With no new album on the way and her most recent project with La Bagatelle Magique a year old at this point, Robyn needed to prove how she earned her headlining status at Governors Ball 2016 among the likes of Kanye West and The Strokes. To step up to the challenge, the Swedish singer opted to remix and rework some of her most notable cuts and collaborations, in an unusual yet exciting twist on the typical festival headliner.
Set to close the night at the Honda Stage, Robyn's set was cause for concern as longtime Gov Ballers noted the stage tends to lack an all-encompassing sound like the other three, but none the less a respectable crowd showed up for a groove-heavy goodbye to Day 1. But right from the beginning, it was clear the star was going to throw a few curve balls at the audience with these remixes, solidifed early in the set with beloved 2010 single "Hang With Me" opening with a glitchy, teased-out intro instead of its immediate, lush opening.
But while Robyn kept the audience on edge with her song arrangements, the singer-songwriter looked like she was having the time of her life as she shimmied and shook all over the stage. Decked out in a full-length leotard that boasted sequins on one leg and a pant leg of flowy, material, Robyn swayed and did her best happy-raver dances throughout the performance—feeling the beat even more when guests Maluca and Zhala joined in on the fun. Meanwhile, half a dozen dancers were brought in to vogue, dip and twirl for the audiences, probably to give Robyn a tiny break though she just continued bouncing in the background.
At times, the set proved a bit mind-boggling for certainly tired festivalgoers unable to anticipate when exactly they could scream "I'm in the corner, watching you kiss her!" Yet all in all, Robyn proved that a major festival headliner didn't need to follow the universally accepted method of playing the feel-good hits and easiest crowd singalongs. Even if her lower notes were slightly tougher to hear, it kept the guessing game going until the audience would collectively transform into a heartbroken choir.
So far, Robyn is only booked for three festivals in 2016, with Governors Ball marking the second. It will be interesting to see the impact that remixed Robyn set has by the end of festival season, and if other artists will follow suit or if it will stand as a one-time Robyn thing.