Norway's Royksopp has become the toast of the tastemaker circuit, with everyone from critics to Radiohead's Thom Yorke singing the praises of the duo's debut album, "Melody A.M." The duo of Torbjorn Brundtland and Svein Berge has been widely praised for its experimental leanings and atmospheric beauty, but it was the underappreciated playful side to the music that was heavily accentuated during Royksopp's U.S. debut at a packed Henry Fonda Theater on Wednesday.
Royksopp comes from a rock show background, and utilized it to get the crowd revved up. But few rock performers bring the same confidence to the stage that Berge does.
Recklessly banging on his synthesizer and computer setup with drumsticks, and exhorting the crowd between songs, Berge possessed the same confidence that the Hives' Howlin' Pelle Almqvist displays on stage.
Although more understated, Brundtland was just as comfortable when he took the spotlight for vocals on the bubbly synth track "Remind Me." And when the pair occasionally brought out bassist Ole Vegard Skauge, they took on an even greater rock band feel.
Still, they embraced the dance elements in their music. Live, the more up-tempo numbers had a strong Daft Punk feel, capturing that band's playful disco beats. And that atmospheric side, reminiscent of Warp Records bands such as Squarepusher, also made well-placed appearances.