Getty | Getty It's been a great year for music. But what's been even…
- Posted on Jan 27th 2011 1:00PM by Joshua Ostroff
She's now popular enough to have long sold-out Toronto's 3200-capacity Sound Academy for last night's rescheduled show, but still underground enough for everyone in the crowd to feel like they have a personal attachment to her, that Robyn is still their little secret.
Secrets, however, long to be shared and the beauty of a Robyn concert is that communal experience. These were hardcore fans, cheering in recognition of each intro, raising their arms to every soaring synth and singing along to all the songs, be it her euphoric new single 'Hang With Me,' ragga-fied cover of Teddybears' 'Cobrastyle' or minimal techno-influenced 'Don't F---ing Tell Me What to Do' (incidentally, the very first song my infant son danced to).
If her fans were used to, as Robyn's world-beating single puts it, 'Dancing on My Own,' this night was finally their chance to dance en masse. That togetherness is what Robyn's music is ultimately about -- human connection, and the loss of same -- and why her crystalline vocals and soaring choruses resounds so strongly with her fanbase.
As thousands sang "Not alone/No, we're not alone" ('Indestructible') or "You and me together/Stars forever" ('Stars 4-Ever'), the emotional catharsis was palpable. When she closed off her initial set with her baroque mid-decade breakthrough 'With Every Heartbeat' and ended her second encore with a stripped-down rendition of her original '90s-era pop hit 'Show Me Love,' the crowd's voices rose so strong that it became a communal performance, a collaboration between artist and audience that might be lost if she ever became Britney-sized.
Though she took jokey detours, like her pun-laden girl-rap classic 'Konichiwa Bitches' or a ballad version of her Snoop Dogg collab 'U Should Know Better,' Robyn's otherwise achingly sincere music almost always pairs its body-moving robo-beats with a heart-on-sleeve emotionalism that has made her works transcend those of her fembot peers.
Robyn makes pop music in its purest form -- a point she subtly made during a brief, brilliant cover of fellow Swedes Abba's 'Dancing Queen' -- and while, yes, perhaps she should be bigger, last night's show proved that she couldn't get much better.