Robyn Fort York, Toronto ON, June 5

Robyn Fort York, Toronto ON, June 5
Photo: Shane Parent
At the tail end of last month, Robyn announced a new remix project in which she asked those whose music she loved to put fresh spins on her own compositions, which she would then unveil through a series of festival performances at the start of June. The list of contributors is nothing to sneeze at: Cassius, Wolfgang Voigt and Axel Boman are among them. But even with an elaborate stage setup that included foil balloons, tinted plexiglass installations and plenty of fog machine action, the Field Trip crowd wasn't moving half as much as they should have been.
Accompanied by a bassist, drummer, synth player and DJ, Robyn first delivered the Wolfgang Voigt remix of "Who Do You Love," marked by a deep, meditative groove. Though it was an odd choice for an opener, much livelier fare in Axel Boman's remix of "Hang With Me" and the gut-kicking bass line of "Love is Free" followed suit. Moving smoothly around the stage, checking in on the crowd every now and then, she called secondary vocalists like Maluca out to the stage to perform alongside them, eliminating any notion of them simply being backup. To let her talented instrumentalists shine during the Black Madonna's flip of "Dancing On My Own" and the Mr. Tophat remix of "Main Thing," she retreated behind the plexiglass sheets to dance solo.
Chalk it up to being worn out by the lengthy rain delay, or saddened by the thought of heading in to work the morning after, but it was as if the audience expected to hear the hits as they were recorded rather than live reinterpretations. It was truly their loss, however, as the unorthodox way of premiering the project — mixing songs together, keeping a beat going the entire time — was a hit with those who approached the set with an open mind.