Robyn delivers thrilling set at the House of Blues

A review of Robyn at the House of Blues on February 4, 2011

, Contributing Writer

Pop stars nowadays seem to focus more on their stage show than anything else when performing live. However, Robyn is not your typical rock star. The Swedish singer, who for many years was only known for her 90’s hit “Show Me Love”, has experience a rebirth of sorts in recent years and loads of acclaim for her most recent release, 2010’s Body Talk. Returning to Boston for her second show in the past year, Robyn hit the House of Blues last Friday for a sold out show.

The stage setup was simple and lowkey with very few lights and no props. Surrounded by her 4-piece band (a pair of synth/keyboardist flanked her on the side while a pair of percussionists anchored the bank of the stage), Robyn had amble room to move on her own, using the stage as her own personal dance floor. It was purely organic way of getting the crowd energized, and she did with ease by singing, dancing and engaging the crowd throughout the 80-minute set.

The crowd was an eclectic mix of club-goers, artists and costumed young hipsters looking to dance and have a good time. The excitement was palpable as Robyn, clad in a white and black- patterned dress and rocking her signature short platinum blonde hair, opened with the incredibly catchy “Time Machine”, the first of many off Body Talk. A fun electronic run through “Fembot” followed before Robyn launched into a funky cover of the Teddybears’ “Cobrastyle”,  which really got the crowd moving. Although the song was not one of her own, with lyrics like “my style is the bomb-diddi-bomb-di-dang-di-dang-diggi-diggi”, it fit her personality perfectly. She followed with the soulful “Dancing On My Own”, one of the best off Body Talk. The song about the pain of seeing a former lover with someone new was passionate and emotional and proved to be one of the most powerful performances of the night.

Feeding off the crowd’s energy, Robyn screamed “Thank You Boston!” before she began feverishly dancing during “Call Your Girlfriend”. Following a short break after the conclusion of “Stars 4-ever”, she quickly returned rocking a patchwork jacket and launched into the hit “Get Myself Together”. The crowd was clearly enjoying themselves but the atmosphere clearly changed with the infectious “Hang With Me”, as the crowd truly went nuts for the first time. The first encore ended with “With Every Heartbeat”, a track off her 2005 self-titled effort.

Returning for the final encore, Robyn was meet with a raucous ovation from the Boston crowd as she launched into fan favorite “Konichiwa Bitches”. With her exclamation “Now you know me, I’m a woman of peace//I don’t never take nothin’ don’t belong to me”, stage lights started flashing a multitude of colors for one of the few times that Robyn was backed by any type of stage show. With the show’s energy reaching its peak, she slowed the show down and paid tribute to Swedish legends ABBA by delivering a few verses of “Dancing Queen”, which flowed into a slowed down rendition of “Show Me Love” to close out the night with a sing-along.

After such a thoroughly enjoyable live performance in Boston, it’s amazing to think how underrated Robyn remains in the mainstream market. With a few dates scheduled on Katy Perry’s summer tour, that could be changing very soon. In fact, she might even steal the show.

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