Robyn Breaks a Sweat with Remix-Heavy Set at Boston Calling Music Festival
A word of caution for fair-weathered Robyn fans planning to catch the Queen of Swede-Pop on her current festival run: if you’re coming just to sing along to “Show Me Love” and “Dancing On My Own,” this is probably not the set for you.
Last night (May 28), the head honcho of Konichiwa Records took to the smoke-filled stage in an Adidas track jacket and some frilly pants as the final act of the second night of Boston Music Calling Festival, launching directly into a smooth, thumping extended remix of “Who Do You Love,” her 2014 collaboration with Kindness.
Those in the audience swaying slowly to the beat while waiting for her to swerve into more familiar pop territory were about to be very confused.
As Robyn unzipped the jacket to unveil her glittery ensemble underneath, the singer shimmied and smiled devilishly at the crowd, warming up for what would be over an hour of nonstop dancing and disco pulsations — effectively turning City Plaza into one giant circuit party.
For her upcoming string of festival performances this summer (starting last night), Robyn will debut brand new remixes of her songs crafted by some of her favorite dance artists, including Cassius, Joakim, Mr. Tophat and The Black Madonna, which will be released in the coming month.
“Remixes make me listen to a song in a different way; they stretch you out as a listener and leave space for other things that a pop song usually doesn’t. I hope to be able to share this experience with my audiences at Governor’s Ball, Boston Calling, and Field Trip over the next week and just dancing together,” she explained in a press release issued just a few hours before yesterday’s set.
The result was immediately divisive: annoyed drunk girls grabbed their boyfriends by the hand and removed themselves from the scene en masse after the first few songs, while shirtless men flailed joyously to the thumping beats and waved giant blue glowsticks in the air.
Of course, the hits were there — just stretched, stuttered and spliced. The crowd enthusiastically sang along whenever a chorus presented itself, as they slowly came to realize that Robyn wouldn’t be serving any straightforward album versions that evening.
On her end, Robyn was thoroughly feeling herself and seemed entirely in her element, taking in the electronic pulsations for several minutes at a time while fiercely shaking her hips in front of a mirror, closing her eyes and dancing joyfully with her bandmates. She’d return to the microphone to sing a line here or there, but that almost didn’t feel like the point. The show felt almost primal; stripped down to a very basic communal appreciation of dance.
Come for the songs you know, but be prepared to hear them in a different way. If you’re not in the mood to move your body, you might be better off just staying at home with your copy of Body Talk.
Check out photos from Robyn’s set up top and the list of new remixes, as well as the artwork for the upcoming RMX / RBN remix compilation below.
Axel Boman -“Hang With Me”
Cassius – “Dancing On My Own”
Harry “Choo Choo” Romero – “Love Kills”
Joakim – “With Every Heartbeat”
Mr. Tophat – “Main Thing”
The Black Madonna – “Indestructible”
The Mekanism – “Don’t F–king Tell Me What To Do”
Wolfgang Voigt – “Who Do You Love?” from Otherness by Kindness
Zhala & Heal the World – “Stars 4 Ever”
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