When Robyn released Honey in October, I breathed a sigh of contentment. Despite an inspired collaboration with Royksopp and smattering of dance tracks since the unbridled pop joy and heavy touring of her Body Talk trilogy, I feel like we’ve been in a Robyn desert. She gently returned to our hearts with the mournful “Missing U” and shared an album of shy, lush chill out tracks seemingly designed to make you sway.
The show featured two mini DJ sets from Robyn collaborator Kindness who threw in some fun sampling of Robyn thanking us for sharing this experience with her. The sets were a mix of 2000s bangers, European floor-filler classics, and current pop tracks – the perfect warm up. Second support Channel Tres and his two backup dancers brought an energy and charm to the stage that heated up the crowd even more. Check him out when he’s next in Toronto.
Whether or not you dig her music, Robyn’s “Honey” is pretty damn sweet.
A dreamlike extended intro of “Send to Robyn” immediately builds the anticipation of Robyn’s arrival a few verses into the song - to rapturous cheers. The stage set reflects the tone of the album perfectly - my girlfriend described it as a party on a cloud. There’s a healthy smattering of Body Talk tracks rearranged into the Honey sound aesthetic. “Indestructible” and “Hang With Me” give me a thrill of joy, while “Be Mine!” is just as heart breaking wonderful in it’s current form.
Robyn has been an expert in emotion-driven pop genius for over a decade, and she’s managed an evolution into a sound that’s very different, but still quintessentially Robyn. Although there will always be a special place in my heart for the four to the floor exuberance of Body Talk and her earlier albums, all of the sparkle, emotion, energy and strength are still there. Robyn remains one of the best live performers I’ve ever seen - embracing change and pushing boundaries.
Robyn merges wonderfully with dancer Theo Canham-Spence as they show their genuine enjoyment up on stage together. Her energy is in full force as she connects with her crowd, feeding on the energy and sharing cheeky moves, and roses, with her fans. “Dancing On My Own” is curated into a crowd sing along and “With Every Heartbeat” has the crowd swaying. The show closes with a second encore of “Human Being” and “Who Do You Love?” It’s very easy to see that the answer is Robyn.
Review by: Ruth Binns
The album Honey dropped on October 26th, 2018, via Konichiwa and Interscope.