Concert Review: Regina Spektor

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Last night I covered the Regina Spektor performance at DAR Constitution Hall in D.C for Filter magazine. Good times. After the show, my buddy David and I met some of the members from Regina's opening act, Jupiter One. You'll want to watch this band's space. They're beyond electrifying. I'm planning on checking out their next performance at Iota in Arlington very soon.

Pics from the show and the full review for Filter are below :)

"Regina Spektor’s appeal reaches 'Far' and wide at DAR performance"

Regina Spektor’s performance Wednesday night at DAR Constitution Hall proved once more why the musically dexterous performer has such a cult following. The venue is designed to comfortably seat 3,702 people among its massive two-tier space. But a quick glance around the perimeter of the sold-out hall shows that standing room becomes a priority and not an option as dozens of little black silhouettes line themselves along stairs and walls.

After being offered a sonic, electro-rock supercharge from opening act Jupiter One (whose bombastic, melodic tunes Phil Collins or Dashboard Confessional would be proud to cover), a beautiful and gracious Spektor emerges from behind the stage doors and into the soft spotlight where she meekly receives the crowd’s raucous welcome. After whispering, “Thanks for coming out tonight,” Spektor and her trio of co-stars that include a violinist, a cellist, and a drummer open the show with the bouncy “The Calculation" from her third studio album "Far". She plays a marathon 90-minute set (3-song encore included) to a mixed crowd of teenage puppy lovers, indie music aficionados, and the more mature crowd eagerly awaiting Spektor’s classical piano offerings.

Charming in red curls and black dress, Spektor appears comfortable taking center stage behind her Steinway piano, intermittently showing off her musical prowess on the keyboard and guitar. During “Baby Jesus” she simultaneously sings, plays piano, and drums on (i.e. beats the crap out of) a wooden chair. Spektor even adopts the role of DJ for the evening, changing her set list to happily oblige random requests from the crowd.

In her unconventional vocal cadence, Spektor’s catalog includes a range of songs that delve into devastation, untimely losses, sprightly lovers, God and happiness all with her funny way of bouncing through notes that’s become a cute idiosyncrasy and her signature.

Activated by purple swirling lights courtesy the technical crew, Spektor is spirited on tracks like “Bobbing for Apples” where she sweetly expresses disbelief that a couple is “fucking to one of my songs.” It’s that kind of innocent virtue that’s allowed Spektor to gently hiccup her way into the hearts of adoring fans. With indelible control of her voice, Spektor coos and lilts on “Eet” and “Two Birds” while treading over deeper waters on the spiritually conscious “Laughing with”. The chorus to “Machine” introduces lime green swirls of light tricks that assault the audience, enhancing the song's already mechanical and jarring nature.

And in case you’re still not convinced Spektor’s funny bone exists, she offers a short detour into her playfully facetious mind by reciting a loopy poem about the personification of eye colors.

As proven with her musical versatility, Spektor can easily be a one-woman show whose tiny presence fills an entire concert hall.


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