There are some artists who you see once, you’ve had the live experience and that’s enough, but there are others who you could see again and again and even if they played the same songs every time you’d never get bored. Along with Rufus Wainwright, Darren Hayes and a few others, Robyn is in the latter category for me, and I know that after just seeing her twice. This time we got a full concert, with songs from her self-titled latest album (Be Mine, Handle Me, Who’s That Girl, Bum Like You, Crash and Burn Girl, Konichiwa Bitches) as well as other recent singles (Dream On, With Every Heartbeat, Girliestyle), some older tracks (Show Me Love, Keep This Fire Burning) and some carefully-chose ncover versions (Jack U Off, Buffalo Stance and Push It).
Robyn looked fab as usual and I noticed she was wearing a Konichiwa Records scarf with the little bird symbol printed on it, which was very cute. She is very tiny and bouncy in person, and her super-blonde hair would be useful in a power cut. She danced like a crazy person and sang her heart out, with the adoring crowd lapping up every word and movement. At the risk of sounding like Darius, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much love for an artist at a gig – there was so much positive energy spurring Robyn on to be even more ace, and of course that’s not difficult when you have a setlist as amazing as hers. There were no bad songs, every one rousing a big cheer as the audience recognised it, and they did recognise everything.
I realised, while listening to what once again had to be the show’s highlight, With Every Heartbeat, that Robyn really has tapped into something special with songs like that and Be Mine particularly. She manages to combine excellent-sounding music with really meaningful and heartfelt lyrics. Most acts tend to excel in one or the other but few manage both and very few excel in both. When she sings “Still I’m dying with every step I take… but I don’t look back” she expresses this feeling which anyone who has ever felt loss or sadness must identify with, she inspires us to move on and get on with it, without belittling the feelings, and she does this without being dreary or over-earnest like the artists who are supposedly the best lyricists of our time. I’d pick Robyn any time and the gig on Friday showed that I am most certainly not alone in that.