Robyn at the State Theatre, January 29

Music seen
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  February 16, 2011

With each of her three 2010 Body Talk EPs armed with a single-of-the-year contender (in the just-slightly-ironic, pop-chart-averse blog-critic sense), it's been hard to ignore Swedish pop star Robyn's status as in indie icon these past 12 months. Hers was a celebrity that didn't seem likely to translate to much of a crowd at the relatively mammoth State Theatre, but Yours Cynically was oblivious to what is apparently a well-known fact about Robyn: along with a blog favorite, she's also a gay icon.

So, while the seated areas of the State were largely empty, the utopian dance party of the year was happening in the Theatre's front pit (men probably outnumbered women 2:1). Like her carefully produced dance songs, the 31-year-old, platinum-blond Robyn's stage show was impeccably choreographed. Flanked by two large pinwheels and a drummer and synth players clad in white jumpsuits, she slowly shed layers of clothing (down to a cut-off Philadelphia Flyers tee and a pair of wild, floral workout pants) while engaging in an aerobics dance routine that would suit a militant-yet-relentlessly-peppy chimpanzee. Pre-recorded vocal tracks handled some of the heavy lifting as Robyn flailed her way into our suddenly wide-open hearts.

Her set wisely avoided some of the ravier misfires slotted toward the end of her Body Talk EPs, and highlighted their best moments: "Call Your Girlfriend," "Hang With Me," and "Dancing on My Own" (it's a sign Robyn knows exactly what she's doing that these anthems were each the third track on their respective EPs). Each song captures what's most interesting about her as a songwriter: her love songs are as much about friendship as they are about passion, as cheesy as they are efficient and strangely resonant.

Speaking of which, the encore — a segue from ABBA's "Dancing Queen" into an a capella version of Robyn's own Beverly Hills 90210-era smash, "Show Me Love" — left more than a couple people feeling effervescently sappy. That seems to be Robyn's unique forte.

  Topics: New England Music News , Music, Sweden, ABBA,  More more >
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