Aqua’s pre-show DJ played Mary Mary, The Cardigans, Christine Anu and the Backstreet Boys before mixing seamlessly from B*Witched’s C’est La Vie into Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.
It’s official: 1997 is now retro and if you can remember this music from the first time around, you’re old.
The Danish quartet – plus three additional band members – hit the stage just past 10pm, looking remarkably ageless for a group all pushing 40 at this point. Frontwoman Lene was particularly striking: a 38-year-old mother of two who, let’s not forget, was battling pneumonia only a couple of weeks ago, she prowled the stage in what appeared to be little more than black lingerie and suspenders, looking toned, taut and terrific (her keyboardist husband Soren has matured into a total DILF too, but that’s another story).
With a new album to plug, the surprisingly current-sounding Megalomania, the group mixed old favourites in with a healthy smattering of new tracks – and encouragingly, the liquored up Friday night crowd responded equally strongly to both. New songs No Party Patrol, Viva Las Vegas and the viral hit Like A Robot (chorus lyric: “Why do you/still fuck me like a robot?”) had the crowd jumping just as much as cherished ‘90s hits like My Oh My and Cartoon Heroes.
Even so, the biggest cheers of the night were reserved for the group’s most enduring songs, delivered one after the other: the gorgeous ballad Turn Back Time, the breakthrough hit Barbie Girl and perhaps their best track, Lollipop (Candyman).