Like a little boy giddy with excitement, I prepared myself for an intimate evening with one of my favorite artists, Röyksopp. The Norwegian duo was playing at Berlin’s Lido, where they suddenly appeared in their eccentric outfits: Torbjørn Brundtland with an enormous circus top hat and Svein Berge in quirky suspenders. The attire and the atmosphere both contributed to their more than peculiar stage presence.
Since their mildly successful and melancholy album “The Understanding” in 2005, Röyksopp have been busy moulding their third and upbeat album “Junior” which was released to high acclaim (to no surprise to me) on March 23, 2009. There’s a good reason these electronic kings are so popular: they have an innate understanding of pop music and prefer making “songs” around beats instead of the other way around.
They began with the atmospheric “Röyksopp Forever” and “Röyksopp’s Night Out”, which instantly combined the boldness of their live show with a rich and full sound and an uncompromising widescreen view. Their live rendition of “Remind Me” fell slightly flat without Erlend Øye’s fragile voice building over the top, but it was made up entirely with the brilliant bouncy first single from their new album, “Happy Up There”. Röyksopp’s live vocalist Anneli Drecker held the crowd in the palm of her hand, seeming to put everything into the ethereal “What Else Is There” and Eurhythmics disco sound of “The Girl and the Robot”.
But some of their new songs “You Don’t Have A Clue” and “Tricky Tricky”, came out slightly drier than expected and seemed to connect less with the audience. That didn’t matter one bit, because this crowd were already won over. Röyksopp returned with two separate encores, one which included Berge playing “Eple” with a space suit capsule on his head, and then just like that, they flew off into the night while their strange, brilliant and unearthly music lingered.
I think it’s safe to say that tonight was a triumphant comeback.