Robyn And Röyksopp At Hollywood Bowl
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By Crystal Larsen
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup fully underway, KCRW-FM couldn't have chosen a better month to launch its 16th annual World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. The second of the festival's six-show run took place June 29 featuring Norwegian electronic music duo Röyksopp (Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland) and GRAMMY-nominated Swedish dance-pop artist Robyn.
"This, my friends, is the good life," said KCRW-FM Music Director Jason Bentley in his address to the audience following an eclectic opening set from Swedish pop artist Zhala (the first signee to Robyn's Konichiwa Records). "We're going to turn the Hollywood Bowl into a giant dance party."
But what ensued was more than just a dance party — it was nonstop party mania separated into three roughly 45-minute sets, beginning with solo sets from Röyksopp and then Robyn before the trio joined for the finale.
Röyksopp's opening set had the sold-out crowd on their feet, with some fans letting their outstretched arms guide their bodies to the beat while others were armed with props such as Chinese hand fans that they waved around and Slinkies that slid down from arm to arm. The duo's set was filled with uninterrupted swirling beats and melodies, punctuated by a guest appearance from fellow Norwegian singer/songwriter Susanne Sundfør, who lent vocals on "What Else Is There?" and "This Must Be It."
With no set change and the house music reverberating on endless loop, Robyn entered for her portion and the crowd let out an exuberant cheer, likely not expecting such a seamless set transition. Wearing boxing shorts and a hoodie to match, she opened joined only by two keyboardists, but as the set progressed more of her players, including Röyksopp's live band, joined her onstage. She began with "Be Mine" before taking her first dance break of the evening, showing off her moves (and a little bit of twerking) that drove the crowd to follow suit. Soon fans were not only dancing in aisles but walkways were full of moving bodies, likely to the dismay of venue security.
"Indestructible" from 2010's Body Talk was the first song to incite an explosive reaction from the crowd as they sang along to the courageous lyrics: "I'm going to love you like I've never been hurt before/I'm going to love you like I'm indestructible."
Robyn's final three songs proved why, in an age of heavily manufactured pop music, she is the real deal. A well-trained singer, her songs are well-crafted and her ability to make a close connection with such a large audience is impressive. Following the dance-pop confessional "Call Your Girlfriend," the opening notes to "Dancing On My Own" began and brought the crowd to their highest point of participation. As the crowd sang the lyrics, unprompted, to the song's chorus — "I'm in the corner, watching you kiss her, ohhh" — Robyn displayed some humorous stage theatrics (her back to the crowd and arms wrapped around herself, she pretended to be making out with someone).
After a quick wardrobe change, Robyn, who was now decked out in silver and sparkles, returned with Röyksopp, who were similarly dressed in silver face masks á la Daft Punk. The trio performed select songs off their 2014 mini-album Do It Again, including the pounding club track "Sayit" and the title track, the latter of which was highlighted by the release of streams of confetti. With time for just one encore, the trio returned again, this time with Robyn behind the turntables, to perform "None Of Dem."
And after a collective bow, the audience cheered them offstage. As I made my way toward the exit, I heard people say, more than once, "That was amazing."
"Love Is Free”
"Set Me Free”
"Call Your Girlfriend"
"Dancing On My Own"
"With Every Heartbeat"
Robyn And Röyksopp
"The Girl And The Robot"
"Do It Again"
"None Of Dem"