ROBYN | Madison Square Garden

by Amanda Koellner

Robyn does whatever the fuck she wants. She left her major label and founded her own to creatively liberate herself. She waited eight long years to release a follow up her wildly beloved 2010 record Body Talk. And she dropped her biggest hit, “Dancing On My Own” just 12 songs into her 19-song set at Madison Square Garden Friday night instead of saving it for one of her two encores.

Catharsis could now be defined with simply a video of the nearly 20,000 people in the Garden screaming the song’s chorus acapella while the Swedish pop star bathed in our sweaty, glitter-clad adoration. Arena shows obviously can’t always pack the same punch as a more intimate set in a theater or club, but this moment was one of many that proved Robyn’s catalog, band, and dancing (good god the woman can groove) render her 1000% able to absolutely bring down a house that big (it was her first time headlining MSG--or any American arena).

After a stellar mood-setting DJ set from Kindness, the main event began with the Kindness-produced “Send to Robin Immediately.” She let the tension build--slowly walking toward the front of the stage and standing still for most of the song--before next giving us the title track from last year’s triumphant return, Honey, and thus kicking off a massive two-hour dance party, complete with choreography, a costume change, and of course a sing-along for the record books.

“Music doesn't change the world,” Robyn told NPR in November. “I really don't believe that's the purpose music should have. But I think music gives people a break, where they can recharge and then maybe change themselves. Which is beautiful.” If this New York City subway platform singalong post show is any indication, we all left recharged and without a doubt changed for the better:

Photographed by Amanda Koellner