Not too long ago, I received an invite to an intimate performance by international pop star Robyn at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood. I didn’t know what to expect, and even though I only knew a smattering of Robyn’s songs, I knew I had to check it out based on all the buzz I’d seen about her on Facebook on a near-daily basis. For those of you scratching your head, Robyn is a Swedish singing sensation who actually first invaded American radio in the late nineties with songs such as “Show Me Love” and “Do You Know (What It Takes).” She fell off the pop culture radar for a while before quietly reemerging about five years ago on the indie pop scene, thanks in part to her ongoing success overseas. No longer a teen star, Robyn seemed to gain critical acclaim and hipster momentum with each passing month, and lately, she’s been everywhere, including a performance on the MTV Video Music Awards this year as well as a random Gossip Girl cameo where she was shoehorned into the action for no discernible reason (which is kind of the way all the cameos go on that series).
Anyway, with Robyn-mania reaching a fever-pitch, I knew I had to drop by this event, especially since I was told I’d get to interview and take a picture with her. The opportunities for Facebook bragging were through the charts! Sadly though, Robyn was a bit under the weather; so I didn’t get to interact with her. However, I did spend a solid hour standing extremely close to her while she DJ’d for a crowd; so that was cool. That’s right: I’m boasting about being in the geographical vicinity of a pop star. Hey, it’s all I have.
A few pics after the jump…
Arriving at the hotel, I was a bit surprised to see the performance (which was actually just her DJing) would be taking place in the lobby cafÃ©. And it was free. And there was no list. Literally, anyone could have attended. This was a shocking departure from the normal LA protocol which is to let as few people in as possible and be a dick to the rest of us, even if we ARE on the list.
Even more shocking was that at 8 PM, there weren’t that many people present.
Over the next 45 minutes, the space did begin to fill up, but given that this is a town where a line forms for a cat sipping milk, I was pretty surprised by the lack of a mob scene.
That being said, as we approached Robyn’s set, the place did get very crowded. My friend Parker estimated 100 – 150 people.
Meanwhile, Parker managed to secure us a great standing zone directly adjacent to the turntables.
Robyn makes her entrance, to the delight of the crowd (and the warmup DJ).
I greatly enjoyed her Nordic sweater.
There was lots of buzzing about her giant platforms.
Robyn spent the first few songs mostly in this position. She seemed a bit tentative at first, but soon she got into the moment and began dancing around. My personal highlight was when she played “Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry — just days after I had proclaimed on Facebook that I was ready for a Neneh Cherry comeback. Robyn can see into my HEAD, y’all!
Luckily, we were positioned behind a piano, which afforded us both a space to place our drinks and also a buffer from the crowds.
The teeming masses.
Alas, after about an hour, this lanky chap arrived and danced around for a little before escorting Robyn off. Fun times indeed.
And here’s some video (beware, it’s loud):
Anyway, thanks to the Renaissance Hotel & Spa for the invite. If you live in Los Angeles and want to hear more Robyn, be sure to check her out tonight (11/17/10) at Club Nokia downtown. Tickets are still available, I believe. Oh wait, they’re sold out. Well, I’m sure you can find some somewhere. Good luck!