Euro-Pop Icons Aqua played Los Angeles, CA for the second time this year on December 20th. Aqua performed at the Wiltern this time and the Belasco back in July which was just one of three North American shows. Those shows were the first time since 1997 Aqua performed in North America. The group was presented platinum records in honor of “Barbie Girl” going 3x platinum before the Belasco show by Universal Music Enterprises. The Wiltern show was the final night of the U.S. part of the tour which began in Seattle, WA November 12th.
Aqua formed in 1995 in Copenhagen, Denmark with lead vocalists Lene Nystrøm and René Dif, keyboardist Søren Rasted, and guitarist Claus Norreen. The group was together from 1995 until 2001, 2008 to 2012, and again 2016 until present day. Norreen did not return to the group when they reunited in 2016 and Steffan Drak has been a touring member since. Aqua had been performing consistently around Europe since 2018 which included festival performances and were performing up until three months before the Covid-19 pandemic began and started up again in September 2021.
In the group’s first six years together they released two albums, the groundbreaking Aquarium which had seven number ones on it in different countries and the biggest hit off the album “Barbie Girl” hit number two on the Billboard U.S. Dance Singles chart and number two in around 15 countries. Their second album Aquarius hit number one in Denmark and Norway and was the second best selling album of 2001. Aqua released a third album in 2011 Megalomania. Fast forward to 2023 and Aqua was back on the charts with Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj for “Barbie World” from the soundtrack to the live-action Barbie movie. It has been 25 years since the release of Aquarium and many songs remain popular to this day as you could see fans singing along with them and “Barbie Girl” will always be one of the most memorable pop songs of the 90s.
Aqua had two openers Vassy and Novul before they took the stage at 9:00 P.M. . Aqua’s 18 song set included all seven hits from Aquarium which were “Roses are Red,” “My Oh My,” “Barbie Girl,” “Doctor Jones,” “Lollipop (Candyman),” “Turn Back Time,” and “Good Morning Sunshine.” Aqua saved their biggest hits for the end starting with “Barbie Girl” followed by Lollipop (Candyman), Dr. Jones, and a one song encore of “Roses Are Red.” For being a group that’s songs were made of electronic instruments it was nice to see a live band as well. It sure was a big night for nostalgia and there were a lot of fans dressed for the occasion.