Robyn At Radio City Hall, Saturday, February 5th, 2011:Dancing Queen -by Iman Lababedi
In 1979 I worked the night shift at a bar on 39th and 3rd and we were friends with the gay bar across the street. We’d share ice (back in the day, right), dollars, etc.
And Radio City Music Hall was gayer than that bar on a Saturday night.
Do I care?
Not much. Though the pix I am using here is one of Robyn’s fans.
And though Helen though I might switch sides and some of those guys were fucking hot!!!
So was Robyn. An energetic, beautifully lit, stunningly performed victory lap by a woman who deserved one. On the only occasion she speaks to us, beyond saying “NEW YORK” when she should have been saying “RADIO CITY”, Robyn tells the sold out room this is the biggest audience she has drawn by herself and will go on to proveshe deserved it.
I will write about the excellent opening act, Diamond Rings, in another post . Robyn, the Swedish descendant to Abba, entered the room to Donna Summer, and the audience stood up as minus one and refused to sit down.
So I stood up.
Two pcs, two drummers, and Robyn. At first I really thought she was tweeting the performance, it takes her awhile to get it together, but she does.
The relentlessness of the set reflects the relentlessness of tech: Robyn dances without connecting quite. She was preaching to the converted, it took her awhile to calm us as she excited. It was like a rave -which is fine.
But it was a concert not a rave.
Sure, she sold em as dance and also sold em as a rock band… but? It was all bpm and you needed to dance not watch.
Anyway, to a gorgeous light show Robyn performed a superb 75 minute set of 3rd generation ABBA. She danced very well, an aerobic parry that used the entire stage and by the end hand her dancing up the upper left aisle in a career wide rave.
Once she hit “Cry When We Are Older” the momentum was impressive, stuff like “We Dance To The Beat” was the essence of dance club in neither dance nor a dance.
It all felt a touch too robotic till the end, when, in the sets best moment, she pounced on “Hang With Me” -off the best Body Talk, Part one.
“Indestructible” is gorgeous (sorry -just checking my notes)… “He should know better than to fuck with me”!! Strange stage presence….
By the end she had managed to seamlessly add Abba. And danced queened Radio City.