Robyn Warehouse Live February 19, 2011
Say konichiwa to Robyn in our slideshow.
While most of Houston was knockin' back their first few happy-hour beers Saturday night, Robyn was likely in the Warehouse Live green room, lacing up her 10" platform construction boots, pulling on body-hugging leggings, and primping her hair. The Swedish synth-pop songstress' fashion efforts wouldn't go unappreciated, as meanwhile droves of her dedicated fans were dressing up for her too.
Aftermath first saw Robyn at last year's Pitchfork Music Festival, where she wow'd masses of Chicago's most critical indie hipsters. If her name sounds familiar to you, it's for a reason: Robyn debuted on the scene back in 1997, with her breakthrough dance hit "Show Me Love." (Google it.)
Robyn spent most of the early '00s in relative anonymity, but her most recent efforts prove she was spending that downtime wisely. 2010's Body Talk Parts 1 & 2 display not only her maturation as an artist, but her newfound ability to reach broader walks of music fans, as could be inferred from her mere inclusion on the indie-centric P4K Festival.
Within seconds of entering Warehouse Live, we realized we were totally and completely underdressed among the hordes of Robyn fans (mostly men) in glitzy glittered tanks. Against the glow of dazzling strobe lights and silver pinwheel structures, Robyn walked -no, danced - onstage, audibly welcomed by the adoring crowd.
Body Talk's "Time Machine" opened the set, as the singer bounced around the stage with the energy of an overactive and under-Ritalined 12-year-old, her bleached-pixie hairstyle remaining intact despite her nonstop dancing.
"HOUSTON!", Robyn repeatedly shouted between songs, peeling off her bomber jacket to reveal an intricately woven tank.
Just a couple songs into her set, we were captivated not only by Robyn's energy and the sheer magnetism of her songs, but a performance that wasn't what one might expect of an electro-pop singer: She was accompanied by her band, comprised of two synth/key players and two live drummers. The show was as "organic" as an electronic performance can be: Though Robyn liberally employed vocal effects, her naturally strong voice carried itself.
The opening notes of wildly infectious Body Talk single "Dancing On My Own" generated a mass cheer from the crowd. Someone threw an entire stack of paper napkins up in the air during the song; they looked like confetti as they fell back down against the strobing colored lights from the stage. This song is an example of why Robyn stands apart from singers in her genre - her songs are definitively pop, but with solid song structures, incredibly memorable melodies, and interesting orchestration.
Even midway through the set, Robyn showed zero signs of wear; the same thing went for the crowd, which danced along with her every step. Robyn's ceaseless vigor, relentless dancing, and endless smile were nothing short of impressive: The girl doesn't stop dancing all night. No wonder she's able to rock those skintight leggings
Body Talk's "Stars 4-Ever" closed the first set, as Robyn and her band walked offstage. As if this crowd was going to ever let her leave without an encore. They immediately cheered, chanting her name and clapping in unison. Many held their hands high in the air, in the shape of a heart, as if to will her back to the stage. When she did return, she treated us to not one, not two, but three encores.
Robyn must have exclaimed "HOUSTON!" nearly ten times throughout the course of the set, and didn't say much else, but her fans didn't seem to mind. The vibe of her third encore was more relaxed and intimate; as she sang the opening notes of "Show Me Love" a cappella, the crowd cheered in approval. It was a wise choice of closer and an endearing way to honor her roots.
Considering fans' lingering in desperate hopes of just one more encore after the singer left the stage, we think it's safe to say the people of Houston have elected Robyn as their musical muse. Be sure not to miss on her on her next stop through, as - and you can mark our words - she's only moving (further) up from here.
Personal Bias: Robyn's like a blend of Madonna, Kylie Minogue, and Lady Gaga without the "look-at-me" sideshow. What's not to like?
The Crowd: twenty- and thirtysomethings, groups of friends, dancing loners, and some of Houston's best-dressed and best-dancing men.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Hold my beer while I put my hair up? I've GOTS'TA dance!"
Random Notebook Dump: But seriously, how does she dance in those shoes?
Time Machine Fembot Cobrastyle Dancing On My Own We Dance to the Beat Love Kills The Girl and the Robot Indestructible Call Your Girlfriend Stars 4-Ever
Get Myself Together Dancehall Queen Hang With Me With Every Heartbeat
U Should Know Better Konichiwa Bitches
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