Robyn & Royksöpp @ Marymoor Park, Redmond, WA, 6/26/14
Is Robyn consciously pulling a “Soon as they like you make ‘em unlike you” move with the influx of new American fans bestowed upon her by Girls? At the very least, her set last night focused on a particular range of sounds that would have been just at home on her 1997 debut Robyn is Here as they are on her current collaboration with Royksöpp: dark, throbbing electro and post-rave bang-ups. In practice, though, that meant leading with her more obscure tracks, like “Stars 4-Ever” and ending the night with “None of Dem,” her previous collaboration with Royksöpp—not surprising, given the collaborative nature of the concert, but not exactly a high note to go out on. Even some initial nods to more well-known tracks seemed like provocations, like starting her set off with “Be Mine!” (still maybe her best song) to a decidedly muted crowd response. (Did people go back and listen to Robyn after getting Body Talk?) While the songs from the EP with Royksöpp were done well, with an appropriately overwhelming light show, and she eventually brought out the biggest of the guns (“Dancing,” “Call,” “Heartbeat”), the night seemed low-energy for an artist that left a capacity crowd breathless when I saw her four years back. Maybe it was the venue: Marymoor Park, an outdoor space in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, was a fantastic place to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs last summer, but happening less than a week after solstice and with a curfew of 10 pm, the majority of Robyn’s show took place with the sun still up, a nearly fatal blow for a dance show. Nevertheless, it was hard not to detect some provocation in her choice to avoid her more crowd-pleasing album cuts, and to perform “Call Your Girlfriend” as a remix that ditched the rousing sixteenth-note pulse for an eighth-note stomp. (Plus a bunch of new tracks.) Robyn clearly wanted the mainstream success she’s managed to achieve here (no one solicits a Snoop guest verse for artistic purposes), but now it seems like she’s pursuing the dance-pop artist’s version of going back to her roots. Does she mean to test her audience? Regardless, that seemed to be the effect last night.
Photo by Jennifer Mortensen/@ttuesdayy
This b might have been enjoying a fruit plate on a blanket in the back but I was getting getting down in the front, loved the entire set from front to back and Robyn is fly as fuck