On the stage of The Anthem recently, Robyn cried tears of joy.
Robyn began the song “Dancing on My Own,” and the crowd took it from her in the very best way. Everyone in the sold-out show sang the entire first verse when given an opening to do so, and the Swedish singer looked agog and then amazed. The audience brought it home and then everyone was quiet for a moment.
Shaking her head, Robyn expressed her thanks. But more importantly, this crowd met their hero and collectively hugged her in the very best way — finally at more than halfway through the show.
Touring on a new album, Honey, released last year via Interscope, Robyn nonetheless got her biggest reactions of the night on March 9 with selections from Body Talk, her groundbreaking 2010 record — “Dancing on My Own” and “Call Your Girlfriend.” Robyn never toured in a way that gave that album its full due in DC, selling out small or far-flung venues in her travels around the area. In Robyn’s time away, the love for those songs only grew, and so it was thrilling to watch her close her main set with them, sandwiched around “Missing U,” a glittering post-disco single from the new album.
Stream Honey by Robyn on Spotify:
Clad in silver, the Swedish pixie more than fulfilled expectations with her show, strutting across the stage as she sang with her whole body. Robyn weaved a pattern from one side to the other, dancing her way into our hearts. To The Anthem, Robyn was the biggest pop star in the world. Call your boyfriend, Robyn, because you just met someone new… 6,000 someones new.
And everyone fell in love with the new songs too if they didn’t love them already. Robyn seduced us in the encore with “Human Being,” a slinky call for compassion and companionship that captured her refreshed sound. People closed their eyes in sheer ecstasy as they danced the night to a close.
Robyn has wrapped her US tour, but let us pray that she performs again soon, as eight years is truly too long between proper albums (although yes she has been very busy in the meantime). As big as Robyn has become, she remains sincerely grounded and authentic, somehow untouched by the madness of fame. This powerful capacity to be herself in any given time is something her admirers do not take for granted.
Here are some pictures of Robyn performing at The Anthem on March 9, 2019. Photos copyright and courtesy of Paivi Salonen.