Thursday, November 11, 2010

Live Review - Robyn @ Terminal 5

It sometimes amazes me as to how some artists are bigger than others. Is it because of the people they are working with? Because a certain higher ranked artist may plug a rising one? Their label could be spending millions in a massive marketing campaign? It baffles me. I ask this because after what myself and a sold out Terminal 5 witnessed last night, makes those questions come through more and more. Swedish pop princess Robyn returned to New York City and took the town by storm. Robyn is on the road celebrating the release of her epic Body Talk trilogy (Parts 1 & 2 have been released and Part 3 is set to arrive later this month). In what could be one of the greatest performances I have ever seen by a solo artist, Robyn took the stage like an unleashed wild animal and was ready to entertain. Backed by two drummers and two keyboardists, she packs more punch and energy than a case of Red Bull. Opening with “Fembot,” and never seeming to let up one bit, she turned the venue upside down and created the best dance party New York has seen since LCD Soundsystem did a string of gigs earlier this year.
Robyn rose to popularity in the mid 90’s with the radio hit “Show Me Love,” and after disputes with her label and playing radio-friendly, safe pop music, she had enough and cut ties with Jive records and formed her own label, Konichiwa records to create her own vision. She has become an electronic staple through the years but the Body Talk series has transformed and reinvented the once radio-friendly star into a worldwide sensation. The series features various styles of dance music from dancehall to dubstep to new wave and everything in between. The records are inspired by heartbreak and hip-hop showcase a talent that the music world needs right now. Her live shows are just a testament to that notion, that music needs her; especially pop music- needs her badly. She should be bigger than what she is, Terminal 5 is a good size venue, but it is too small for her.
On stage she is doing the work of singing and entertaining, there are no back up singers or dancers; it is just her and her musicians. She performs each song with such zest and joy; it is amazing to see her reactions as she goes through each number. Owning every inch of the stage, she knows how to work a room and how to elevate a crowd to new heights and outdoing herself after each song. With live remixes and different renditions of her songs, it was a sucker punch to the crowd. The set list each night maybe stock but the performance and showmanship is simply organic. While the crowd would be in awe and pleasure, Robyn would just keep cranking it up a notch. The biggest moment would come during “Dancing on my Own,” the lead single from the Body Talk series, with an entire crowd dancing and throwing their arms up in unison, it really is something to witness and admire. After 90 minutes, she closed with cover of Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and the song that gained her international attention “Show Me Love,” she left the stage exhausted but overjoyed and the crowd felt exactly the same. As she sings in her current single “Hang With Me,” – “Just don't fall recklessly, headlessly in love with me,” all we can say as her audience is – too late, we already did.