May 14th, 2012
We went to see Regina Spektor at the Tower Theater on Saturday night. Here are ten things we saw, heard, and learned.
1. The audience had a lot of diversity (read: lots of different types of white women), but overall they were calm, cool, and collected—minus the girl in the fluffy orange prom dress. Why were you wearing that? Why were you the only one? What happened to your date? What’s going on, girl?
2. Only Son opened for Regina, and they were a nice little punchy alt rock brew to start the night off with. We would definitely party with them.
3. Regina’s stage was simple. A keyboardist, cellist, and drummer sat quietly and dispersed behind her. A large piano and raised keyboard were huddled near the front for her utilization. There were no fancy sets or wild lights. It was Regina Spektor singing Regina Spektor songs like Regina Spektor does.
4. She opened her show with “Ain’t No Cover,” a dark a capella with the only music being her steady finger thumping on the microphone. It was jazzy and sexy and let all Spektor newcomers know that she can sing just as good—and even better—without music or studio filters.
5. After a couple of songs, Regina blushingly informed the people of the Tower Theater that this venue was the first place she performed on her first tour ever, back when she was an opener for the Strokes. It should have been a very sentimental show, but the audience couldn’t live up to it. The most requested songs and the biggest cheers arrived for her biggest pop numbers (which she seemed hesitant to play and largely ignored until her “Us”-”OnTheRadio”-”Samson” encore). Many of her selections avoided the moderate-to-well-known-sing-alongs. But many of her selections also came from her yet-to-be-relased album What We Saw From The Cheap Seats. So, ya know.
6. Speaking of what we saw from the cheap seats, if you have a time machine or other travel plans to see Regina’s show, try to sit in the center or right side of the room. If you are on the left, her back will be to you the entire time. It felt like we were in a fight. Like she was giving us the silent treatment in the middle of her own concert. THAT’S HOW POWERFUL IT WAS. But to be fair, she tried to reconcile by making her way to the standing keyboard for “Dance Anthem of the 80s” … but then she left. Back to sitting at the piano with her back to us. Not that we’re bitter or anything, but we’re bitter and everything. If she wasn’t wearing such a glittery tunic it would have been really depressing.
7. It should be impossible for one person to simultaneously beatbox, tongue tisk, sing, growl, and play piano with such a tangibly delightful attitude. But Regina’s distinctiveness comes from her ability to do this anywhere and everywhere.
8. Regina sang the catchphrase of “Sailor Song”—“Marianne’s a bitch!”—with such intensity that there’s no way that it isn’t about a real person. Someone in the audience called out to ask who Marianne was, and even though Regina ignored the majority of audience calls, she directly responded to this one with a prompt and dangerous whisper, “It’s a secret…” It was scary! We need deets!
9. If you ever want to get out of trouble or something with your boss or parents, ask Regina how to speak. Between each song she said “thank you” in the most adorable and heart-melting way. We wanted to buy her lots of toys and candy and glittery things and apologize for any time we were ever unkind to her.
10. Regina Spektor in concert is exactly what you would expect it to be—charming, simple, and vocal-heavy. It won’t put you in a party mood but it will remind you that broken hearts can be uplifting and that music should impress you.