Nostalgic pop group AQUA’s Perth show train wreck after singer leaves stage for an hour

Zach MargoliusPerthNow
VideoPop group AQUA's Perth show was riddled with problems in a performance that disappointed fans

Crowd members attending nostalgic pop group AQUA’s Perth show on Thursday night were left wanting after their “horrendous” performance was riddled with issues.

Shelby Brady, producer of Mix94.5’s Pete & Kymba for Breakfast recounted the fateful show, which saw lead singer Lene Nystrom leave the stage for an hour citing a “panic attack”.

In their first Australian tour since 2018, the 90’s icons known for cultural hit Barbie Girl couldn’t quite deliver on their “high-energy pop tunes” billing when they graced Northbridge’s Metro City stage.

Lead singer Lene Nystrom had a night to forget.
Camera IconLead singer Lene Nystrom had a night to forget. Credit: adam1985

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What audiences got was a “floundering” performance as Nystrom could be seen visibly “crying” in her pyjamas.

Re-living the unfavourable experience, producer Shelby revealed the Danish group began the show on the wrong foot when the screen behind them displayed “Hello, Adelaide!”

“They were doing a song and she (Lene Nystrom) pulled her earpiece out. And she walked off. They were still doing an entire song without her, they were floundering.

Danish pop band Aqua famous for the song Barbie Girl
Camera IconDanish pop band Aqua famous for the song Barbie Girl Credit: Unknown/ Unknown
Danish pop band Aqua famous for the song Barbie Girl
Camera IconDanish pop band Aqua famous for the song Barbie Girl Credit: Unknown/ Unknown

“They came on and said ‘We are having a sound issue. We will be back in 8 minutes’. Can confirm it wasn’t 8 minutes. It was an hour!”

Shelby lamented the lack of communication amid an “empty stage”, with the lead singer’s odd outfit choices and mental breakdown unravelling before the crowd’s nervous eyes.

“She was dressed in pleather before – then she was in her pyjama bottoms and a t-shirt. She was crying. She was heavy breathing the whole time.

AQUA's Perth show.
Camera IconAQUA's Perth show. Credit: adam1985

“She actually gave up at one point. During Turn Back Time – she would put the mic down and just let people sing it. She was just so over it by then.”

Despite attempts from band members to revive the Doctor Jones singer, requests of “let’s go party” weren’t quite enough to stem the tide.

“The rest of the band was trying to keep her up and going and it just wasn’t working,” the producer said.

Shelby admitted the train wreck of a show primarily lost its audience due to them feeling out of the loop.

“Not communicating to us for an hour while we were all just standing there – horrendous,” she said.

The performance comes as the group had originally planned to play at RAC Arena on March 28 but downgraded to Metro City’s more compact venue to cope with underwhelming demand.

AQUA’s lead singer had a night to forget.
Camera IconAQUA’s lead singer had a night to forget. Credit: adam1985

In an alarming pattern for the group, their apparent decline is evident in the band’s next four scheduled shows which have all been downsized.

Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena has a capacity of 21,000 — hosting Blink-182 in February — and was downgraded to Enmore Theatre which holds a maximum of just 2500 fans.

One could imagine the sensations of yesteryear hoped to ride the wave of Barbie’s success after the film cracked well over a billion dollars at the global box office in 2023.

Other remaining changes to the tour schedule include Adelaide Entertainment Centre’s March 26 booking updated to Hindley St Theatre on March 23, and Melbourne’s John Cain Arena to Margaret Court.

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