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February 22, 2024

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Concert Review: Robyn

To get an idea of Swedish pop singer Robyn‘s performance style, watch her new video for “Call Your Girlfriend,” in which she does an extensive single-take dance routine.

Then take her massive energy from those dance moves and imagine it in a 75-minute concert.

Robyn never let up during her show at the Royal Oak Music Theater in Royal Oak, Mich., Saturday, engaging in her own personal dance party as she performed her songs, mostly from her 2010 release, “Body Talk.”

She takes the title of that album literally, letting her body speak for her music as she captivated the crowd with top-of-the-line Euro-pop songs accompanied by relentless movement. Her dancing was organic and free-flowing, allowing her to express herself fully.

The crowd had the same reaction to Robyn’s songs as the floor of the theater turned into a massive club for people to be themselves and sing and dance to her music.

In particular, audience members seemed to relate to the self-affirming messages in songs like “Dancing on My Own” and “Don’t F****** Tell Me What to Do,” singing along to every word and dancing as if they didn’t have a care in the world.

The beats of Robyn’s songs are tailored for the dance floor, but their melodies and lyrical themes allow them to act as more than just club songs–they are also emotional outlets for Robyn and those singing along to her songs. For example, “Call Your Girlfriend” offers a man advice on how to gently break up with his girlfriend because he wants to be with another woman, while “Dancing on My Own” expresses pain at seeing a man with another woman.

When other pop stars perform dance-heavy concerts, it’s widely assumed they will lip sync in order to do choreography. That cannot be said for Robyn; with the assistance of her band and backup, she sang her songs live even as she danced her heart out.

She turned “U Should Know Better,” an uptempo song originally featuring Snoop Dogg, into a slow jam, and for her encore she performed a slow version of her 1997 hit “Show Me Love,” which prompted an audience sing-a-long. Even during these slower moments in the concert, Robyn still packed plenty of punch.

After the show, she tweeted, “Detroit, you rocked me. I saw you moving. You give tough love. Thank you.” Judging by the sweaty, weary but smiling concertgoers, Robyn rocked them just as hard.

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