An ear pounding monologue queued the band’s entrance before the electro pixie strutted onto the stage in giant flatforms and a fashionably oversized blazer to kick-off ‘Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do’ proving her polished 90s pop star roots are long gone.
The performance’s drama and chaos was channelled through Robyn’s hyperactive dance moves and dramatic persona. Only a few minutes in, she was teetering on the edge of the drummers’ raised platform like it was a tight rope for ‘Dance to the Beat’ and in those shoes it wasn’t far off.
The Swedish singer-songwriter’s energy propelled the gig and fuelled the enthusiasm of the audience whether she was endlessly spinning on the spot or feeling up her own back in a mock make out session during ‘Dancing On My Own’, she brought a light comedy to some emotionally weighty tracks.
A large chunk of the material was mined from her 2010 Body Talk trilogy of albums, proving a DIY approach can make for a prolific back catalogue. The feisty electropop ‘Fembot’ and empowering ‘Indestructible’ got the crowd screaming in delight while the dancehall queen twirled, air-punched and threw herself around the stage. It’s hard not to notice that this indietronic ball of energy stands out in a world of pop, as a role model and honest modern woman who does things her way and on her own terms.
At random moments Robyn would surprise the front row by turning and running at them, as if she was about to leap from the stage in flight and at the last minute she’d freeze, dangling near the edge to roars of support.
The momentum began to ramp up during the insightful dance number ‘Cry When You Get Older’. This was followed by the no-strings attached ‘Hang With Me’, whose video shows the singer-songwriter touring the UK.
The vocalist’s number one single from her seminal self-titled album signalled the encore. Her inescapable 2007 anthem, ‘With Every Heartbeat’ was released on Robyn’s own label and marked the beginning of making music on her own terms after a decade-long hiatus from the biz.
Robyn returned to the spotlight for the heartbreaking 2008 hit ‘Be Mine!’ and hinted at what was to come. The long awaited, stand out track of Body Talk, ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ ended the show at its pinnacle.
Over 15 years since she began in the industry, Robyn’s vibrancy and individualism is as infectious and potent as ever. Standing in the crowd you can see why she’s renowned for her live shows. From a quirky fashion sense to her stage presence and buoyancy, Robyn is undeniable and hopefully indestructible.
O2 Academy Brixton, London, Thursday 1st November 2012.
Robyn was also on tour earlier this year, around the UK with Coldplay, to see her route check out this nifty map.