Swedish pop star Robyn sings about dancing on her own, but that's not what her fans do. Hundreds flocked to the Echoplex on Friday, Nov. 2., on the heels of her new album release to dance together at This Party Is Killing You: A Night of All Robyn Everything.
Those familiar with Robyn's work may recognize the party from her latest music video for "Missing U" off her first new solo album in eight years, Honey. In the video, Robyn surprises her fans at a party in Brooklyn that was started seven years ago by three of her fans, collectively known as Adventure[s]. Now, for the first time since the party's inception, it's come to Los Angeles so that Robyn's SoCal fans finally have a place to show her love (and what it's all about).
Friends Christopher Choyce, Russ Marshalek and Marley Magaziner formed Adventure[s] to throw, as they describe it, music-first, themed dance parties around the time that Robyn's career-defining Body Talk album was released. All were fans of Robyn so they decided to throw the first This Party Is Killing You (TPIKY) in Brooklyn in the back of a venue that held 200 to 250 people.
"We recognized we had something special, and all the guest DJs had so much fun playing Robyn-inspired pop tracks, so we kept throwing TPIKY at bigger and bigger venues for our growing crowd. The party is all about having fun, dancing to music that makes you feel good [and] sharing that feeling with other people," Adventure[s] says.
As the years went on, the trio said they had always dreamed of having Robyn actually attend a party. When it finally happened and Robyn featured it in her video, it inspired them to explore the idea of taking TPIKY on tour. Through that, they met Eli Glad from Restless Nites, a curated list of L.A. underground events.
"The mutual interest was obvious. We've all been transitioning out of office jobs, which led us to have the mental space and time to focus on this party and our artistic endeavors more," Adventure[s] says. The East Coast party went on the road to the West Coast, with stops in San Francisco and Palm Springs prior to Los Angeles and a stop in Las Vegas afterward.
The L.A. show at the Echoplex seemed to be just as successful as the original shows in Brooklyn: lines to get through the door and a packed dance floor inside. A single merch table included TPIKY stickers and T-shirts, as well as a card for Robyn that guests could sign. The setup onstage was equally simple: just a backdrop behind the DJ table that played Robyn videos. But the energy and enthusiasm espoused by Adventure[s], who took turns DJing, definitely kept the crowd engaged and dancing.
Speaking of the crowd, as one would expect, it was a fun-loving, diverse group including many from the LGBTQ community, indicative of Robyn's fan base.
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"A lot of Robyn's music evokes feelings that we usually try to avoid — longing, isolation — but also encouragement and empowerment. There are parallels to everyone's lives and especially people who have felt isolated or different. We set out to make a fun party where everyone feels welcomed and you won't be dancing on your own," Magaziner says. "We love our diverse crowd, and we especially love that our party is a safe space for people to be themselves and just dance and sing along to songs that make them feel accepted. It's like a happy Robyn fan club party."
Indeed it was like a Robyn fan club party. Most of the music Adventure[s] played was Robyn, although they threw in some other female dance-pop crowd pleasers as well (some by request), including Madonna's "Like a Prayer," Jennifer Lopez's "Waiting for Tonight" and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Cut to the Feeling." However, it was definitely the Robyn music that got the crowd hyped. For fans of the pop star, in what other club could they dance to some of Robyn's deeper (but equally infectious) album cuts? Most knew the words to almost every song.
But as fun as it was to hear Robyn's non-singles played, perhaps the best moments of the night were when her bigger hits like "Call Your Girlfriend" blared from the speakers, resulting in a giant sing-along. As one of Robyn's biggest hits, "Dancing on My Own," played, the crowd all sang, "I'm right over here/Why can't you see me, ohh/I'm giving it my all … /I keep dancing on my own." In a room full of love, it's ironic how these relatable lyrics brought everyone together and suddenly became furthest from the truth.
This Party Is Killing You will return to the Echoplex on Valentine's Day 2019, with tickets going on sale in January.