
Now, in between other gigs, both of these Langleyites are travelling the globe with Abra Cadabra helping audiences of all ages re-live and celebrate the timeless and uplifting ABBA classics.
Music teacher moonlights While Langevin makes his living with music, only part of that time is actually spent on stage.
He teaches music to more than 50 students in Langley and New Westminster, and in between those duties performs the lead in a tribute to the music of Billy Joel and Elton John in a show called The Piano Man, as well as his Abra gigs.
Likewise, Nielsen fell in love with the limelight as a youngster and rose to some acclaim as a country musician during her teens. Now, she shares her Abra Cadabra duties with her role as a fairytale princess impersonator for children's parties and events.
"I am very grateful to say that I do make my living full time from performing in various capacities," Nielsen told the Langley Advance.
She's currently embarking on a new children's project for which she has written three of eight stories and songs.
"I am currently choosing an illustrator and intend to have the work published and to begin performing the material to children and families early next year," Nielsen explained.
In the meantime, this weekend's show is being held in Cascades Casino's Summit Theatre starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the casino, by phone at 604-530-2211, or online at checkoutmytickets.com.
In addition to Abra Cadabra's performance, another group called Atari Radio STARZ, an 1980s dance band - is performing Saturday.
This band also features a Langley musician, Brendan Maclean.
@ Copyright 2013