Some things in life are worth standing in the pouring rain for 2 hours. Seeing Röyksopp for the first time in my life would certainly be one of those things.
I’ve had some bad luck with outdoor venue festivals like Park Live in Moscow where something always went wrong, be it a performer cancellation, bad weather or a bomb threat, which is why I much prefer smaller clubs with guaranteed weather control and decent drinks. Anywho, despite my apprehensions I arrived early and got a prime spot at the barrier just to the right of the stage. Honestly, I cannot recall much about any of the warm-up DJs but then again, none of them were that memorable. I am VERY selective as to what electronic music I listen to as the majority tend to be DJs who stand before a crowd playing a pre-made setlist from their laptops and expect the crowd to get off on how smooth the song transitions are. Röyksopp at least write their own songs and have collaborated with super cool people such as Robyn. But I digress. I had been hoping for a light drizzle, and thought that my hoodie and skintight platform boots would save me from becoming a drowned rat but alas, no such luck. I got completely soaked down to my underwear and water running down my legs filled my shoes. Everything in my closed bag got wet. The only thing that hadn’t budged was my waterproof lipstick. But the wetter I got, the stronger became my resolve. I was determined to enjoy my evening.
The rain eventually stopped. The stage was given a thorough mopping. Umbrellas were folded and rain hoods were taken down to reveal people’s excited faces. When Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland came on stage, the cork on the crowd’s anticipation popped and an explosion of screams filled the air. The front of the DJ booth flashed the Röyksopp logo in waves of colour. The back screen lit up and showed an image of the guys for the back rows to see. They started strong and maintained the energy very well. The songs that had the most powerful audience response were from the Röyksopp & Robyn collaboration album which had received quite a lot of critical acclaim. The lady singing Robyn’s vocals for the evening was Jonna Lee, a Swedish visual artist. The lights and visuals were also unbelievable and fit the music and the aesthetic really well.
Hearing one of my favourites “The Girl and the Robot,” was truly magical and I could feel I was not the only one sing-screaming the lyrics. Jonna also sang the vocals for “What Else is There,” one of Röyksopp’s most successful songs. What came as a the biggest surprise was hearing “Eple.” I had not listened to Röyksopp’s debut album Melody A.M. since that album had come out in 2003. Hearing it being played loud with and with bright shining lights took me back to the time I was a teenager just discovering electronic music. The song felt like a hug from an old friend.
The crowd roared for more so naturally Svein and Torbjørnørn came out for an encore. With a last burst of energy, Röyksopp paid tribute to their humble beginning and played songs from their 2 oldest albums. The gig had given the crowd incredible high but as with all good things, it had to come to an end. It always amazes me how fast, and slow, and yet standing still, time is during a concert. For that hour and half, or 2, the world just melts away. It’s just you and the artist on stage making you feel alive. There is no better drug. I had only checked my phone once the whole time, which is a quite an achievement in the modern age, and that is to see that it was still quite wet and dead. Having not taken any photos doesn’t bother me in the least as I will remember how I felt that night for the rest of my life. Thank you Röyksopp.
2. The Girl and the Robot (with Jonna Lee)
3. Say it (Röyksopp & Robyn cover) (with Jonna Lee)
4. This Must Be It (with Jonna Lee)
5. What Else Is There? (with Jonna Lee)
7. Monument (Röyksopp & Robyn cover) (with Jonna Lee)
8. Here She Comes Again
9. Only This Moment (with Jonna Lee)
10. Do It Again (Röyksopp & Robyn cover) (with Jonna Lee)
11. Poor Leno
12. 49 Percent
13. Running to the Sea (with Jonna Lee)