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Regina Spektor

May 8, 2010 Leave a comment

This past Monday, May 3, we went to see Regina Spektor in concert at the Saint James Opera House.

For those of you who don’t know Regina Spektor, she’s a singer/songwriter who plays mostly piano and a little guitar.  She was born in Russia, but moved to New York with her family at a fairly young age to pursue her music career.  She’s got a fun personality to most of her songs, but she has quite a range, being able to explore both the high side and the dark side or music.  She also uses her voice as an instrument more than most singers I know, going beyond words to really get her point across.

Before going to the concert, John and I stopped at Hell Pizza on Bond Street for All-You-Can-Eat Monday.  For $12, you get all you can eat pizza for two hours (and $8 beer pitchers to boot).  Not a buffet in the traditional American sense, you sit there and they bring pizzas around every 10-15 minutes and you pick what you want.  It’s best to get there early, because there’s no telling how quickly the pizzas will come out.  For us, we only got 2 slices in the first 45 minutes, but were attacked with nearly 5 or 6 in the next 15.  And it’s good pizza too.  (Where else can you find a pizza called “Mordor?”)

Hell's Pizza

John and I also played a little darts while we waited for pizza.  He’s the first person I’ve met that actually knows how to play darts, and he schooled me.  Our first game, No-Score Cricket, was very close, but he ended up pulling out the win in the end.  But he dominated me in the second game, 41, until a fluke near the end had him clenching the victory for only a few points.

Dartboard

We took off towards the Saint James Theatre, meeting Lena and getting in just in time for the opening band to start.  The band, Jupiter One, started out with just a lone Asian man playing violin and singing on the stage.  He had an absolutely beautiful voice and used his violin in really interesting ways.  Soon he brought out a cellist, and finally a drummer who played only the snare.  After a while the violinist switched to electric guitar and the beat picked up a bit.  They were a really fun band and had a pretty unique sound.  What impressed me more than anything else was the mesh of the personalities.  The violinist seemed nervous and focused on the music, not talking much.  The cellist sat in the back like a sentinel, looking almost like a samurai, unmoving.  And the drummer was extremely outgoing and talkative.  He told lots of jokes and seemed like he’d rather talk than play.

Jupiter One

There was a long intermission between Jupiter One and Regina, and people started to get impatient.Regina Spektor More than once a train clap was started to try and bring her out.  (This is when I realized that Kiwis are completely miserable at trying to get a train clap going.  It ended up dying in a half-hearted golf clap before it got anywhere.)

But despite the wait, when Regina finally did come out and starting singing, I got goosebumps.  As incredible as her voice is on CD, it’s even more amazing in person.  She managed to hit every note perfectly, meshing well with the piano at the same time.

Regina played piano by herself for a while, playing a few songs I had never heard before, along with Wallet, Ballad of a Politician, and Summer in the City. After that she moved to guitar for a few songs, including That Time. That really surprised me, because I didn’t even know she played guitar.

She moved back to piano, brought in Jupiter One as her backup band, and continued with the rest of her setlist, a lot more popular songs (Folding Chair, Better, Machine, and One More Time With Feeling to name a few).  Machine was one of my favorites, especially the way they used the lights to match the mood.  (The video below is from YouTube from a show in Paris, not the show I went to.)

She finally finished with On the Radio, one of my personal favorites.  She received a standing ovation, and of course came back out to perform her 3-song encore of Samson, Us, and her most popular song Fidelity.

This was the first concert in a while that seemed to pass by in an instant.  I sat amazed for most of the time, only pausing to take a photograph here and there.  I tried to take some videos, as well, but the video on my camera didn’t turn out at all.  (I know that DSLRs aren’t made for video, but I expected the video on such an amazing camera to be at least mediocre, but, at least with the conditions at the concert, I could probably have gotten better video (especially sound) out of a cellphone camera.)

Regina and Band

Still, the show was absolutely incredible and 100% worth the money.  If you ever have the chance to see Regina Spektor in concert, I suggest you take it.

Full Album: Regina Spektor @ St. James Opera House

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