I pounced on the opportunity to see my favorite pop elfin Robyn perform with her Scandinavian bretheren Royksopp in a venue I’ve never been to — the legendary Hollywood Bowl. It was the perfect getaway from New York after being grounded for six weeks as I recovered from ankle surgery (nothing serious). LA in October, the chance to catch up with friends from Palm Springs to Newport Beach, and to share the concert with a long-time bestie, even better. Unfortunately canceled The Event dream boat Ian Anthony Dale was in the box adjacent to us. Hollywood eye candy.
Royksopp opened and would return for one of Robyn’s encores. The Norwegian electronic duo, comprised of Svein Berge and Torbjorn Brundtland, and a handful of other artists including the mesmerizing Swedish vocalist Karin Dreijer Andersson, played for about an hour. My god Karin has a beautiful voice. Known for their flamboyant stage costumes and elaborate lights, Royksopp really impressed me. My favorite moments were “What Else Is There?” and “This Must Be It” — both featuring the dreamy vocals of Andersson, and perhaps their best known song, “Happy Up Here.” Dying to see these guys again in a much smaller venue and in my beloved New York City.
Robyn opened with a mashup of “We Dance to the Beat” and “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do” off Body Talk parts 2 and 1, respectively, and was a perfect transition from the tech beats of Royksopp. “Fembot” followed by “Bad Gal,” a cover of Savage Skulls & Douster. I liked seeing the edgy Robyn come out of the gate like a woman on a mission then embrace the “Dancehall Queen” within her. It’s her perennial “Dancing on My Own” that still wows the crowd every time. The first time I saw her perform this song was at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Now she’s performed this song at the Grammy’s, Radio City Music Hall and now Hollywood Bowl. While she’s yet to conquer the world with her perfect pop songs, she’s getting there. Honestly though, as I advocate for her world domination, I still long for her intimate sets in Brooklyn. I want it both ways.
From there, she performed “Indestructible,” “Love Kills,” “Be Mine” from her 2008 album and her most recent single, “Call Your Girlfriend,” which completed the main set. Fortunately, we got three encores. In her first, she played one of my favorite songs, painfully underrated from her Body Talk series, “In My Eyes,” and her big hits “Hang With Me” and 2008’s “With Every Heartbeat.” Her second encore started with the unapologetic “You Should Know Better” and then welcomed Royksopp back on stage for “None of Dem” from Robyn’s first Body Talk installment which was produced by the Nords and “Girl and the Robot,” technically a Royksopp single which features Robyn, yet she performs it at every one of her shows. It’s a great song. Her third and final encore began with “Konichiwa Bitches,” a sample of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” and her famously stripped down version of her 1997 hit, “Show Me Love.” I will always show Robyn love, but I”m not sure I loved the non-flattering black and neon green “squishy ball” dress or what LA Weekly called “Astro-turf-ish boobie-ball dress.” It made her look pregnant… Hmm…